Page last updated on Fri May 22 16:37:30 EDT 2015
Mon, 21 May 2012 10:42 PM EDT

Brett Lawrie heard the penalty and voiced a single regret about his tantrum:  that his batting helmet bounced up and hit an umpire.

Major League Baseball suspended Lawrie for 4 games and fined him an undisclosed amount, a day after the Toronto 3rd baseman got into an argument with referee Bill Miller. Football betting lines

Lawrie appealed and can play till there is a hearing, which may be held the week after next thru video meeting. He said he intended to apologize to Miller for being hit in the right hip.

“The only thing I might change is maybe not throwing the helmet or any gear toward the umpire because it’s possible to get an unlucky hop and have the type of mess that is going on right now,” he claimed.

The 22-year-old Lawrie was in the starting lineup against the Yankees — with the same umpiring crew in town, Miller was stationed in close distance at 3rd base.

Lawrie received the loudest cheer in pregame introductions and the umpires were booed when their names were posted on the scoreboard. He did not talk with Miller on taking his position for the top of the 1st, and quickly ran off the field after the inning finished.

“I’m just playing the game the way I’ve always played it,” Lawrie related. “That’s the passion I have for the game and I do not feel like I need to change anything.”

The trouble started in the 9th inning in a game Toronto lost to Tampa Bay 4-3. Lawrie started towards 1st base after he thought a 3-1 pitch missed, but Miller called it a strike.

On a full-count pitch that he believed was ball 4, Lawrie again headed towards 1st base. When Miller called strike 3, Lawrie momentarily crouched in disbelief. Lawrie dropped his bat, gestured at Miller and roared, and was ejected.

Lawrie then started toward Miller, wound up with his right arm and slammed down his helmet. It bounced at the umpire’s feet and ricocheted up into him.

“That’s a bit intense,” Miller claimed after the game.

Both Blue Jays manager John Farrell and GM Alex Anthopoulos declared they wouldn’t try and to curtail the exuberance of their infielder.

“He’s an active player, we don’t want him to lose that energy and that passion for the game, that will to compete and do whatever he has in his power right now to make an impact on the game,” Farrell asserted.

Anthopoulos said he would “never envy a player for being upset and being a competitor.”

“That’s just part of the game,” he claimed. “I don’t fault anyone for that.”

Anthopoulos approached Lawrie as he stood next to the cage during batting practice. The 2 spoke briefly, with Anthopoulos patting Lawrie on the shoulder numerous times before walking away.

Lawrie then returned to the clubhouse to speak with his boss and General Manager in Farrell’s office before returning to the field to face the media as reports of the suspension was made official.

Lawrie said he looked forward to the hearing as an opportunity to tell his side of the story.

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