The home plate umpire who made a controversial strike call that ended a game between the University of New Orleans and Mississippi Valley State earlier this month, said he regretted the call but explained his decision was influenced by how he was treated by fans and players.
Reggie Drummer told The Plate Meeting Podcast that he had ejected two players and warned both teams prior to that ninth-inning call on March 10. Drummer also claimed that fans directed what he described as racist language at him and that he had been involved in multiple exchanges with MVSU players and their manager Milton Barney.
Drummer also alleged that fans of Mississippi Valley State used specific racial slurs toward him.
“I’m not upset,” Drummer said. “I’m more hurt because I’m getting all this from my people when I know I’m calling a good game, I’m calling a fair game.”
It all concluded with Drummer calling consecutive strikes — well out of the strike zone — on Delta Devils left fielder Davon Mims at the plate for the final out of the ninth inning in a 7-3 win for New Orleans.
Drummer explained that he should have ejected Mims following his animated response to the strike-two call, where he jumped up and down and then pointed at the spot where he thought the pitch crossed the plate.
“I should have ejected him when he pointed,” Drummer said. “By this time, my lapse of judgment is through the roof because I was sitting here saying, ‘I can’t believe my own people have treated me like this for three hours.’ And I said to myself … ‘I feel like I’m on an island and I just want to get out of here.'”
With that in mind, Drummer was intent on calling the next pitch — if it was close to the strike zone — a strike.
The next pitch was low and nearly out of the reach of the New Orleans catcher. Drummer immediately called strike-three and exited the field.
“I called a bad pitch, which I regret,” he said. “I apologize for doing that, but I just wanted to get out of a hostile environment because I’d never been in a situation like that.”
Drummer said at that point, he “just want to get to the locker room and whatever happens, happens.”
Drummer was suspended by the Southland Conference after a review of the incident. He has since returned to umpiring.
“If I could do it all over, the game probably wouldn’t have finished because Valley wouldn’t have had enough players to be on the field,” he said.
He’s making excuses for what he did and knows it was wrong. Trying to make him the victim for all of his bad calls against “HIS” people.
What’s even more amazing is he’s back umpiring!
Wow… He couldn’t try any harder to deflect blame than he did in that entire article. If that last call was any indication of his calls throughout the game, I can see why people were mad. I’m empathetic and can understand that being a ref isn’t easy. It takes thick skin. However, you can’t throw a game just because your feelings got hurt. He also needs to leave the “my people” nonsense out of it. Refs get equal opportunity criticism. If both teams were complaining the entire game, there’s no way he was calling a perfect game both ways…
fire him already
He “expressed regret” that YT is so racist. He’s another entitled 13 percenter.
When I saw him call that bad call when I heard he got suspended I automatically knew what card he was going to use.
He still misses the point. With his logic and attitude he doesn’t need to ump ever again. He had already decided to call a strike thinking it would be close. On top of that, his solution should have been to throw everyone out. He needs therapy and another job. Awful! The sad part is he is allowed to ump again with no oversight