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“Three Blind Mice”

Sep 19, 2012, 1:40 PM EDT

Three Blind Mice

Yesterday Slate ran a story about the long rich history of ballpark organists playing “Three Blind Mice,” leading to ejections, league directives and very, very upset umpires.

(1) there’s a lot more in there than the two instances I knew of where umpires ejected organists, one earlier this year; and (2) no matter how hard the article tries to give us the umpires’ side of the story on this, I just can’t have any sympathy. How any umpire in the past century can enter the business without knowing full well that the fans are going to be on their ass whether a song incites them to be or not is an utter mystery.

  1. elmaquino - Sep 19, 2012 at 1:42 PM

    And three…

  2. sabatimus - Sep 19, 2012 at 1:47 PM

    I’ve actually never heard Three Blind Mice played at a baseball game. It’s too bad too, because I’d probably have to go to the hospital due to lack of oxygen after laughing so hard.

    • bigleagues - Sep 19, 2012 at 10:40 PM

      We always kept it on our click effects machine, but since you never knew how the umps would react, none of our sound guys had the sack to use it.

      Sooooo, as fate would have it, I was subbing in for my sound guy during a day game (he was a lawyer by day) when an obvious botched call led me to play it.

      No sooner did the first few notes come across the PA, with the fans immediately bursting into laughter and applause, and with my press box mates either laughing or cringing, the ump was pointing at me issuing a warning, which, of course, drew near unanimous boos from the fans.

      If I had gotten tossed, I would not have cared in the least because I was doing my job – reading the general mood of the fans and enhancing their game experience.

      There are a lot of ways that an opposing team’s sound man can respectfully punk opposing players. Beyond, not playing sounds while the ball is play, the guidelines for that are largely unwritten.

      Also unwritten is not being allowed to play “3 Blind Mice”. But the umps have the leverage because they know that most GM’s would rather not deal with umpires post-game whining, and many teams don’t have good backup sound people who are familiar with the system, so then game production suffers.

  3. temporarilyexiled - Sep 19, 2012 at 1:49 PM

    It’s bad enough the umpires seem to be nearsighted, short-tempered, and hungover. The worst part is they can’t even count. They should just relax…at least until the ballpark organist plays “Four Blind Mice”.

    • Francisco (FC) - Sep 19, 2012 at 2:27 PM

      Does that mean they need to play “Six Blind Mice” during the playoffs? Or would playing “Three Blind Mice” twice in a row do it?

      • temporarilyexiled - Sep 19, 2012 at 2:36 PM

        Great minds that think alike. I almost put your exact comment at the end of mine. I think they should play “Three Blind Mice” twice, rather than “Six Blind Mice”. I figure this’ll help if the umpires are also somewhat deaf.

    • bigleagues - Sep 20, 2012 at 10:55 AM

      There are only 3 umps in MiLB games.

      • temporarilyexiled - Sep 20, 2012 at 11:21 AM

        I’d only care about this if you said “There are only 3 umps in Bush League games.”

        Then it’d make sense for this to be the song they play when the umpires take the field.

        Come to think of it…

  4. sharkcity408 - Sep 19, 2012 at 1:55 PM

    Umpires are allowed to do that???!! Lmfao wow

  5. stex52 - Sep 19, 2012 at 2:05 PM

    My thought, too. I could see them filing a complaint with the league. But ejecting someone who is not on the field?

    • raysfan1 - Sep 19, 2012 at 9:09 PM

      They.can eject anyone from the park. However, ejecting the organist just means the ump is a jerk who can’t take a joke.

      • chumthumper - Sep 20, 2012 at 9:39 AM

        If they’re ejecting the organist, then they aren’t paying attention to the game.

  6. prospero63 - Sep 19, 2012 at 2:10 PM

    Umpires are soft now…

  7. skids003 - Sep 19, 2012 at 2:29 PM

    It’s kind of like when you get in the blogging business Craig, maybe you shouldn’t be so thin skinned either when you try to be a champion of the people.

  8. mikedi33 - Sep 19, 2012 at 2:38 PM

    A few years ago at Citzens bank park, they played “double Vision” because the batter had doubled in his first three at bats. Of course the umps thought it was about a close play. The crew chief stopped the game and called up and complained.

    • Francisco (FC) - Sep 19, 2012 at 2:59 PM

      Now that’s just silly, if they had played “One Vision” OTOH…

  9. willclarkgameface - Sep 19, 2012 at 2:52 PM

    The organists can’t help it if the umpires have no sense of humor and take themselves WAY too seriously.

  10. kevinleaptrot - Sep 19, 2012 at 2:56 PM

    Never heard 3 Blind Mice played at a big league park, but I’ve heard it at minor league games and also minor league hockey games. Don’t recall ever seeing an ump/official take offense.

    • stlouis1baseball - Sep 19, 2012 at 3:13 PM

      I too have never heard 3 Blind Mice played at a big league venue.

  11. tfbuckfutter - Sep 19, 2012 at 3:15 PM

    I think that one mouse has something anti-semitic written on his glasses.

    I wonder if he knows its there.

    • stlouis1baseball - Sep 19, 2012 at 3:54 PM

      Yep…and he will be suspended. Most importantly…what were his two buddies doing while he was putting on the glasses? Why didn’t they stop him? Did they do it as a joke?
      Is the mice being malicious? Either way…my feelings are hurt.
      We simply must hold this mouse accountable.

  12. theawesomersfranchise - Sep 19, 2012 at 4:37 PM

    “How any umpire in the past century can enter the business without knowing full well that the fans are going to be on their ass whether a song incites them to be or not is an utter mystery.”

    No sympathy for the Umps
    But a fan bringing a sign to the ballpark creates a ton of sympathy for the manager…..

    • stlouis1baseball - Sep 19, 2012 at 4:57 PM

      Burrrrrn! You win! Winner…winner…Chicken Dinner!

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