In what was arguably the most unusual moment of the MLB season so far, Umpire Brian O’Nora decided to leave mid-inning of the Cubs-Rockies game. The New York Post details the sequence of events that ultimately led to the umpire making an unexplained early exit from the game:
“The weird scene occurred during the top of the third inning of the Cubs-Rockies game when home plate umpire Brian O’Nora paused play and proceeded to run into the dugout.
The action was halted for 15 minutes while second base umpire Tom Hanahan took over behind the plate. When play resumed, the game finished with just three umpires, and O’Nora never went back behind the plate.”
A video on X captured the moment O’Nora began to jog off the field. So far, the clip has been viewed over 40,000 times.
He was visibly shaking his head, and looked like something was wrong. The official reason for why O’Nora left the game hasn’t been reported yet, but Rockies starter Kyle Freeland met with the Denver Post after their 5-4 loss over the Cubs. Freeland speculates that the umpire just wasn’t physically feeling very well:
“He was sick. I think he was throwing up or something,” Freeland stated. “It’s never happened to me. I can’t recall ever having a home plate umpire get knocked out, like with a foul ball or anything like that, and have to switch.”
Freeland’s statement lines up with the tweet posted by ESPN’s Jesse Rogers on X. The scene had many in the MLB world about O’Nora’s health. Can’t say I blame them, as it’s hard to recall a time when an umpire just randomly leaves during the middle of a game the way he did. O’Nora’s been officiating MLB games since the 2000s.
Hoping that everything with O’Nora is alright, and a speedy recovery if it turns out he is sick.