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MLB umpire mum on trash-talking players during visit to Chicago courthouse

A federal judge in Chicago instructed his court reporter to go off the record before asking MLB umpire Phil Cuzzi: “Which player talks the most trash to umpires?”

MLB umpire Phil Cuzzi visited U.S. District Judge Thomas Durkin in his courtroom Monday morning.
AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

U.S. District Judge Thomas Durkin makes no secret of his baseball allegiances.

In fact, the judge can often be seen drinking from a White Sox cup as he presides over hearings in his 14th floor courtroom at the Dirksen Federal Courthouse.

Before a status hearing in a gang racketeering case Monday morning, Durkin got a special visitor: MLB umpire Phil Cuzzi, whose officiating crew is in Chicago to call the Astros-White Sox series that’s set to be played at Guaranteed Rate Field starting Monday evening.

After asking Cuzzi how long he’s been an umpire (21 years) and if the job goes year-round (it does), Durkin instructed his court reporter to go off the record. Durkin then asked Cuzzi: “Which player talks the most trash to umpires?”

Before Cuzzi could respond, Durkin looked at a Chicago Sun-Times reporter seated in the courtroom and asked: “You’re not a reporter, are you?”

When the reporter said yes, Durkin laughed and suggested that he and Cuzzi talk in the judge’s chambers instead. They were in Durkin’s chambers for about a half hour, slightly delaying the start of Durkin’s scheduled 10 a.m. hearing.

Cuzzi remained in court to observe the proceedings for more than an hour.

As he was leaving, the reporter asked him how he replied to Durkin’s question about the mouthiest player. Cuzzi laughed, patted the reporter on the shoulder and walked away.