Friday, May 11, 2012

He went Piscataway

I bow to no one in my love for New Jersey.  Actually, I make it a habit to avoid bowing at any time.  I spent an entire calendar year having my spine repaired, so it's best that I remain vertical as much as possible.

But this boy loves New Jersey - its beaches, its food, its people, its varied cultures, with the exception of the beachy Snookistas and that bunch.  We love vacationing in Cape May every summer.

I don't believe that we've ever been to Piscataway, a town where, one week ago tonight, a Little League umpire opened a can of whoopass on a Little League coach.  The umpire's name is...well, let's have tell you the story...

Dave Delnegro III literally took his umpiring job into his own hands while calling balls and strikes at a Little League game between 8- and 11-year-olds on Friday night.

According to Piscataway police and Piscataway Little League President Frank Uhrin, the 21-year-old Delnegro punched Joe Bellamy in the face several times after a brief exchange during the second inning of the game between the minor-league Astros and Mets, played before approximately 50 fans.

Bellamy, 40, who coaches the Astros, did not strike back, citing the code of conduct. Police responded to the Little League complex on Sidney Road at approximately 8:50 p.m. and, after a brief investigation, issued a Simple Assault at a Youth Sporting Event summons to Delnegro. No Municipal Court date has been set. Delnegro is claiming self-defense.

“The first thing was to not get physical with him because of the kids’ sake,” Bellamy said. “At no time did I even think about hitting him back. I didn’t want to make it worse.”

Uhrin, who was at the complex but did not witness the altercation, said that Delnegro was “rushing the two teams to get on the field to start the game because the first game ended a little late.

“Joe (Bellamy) didn’t mind,” Uhrin said. “He understood.”

However, when Delnegro called a pitch that bounced in front of the catcher a strike, Bellamy went on the field to discuss it.

“Joe said to him (Delnegro), ‘You’re cheating the kids. Before he knew it, the umpire punched him four times. His face was full of blood and I asked what happened? He said, ‘The umpire punched me.
“I’ve seen bumping between guys, but never anything like this.”

The umpire has a different version of the altercation.
Delnegro, through his attorney, Jordan Rikards, issued the following written statement: “Mr. Delnegro was initially reluctant to umpire in Piscataway, having been previously warned about the unusually volatile nature of certain coaches and fans in that township.
“In fact, Mr. Delnegro’s father is also a little league umpire, and was greatly concerned for his son’s safety and well-being in Piscataway. Their concerns proved to be well-founded."

The attorney - you'll be shocked at this - says that Bellamy  advanced upon Mr. Delnegro in a loud, aggressive and threatening manner, and actually made physical contact with Mr. Delnegro, such that Mr. Delnegro feared for his safety.“Accordingly, Mr. Delnegro intends to assert self-defense should the meritless charge against him be maintained.”

So, if you're scoring at home, the game got going late, and so the ump chose to speed things up by calling balls that bounced in front of the plate "strikes."  The coach gets steamed and goes to give the ump hell, during which period of hellgiving he MAY or MAY NOT have made physical contact with the arbiter.  There seems no dispute over Bellamy's claims that Delnegro III clocked him a good one.  

So often we hear the question, what's the matter with kids todayAnd now, Piscatawagians have the answer. 

They are going to grow up and act like the adults they see at the ballfield.

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