The rumor mill was spinning fast after Utica's 4th Ward Councilman Joe Marino was thrown out of a Little League Baseball all-star game. Many said he was banned for one year from coaching the team his twin sons play on, but Marino joined Thursday morning on 'First News' with Keeler in the Morning to set the record straight.

Many believed that the ejection and rumored ban was the result of a physical altercation between an umpire and Marino. The councilman says that couldn't be further from the truth. "I touched his elbow to get his attention," Marino said of the conversation he had after confronting the official. "Behind the fence there were a bunch of moms jawing at the guy for some pretty tough calls," Marino added. Marino initiated the conversation because his team, as well as his son, was getting upset over an inconsistent strike zone.

Marino's only intention was to see if he could prevent his team from getting more upset than they already were. In his words he wanted to "defend and protect them." Marino went

I said 'Hey bud, I'd just like to talk to you' and he said 'You're outta here!'

on to explain to the morning show crew that after he gently voiced his concerns to the umpire, he turned away from Marino and did not say anything. "What I did was I touched his elbow and said 'Hey bud, I'd just like to talk to you' and he said 'You're outta here!'"

'First News' host, Bill Keeler, asked to clarify that he hadn't swore, kicked dirt, hit the guy, or anything to that effect. Marino replied, "Of course not." Marino hoped by coming on the air to set the record straight, he could finally put the rumors to bed. "I just don't like it when umpires make the game about themselves, I think these kids deserved a shot to play and I am proud of defending them, Marino says. He also added, "One of my favorite things to do is coach my kids. That's why I am glad I was able to come on and talk about this."

Marino also addressed a few other city issues and talk about the possibility of a run for higher office, but concluded that he's focused on what's ahead of him in the near future and is focusing on his re-election bid. You can hear the full interview with Councilman Joe Marino in the video above.

Listen to 'First News with Keeler in the Morning' each and every weekday morning from 6-9 a.m. on WIBX 950 AM and

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