Fan heckling Harper in Atlanta ejected by umpire

FILE - In this Sept. 22, 2013, file photo, umpire Tim Welke turns to the Tampa Bay Rays' dugout to exchange heated words with Rays manager Joe Maddon about a call during the fifth inning of a baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles in St. Petersburg,
Brian Blanco, File

Umpire Tim Welke heard a foul-mouthed fan heckling Bryce Harper and decided it was time for the man to go.

Welke took off his mask, pointed to the fan and ejected him from Turner Field in Atlanta during Tuesday night's game between the Washington Nationals and Braves.

''There's no place for that,'' Welke told The Associated Press on Wednesday. ''Forget that it was directed at that player. Enough is enough.''

At a time when bad behavior in sports is attracting a lot of attention, Welke's swift action drew applause from some fans sitting near the obscenity-shouting man.

The longtime crew chief said he saw the fan come down to the backstop and start shouting in the sixth inning. Welke turned around, identified the man and had an usher escort him away.

''Hey! Hey! Get rid of that guy!'' Welke can be heard on video from the game. ''Get rid of him now! Get rid of him!''

Welke said Harper thanked him the next time he came up. The umpire said he told the Nationals star: ''It's OK to boo ya, but it's not OK to use that kind of language.''

Welke has umpired for more than 30 seasons in the majors and worked the World Series four times. He said this was the second time this year he tossed a fan. He also ejected a profane person in Kansas City.

''Nobody should have to listen to that,'' he said.

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