Brett Lawrie offered a somewhat tepid apology for slamming his batting helmet into the ground that struck plate umpire Bill Miller’s hip. The Toronto Blue Jays lost 4-3 Tampa Bay, and the Lawrie ejection in the ninth inning got ugly. ”That was not my intention at all,” Lawrie said. ”I’ve never, ever done anything to go at an umpire before in my life, and I didn’t mean to tonight. I apologize for that.
If that has been the case in the past, Lawrie won’t be able to say that in the future. Lawrie went on to tried to explain his actions, ”It’s just my passion for the game,” he said. ”I wanted to help my teammates out as best I could. That’s the pride I have in this game. I leave my emotions out on the field.” So apparently, that’s just who he is, one of those guys who just plays the game with a lot of passion.
Lawrie’s troubles began in the ninth inning. With a 3-1 count Tampa Bay Rays closer Fernando Rodney threw a pitch that appeared to be outside, and was called a strike. As Lawrie headed to first, Miller called strike two. On the ensuing full count pitch, Lawrie again thought he had earned a walk and was called out by Miller.
Lawrie dropped his bat and threw his helmet down at Miller’s feet. It bounced and ricocheted into him. Major League baseball will likely follow with a suspension for the 22-year-old Lawrie. Toronto manager John Farrell tried to restrain his third baseman.
And of course Farrell was ejected as well. Farrell later tried to defend his player,saying, ”The bat was taken completely out of Brett’s hands, not only the 3-1 pitch but the 3-2 pitch as well,” Farrell said. ”Those are not strikes.”
Lawrie it’s clearly wound tight. He plays the game with a lot of energy. He will have a few days off shortly to think about his actions. Tonight those actions were inexcusable. In case you missed it, here it is.
Update – Brett Lawrie was suspended for 4 games and fined an undiscloded amount. He will appeal the decison and will continue to play until the appeal is heard.