It’s only been a few days since MLB umpire Tom Hallion introduced the phrase “our ass is in the jackpot” in a leaked video that contained full audio of a 2016 Terry Collins ejection. While we’re still no closer to understanding why Hallion used the word “jackpot” instead of something more normal like, “Our ass is on the line,” commissioner Rob Manfred would just prefer we forget about this little leak altogether. Speaking with reporters after owners meetings on Thursday, Manfred said MLB wanted to scrub the video from the internet, essentially telling the umpires’ union: Sorry, sorry, we’re trying to remove it.
Manfred said that he didn’t know how the two-year-old video got out—it appears to have been quietly uploaded to Youtube in 2017—but MLB says its guidelines state that all umpire audio not used on a broadcast should be immediately deleted after a game. While their tactic feels like the enemy of fun, it also makes sense why Manfred and MLB would want the video disappeared. It’s not great when employees think that everything they say could come back to mock them in a viral video years later. Via AP:
“We made a commitment to the umpires that if they would wear microphones, certain types of interactions that we all know go on the field would not be aired publicly,” Manfred said Thursday after the owners meetings ended.
“We promised them that. It’s in the collective bargaining agreement. We had no choice in a situation like that then to do everything possible to live up to our agreement. It is Labor Relations 101. To not do that is the kind of breach of trust that puts you in a bad spot over the long haul,” he said.
Whether or not MLB is actually trying to scrub the video ejection is still unclear. It’s obviously impossible to entirely remove anything from the internet, but this video, for now, remains extremely easy to find in the most obvious places. As long as Manfred can at least talk some talk about taking it down, however, he can probably keep his ass out of the jackpot.