Longtime MLB umpire Rob Drake could be in hot water with the league after sending a tweet suggesting he would take up arms if President Donald Trump is impeached.
"I will be buying an AR-15 tomorrow, because if you impeach MY PRESIDENT this way, YOU WILL HAVE ANOTHER CIVAL WAR!!! #MAGA2020” Drake, a western Pa. native, wrote on his Twitter account on Wednesday.
That post followed a separate tweet about the impeachment proceedings involving Trump’s dealings with Ukraine that read, “You can’t do an impeachment inquiry from the basement of Capital Hill without even a vote! What is going on in this country?”
Both tweets were both quickly deleted by Drake, but not before being noticed by ESPN’s Jeff Passan.
MLB is looking into Drake’s tweet. Drake issued a statement to ESPN apologizing for his comments and regretting the “violence in those words."
“Rob is a passionate individual and an outstanding umpire. He chose the wrong way to convey his opinion about our great country. His posting does not represent the view of the MLBUA or reflect those of the umpires we represent,” the the Major League Baseball Umpires Association said in a statement.
Drake made his debut as an umpire in 1999, and has worked full-time for MLB since 2010. He has called numerous playoff series and All-Star games, but was not on the leagues postseason roster this season. Drake, 50, was also the second base umpire during former Phillies infielder Eric Bruntlett’s game-ending triple play in August 2009, the first in National League history.
The controversy over Drake’s tweet is the second off-the-field distraction the league has been forced to contend with during the World Series. The Astros fired assistant general manager Brandon Taubman after an “offensive and frightening” outburst directed at several female reporters following the Astros’ American League Championship Series win against the New York Yankees.
MLB is investigating both the incident and the Astros’ initial reaction to Stephanie Apstein’s story for Sports Illustrated, which the team claimed she fabricated, despite being corroborated by several other reporters.
“I’m really concerned, at this point, about the underlying substance of the situation and what the atmosphere was, how it came to be,” MLB commissioner Rob Manfred told reporters before Game 2 of the World Series Wednesday night.