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Bobby Valentine gets a chewing gum rebuttal from umpire during on-field argument

Kevin Kaduk
Big League Stew

Everyone knows that being hit with wayward spittle is a hazard of the job when it comes to heated managers vs. umpire arguments in baseball.

Being hit with a flying piece of bubblegum, however, is something much more unexpected — though perhaps oddly preferable to just being hit with someone else's saliva. Watch as umpire Gary Darling loses his cud while arguing with Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine over a close play involving Marlon Byrd in the ninth inning of Friday's 6-4 loss to the Phillies.

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Hubba, bubbas! Though Valentine waved off a postgame question about whether Darling got too close, his accusatory finger point shows he was well aware of the masticated missile. (As a "Hoosiers" fan, it would have blown my mind had Valentine channeled Buddy and told the media that "it was Dentyne.")

I'm actually kind of surprised that both men were able to hold a straight face, but I really think you can see a point where both men almost lose it to laughter. Darling's inability to hang on to the contents of his mouth really underscores how easy it is to diffuse a baseball argument.

One more thought: Does this qualify as poor "situation handling" on Darling's part?

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