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MLB Toronto Blue Jays

Brett Lawrie Spikes Batting Helmet Into Umpire After Questionable Called Strikes

Brett Lawrie of the Toronto Blue Jays is one of the hardest-playing, fieriest players in baseball. That fire got the best of him at the end of the Jays 4-3 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays at Rogers Centre Tuesday night.

Lawrie was up against Fernando Rodney with one out in the bottom of the ninth with a 3-1 count. Lawrie took what he thought to be ball four and started his brisk jog to first base only to have home plate umpire Bill Miller call the pitch a strike. Lawrie was a bit theatrical on his delayed return to the batter’s box, but didn’t appear to address Miller directly.

The 3-2 pitch from Rodney looked both high and outside, and Lawrie started his jog to first once again. Miller, again on a delayed call, said it was a strike.

Then, things got a bit ugly.

Lawrie, who was already a few paces up the line, stormed back at Miller and spiked his batting helmet into the ground. The helmet bounced and hit Miller in the shin. Lawrie, of course, was ejected but had a pretty intense blow up before leaving the home plate area. His manager, John Farrell, like a good manager who sticks up for his players, got himself ejected with a pretty intense display of his own.

Judging by the PitchFX data, Lawrie had the right to best upset, especially in the ninth inning of a one-run game.

I’d be surprised if Miller has even a bruise to show from Lawrie’s helmet bouncing into him, but that won’t stop Major League Baseball from issuing a hefty fine and possibly suspending Lawrie. The baseball umpire’s have a strong union, and it’s the MLB’s job to protect their umps.

To end the ugly scene, a Blue Jays fan threw a beverage at Miller as he was walking off the field.

From the outside looking in, this clearly looked like Miller trying to put a young player in his place. Who knows what kind of punishment the MLB will come up with, but they’re likely going to try to put Lawrie in his place, too.

The most famous physical altercation between a player and an umpire came back in 2000 when Carl Everett head butted Ron Kulpa. Everett was suspended 10 games and fined $5,000.

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