The Toronto Blue Jays lost to the Tampa Bay Rays last night, falling to below .500. Tensions in the building were high, as the Blue Jays were in the middle of a skid and it seemed as though the umpires had it out for them.
In the ninth inning of the loss, Blue Jays third baseman Brett Lawrie lost it. Known as an emotional player (and loved by fans for it), Lawrie threw a tantrum befitting a toddler. After two called strikes that Lawrie didn’t agree with (the second of which was most definitely not a strike), he blew up at home plate umpire Bill Miller. Things quickly escalated and Lawrie threw his batting helmet in the direction of Miller.
At least, that’s how it looked. Lawrie claimed that he was trying to slam his helmet down to the ground, and the video does show that this may have been the case, but he clearly threw it towards Miller’s direction. The helmet bounced off the ground and struck Miller. Have a look:
While Lawrie did concede that his helmet “might have” hit the umpire, he denied throwing it at him on purpose.
“That was not my intention at all,” he said after the game. “I’ve never, ever done anything to go at an umpire in my life and I didn’t mean to tonight. I apologize for that. It just kind of took an unlucky bounce and I think I got him so my apologies for that.”
Lawrie was ejected from the game, as was Toronto manager John Farrell, and will most certainly face league discipline. A brief suspension seems like a lock.