NEW YORK (AP) — Two people familiar with the situation tell The Associated Press that a Major League Baseball umpire was recently dismissed for what was believed to be the first known drug ouster among umps.
MLB announced on June 14 that Brian Runge was no longer on staff and that a Triple-A umpire had been promoted, but didn’t give a reason. Only once since 2000 had such a change been made in midseason, and that was because of an injury.
The two people tell the AP that Runge failed at least one drug test, then reached an agreement so he could remain on the umpire roster. When he failed to comply with those terms, he was released.
The people spoke on condition of anonymity because MLB didn’t publicly say why Runge was gone.