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Brett Lawrie freaks out, throws helmet at ump

May 16, 2012, 8:22 AM EDT

Hey Brett Lawrie, what did you think of that called third strike?


Oh. Really?

Yeah, I’m guessing you’re going to get suspended, son.

Yes, the ump made two bad calls during that at bat — check out the plots of pitches 5 and 6 here — but worse calls are made every day and that’s no excuse for erupting like that. The helmet throw was just disciplinary icing on a temper tantrum cake that MLB  is not going to take kindly to.  Here’s umpire Bill Miller’s statement:

“Upon seeing that he was ejected, he took several steps toward me and fired his helmet. It hit me in the right hip. That’s a bit extreme.”

For his part, Lawrie said he didn’t mean it:

“That was not my intention at all,” Lawrie said of striking Miller with his helmet. “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. It just kind of took an unlucky bounce and I think it got him, so my apologies for that.”

Not that I think that, or the fact that he was arguing bad call, will or should help him here.  Gotta keep your cool better than that.

Oh, and one Blue Jays fan was pretty classy too:

… a disgruntled fan in the stands at Rogers Centre tossed a mostly full cup of beer and hit Miller in the right shoulder as he walked off the field.

Oh, Canada.

100 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. randygnyc - May 16, 2012 at 10:06 AM

    Old gator- if I’m not mistaken, I think I read about the Gestapo tobacco hotline here on HBT.

    • 18thstreet - May 16, 2012 at 10:22 AM

      It is incredibly offensive to describe anti-tobacco campaigns as being reminiscent of the Gestapo.

      • Old Gator - May 16, 2012 at 10:28 AM

        Kaff, kaff.

  2. slclions - May 16, 2012 at 10:13 AM

    I was at the game. No excuse for someone to throw a beer at the ump. However…Miller made the situation much worse. instead on leaving the field of play right after he stood in front of the fans for about 15-20 secs just starring them down. A cop was tried to get him in the dugout and he moved away to keep starring. THEN some idiot threw his beer.

    This is were I lose respect for Miller. You make a bad call fine. You eject Lawrie and Farrell fine. You try to show up some drunk fans you get what happens.

  3. Charles Gates - May 16, 2012 at 10:14 AM

    The helmet didn’t hit the umpire. Brett Lawrie hit the umpire.

    • Old Gator - May 16, 2012 at 10:29 AM

      That’s because helmets don’t hit people. People hit people with helmets.

  4. fcfpal - May 16, 2012 at 10:18 AM

    Can someone explain to me how the chart is supposed to read??? Pitch 5 was clearly in the left hand hitters box yet it appears to me to show up on the chart in the right hand hitters box. Pitch six was also at the letters and more to the outside (for a right hand hitter) than it appears to be showing. Maybe I am reading the data wrong?
    In any case Lawrie was clearly wrong for reacting the way he did and will be suspended and fined for his actions. Just wish the other wrong party would also get fined and suspended for his wrong actions but I suppose that is just wishful thinking.

    • fcfpal - May 16, 2012 at 10:22 AM

      I am guessing after looking at this a second time that it is a view from the umpire’s perspective.

  5. randygnyc - May 16, 2012 at 10:26 AM

    The encouragement of the public to report on the indiscretions of ballplayers is exactly Gestapo like, offensive or not. I recall Obama launching a website under this same premise, encouraging citizens to report fellow citizens for exercising indelicate speech towards Obama.

    • Old Gator - May 16, 2012 at 10:31 AM

      I mostly agree with you on this, Randy. But the Obama website, I think, was a Secret Service or law enforcement site meant for the reporting of threats, which is another thing altogether from this min-nightmare scenario. There’s nothing “criminal” about having a tin of tobacco in your pocket; it’s MLB’s probelm, not a legal one. And making stooges of fans is reprehensible any way you look at it.

      • 18thstreet - May 16, 2012 at 10:54 AM

        It’s also not something that leads to a world war, the death of 6 million Jews and 6 million more gays, Catholics, Roma and other undesireables on the basis of a flawed, racist ideology.

        So there’s some things that are different between tobacco prevention and the Gestapo, too.

    • purnellmeagrejr - May 16, 2012 at 10:35 AM

      randy – your memory is as defective as your reasoning.

      • paperlions - May 16, 2012 at 12:01 PM

        …and that is setting the bar pretty high. Impressive, really.

  6. brianjvac - May 16, 2012 at 10:29 AM

    Change the damn title. Lawrie didn’t throw his helmet at the ump, he threw it at the ground and it bounced up and hit him. Way to make it look like Brett purposely beamed it at him.

    • Ben - May 16, 2012 at 10:35 AM

      Yeah, I was expecting something pretty different, based on the headline. Still way out of line, but bouncing isn’t exactly the same as throwing.

  7. purnellmeagrejr - May 16, 2012 at 10:34 AM

    It would have beeen nice to have video of the pitches.

  8. nolasoxfan2012 - May 16, 2012 at 10:45 AM

    To be clear, I am not a Jays fan. But, while Lawrie absolutely deserves some punishment, that situation was clearly a tough one. He gets an obvious ball 4 on pitch 5, starts towards first, then gets called back by a very late strike call. In the middle of it, he’s got Fernando Rodney coming off the mound to give him the “stare.” Watch the video ( ). Why is Rodney acting like his manhood has been questioned? Why is he walking towards Lawrie there? There are days Fernando can’t hit the side of a barn with his pitches. Then, pitch 6 comes in just off the upper, outside corner, a location usually called a ball, and Lawrie gets rung up. He then gets thrown out of the game as soon as he turns to argue. Then, all hell breaks loose. Lawrie didn’t have to take the bait, but there was plenty of it.

  9. randygnyc - May 16, 2012 at 10:49 AM

    Nope, gator. The website is called Attackwatch and is created by obama. It’s mission. “get the facts, fight the smears”. It has nothing to do with the physical protection of the president, and everything to do with propaganda and turning in fellow citizens. Give it a google. Makes me want to puke.

    • nolasoxfan2012 - May 16, 2012 at 11:18 AM

      Not that this is the place for politics… But, why google the site? Why not just visit it? It looks like a pretty standard site where people can report dubious claims being made about the president’s record via robo-calls, leaflets, or mass emails, etc. Making absurd claims via mass email or handout, etc. is a classic (but sleazy) political tactic. This website seems to be setup so that the campaign can debunk them rapidly.

    • paperlions - May 16, 2012 at 12:07 PM

      …and if the other party did regularly fabricate material about the president (and have outlets like Fox “news” report them as if they are facts, when they clearly are not), such a website wouldn’t be necessary…..would it?

      Why are you condemning the person that is being lied about?

  10. randygnyc - May 16, 2012 at 11:17 AM

    Charles, I live in NYC, where it seems, every other day there’s a domestic violence arrest for someone, throwing something, at somebody (usually a phone). I’m not calling for Lawrie’s arrest, necessarily, just introducing the possibility.

    • slclions - May 16, 2012 at 11:24 AM

      Ok let’s get some perspective here. Arrest for throw a helmet, bouncing on the ground and hitting the ump??? That also means arrest every pitcher who hits a better then let a a jury decide if he’s guilty. this is just getting blown out of proportion. I agree with a possible discuss with the cops for the idiot that threw the beer but not for Lawrie.

      Actually has someone thought of calling the ATF for Lawrie tobacco? I’m not calling for Lawrie’s arrest, necessarily, just introducing the possibility.

  11. rolltidenj - May 16, 2012 at 11:36 AM

    I loved the look on the ump’s face after the helmet hit him. Miller didn’t look so tough at that moment. I don’t think what Lawrie did was right, and he deserves a long suspension. But, I am sick and tired of these arrogant umpires, it is a big problem in baseball. A problem that Mr. Selig does absolutely nothing about. When umpire’s have nicknames like “Cowboy” that is not good thing, yet this problem is ignored. If the old out of shape hardass umps were a little more worried about helmets hitting them, maybe the would just do there job, and not worry about being part of the show.

  12. jaysfan64 - May 16, 2012 at 12:10 PM

    No question Lawrie was baited…both those pitches were closer to Union Station than home plate…on the 3-1 pitch he ran halfway to first, then when it was called strike 2 he grimaced, then walked back to the plate without a word…ignoring Miller and Rodney who was doing the stare down thing…when he was rung up on the next pitch, ball five, that’s when he lost it…Ugly display, yes, and totally uncalled for, but you have to think Miller’s behavior afterwards will be discussed, even if as a separate incident…the sad thing is under the current structure, the umpires have the potential to make a player’s life miserable, and that needs to be changed….

    • myopinionisrighterthanyours - May 16, 2012 at 12:24 PM

      Dude, the strike three pitch was BARELY … wait for it … HIGH. It had the plate. If you’re going to complain, at least complain factually.

    • jeffrp - May 16, 2012 at 12:39 PM

      Umpires love it when batters run halfway to first before they make the call, and then he did it again on strike three. Who baited whom?

  13. materialman80 - May 16, 2012 at 12:14 PM

    big suspension. no question

  14. 11jlacy - May 16, 2012 at 5:17 PM

    That was two brutal calls kid lost his cool but did not mean to hit that horrible jabbathahut lookin ump!!!!!!

  15. 11jlacy - May 16, 2012 at 5:21 PM

    Say man you can look in that umpires face he know he made a mistake you can tell.

  16. jazznuts - May 16, 2012 at 9:13 PM

    The pitch that should have been ball four (the first time) was a bad call. Beyond bad, he knew it was a ball, everyone knew it was a ball. I remember seeing that in the pub, and thinking, ‘this ump is an ass’ – It was clearly a ball, the only reason he delayed the strike call was because Brett took off for first too early. He deserves to be fired. Umps that are that personal about their calls (borderline pitches I understand if the ump gets pissed because the batter takes off too early, but this was clearly a ball!) should be canned. If I was Brett I would have slapped him in the face. Eye for an eye, thats what I say.

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