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Joe Torre doesn’t think Brett Lawrie was trying to hit the ump

May 16, 2012, 12:01 PM EDT

Bill Mille, Brett Lawrie

Brett Lawrie is still going to get suspended, it seems, but any of you who were saying this was or should be a Delmon Young/bat toss situation are going to be disappointed because, according to Danny Knobler of CBS Sports.com, Joe Torre acknowledges that Lawrie was not trying to hit the ump with his helmet on purpose:

“The decision could have been better as fas as the direction, but I don’t believe he was trying to hit him.”

That seemed pretty obvious, of course, but it’s still significant that the man in charge of discipline said so. Yes, one is responsible for that which one sets in motion, but if he had really tried to go after the ump with his helmet, he’d be looking at 50 games or more.

My guess when this comes down: 7-10 game suspension, akin to a Milton Bradley-style ump bump.

  1. icanspeel - May 16, 2012 at 12:04 PM

    Of course he wasn’t trying to hit him, the umpire was just in the way of him smashing his helmet to the ground in front of the umpire.

    • colehamelz - May 16, 2012 at 12:32 PM

      Absolutely agree. The game has gone soft these days. Guys like me appreciate the Old School days when guys had that fiery intensity, and if it happened to intimidate a pansy umpire once in a while, all the better.

      • drewsylvania - May 16, 2012 at 1:55 PM

        Spoken like your douche namesake.

  2. thomas2727 - May 16, 2012 at 12:05 PM

    Intent of your actions versus results of your actions. We need a lawyer for this one.

    • ezthinking - May 16, 2012 at 12:54 PM

      There could be transferred intent if Lawrie intended to hurt or scare someone else and wound up hitting the ump. In this case, it’s recklessness and he is responsible for the foreseeable consequences of his recklessness, i.e. it is foreseeable that a helmet thrown at max effort a couple of feet away from a person could hit that person. Therefore, he is responsible for the contact.

      My guess; gets 10, appealed, winds up with 5.

    • kopy - May 16, 2012 at 12:55 PM

      First Degree Umpslaughter.

    • Gamera the Brave - May 16, 2012 at 3:23 PM

      A lawyer? We need the Friends’ Psychic Network!

  3. jaysfan64 - May 16, 2012 at 12:13 PM

    Agreed – 7-10 games…even more worrisome: who plays third in Lawrie’s absence??? E5? Mike McCoy??

    • callidus - May 16, 2012 at 12:33 PM

      Hopefully Joey Bats so we can squeeze one more year of roto 3B eligability out of him. :P

  4. The Baseball Idiot - May 16, 2012 at 12:15 PM

    So Torre is capable of knowing when batters throw their helmets at umpires and pitchers throw at batters? Better than the actual participants?

    Got his e-mail, I want him to pick my lottery numbers this week.

    • heyblueyoustink - May 16, 2012 at 12:40 PM

      You’re right, I’ve heard that Lawrie has a umpire inspired dummy in his backyard where he practices bouncing various equipment off of various surfaces just so he can ding an ump in a game and make it seem like it was allllllll an accident.

      Wonder what Milton Bradley is up to these days. It’s an honor to be put in the same sentence as him.

  5. jaysfan64 - May 16, 2012 at 12:15 PM

    Lost in all this is the fact that the Jays did not lose the game in that ninth inning – they lost it in the seventh with all the errors…

  6. largebill - May 16, 2012 at 12:19 PM

    As bad as baseball has been in other areas of discipline, they’ve been even less consistent in dealing with umpire confrontations. Pete Rose got 30 days, George Brett got none for his actions after the pine tar mess. Discipline has been all over the map for bumps, cussing, spitting, throwing stuff, etc. I won’t even hazard a guess on this one.

    You have some umps who actively pursue an angry player and other umps who wisely walk away. Last night could have gotten a lot worse, but it seemed (to me anyway) that the ump wisely did not respond beyond tossing Lawrie.

    • skeleteeth - May 16, 2012 at 12:25 PM

      Probably because he was scared Lawrie would rip his head off. In the gif from the other post he clearly was startled by the whole thing.

      I think Lawrie got the result he wanted from throwing his helmet to the ground so close to the ump. Doubt he wanted it to hit him but seems it was close on purpose.

    • deathmonkey41 - May 16, 2012 at 12:45 PM

      Yeah, it’s not like he tossed it several feet away and it took a one-in-a-million hop to clip the ump. He threw it with all his might directly at his feet. I would have been more surprised had the helmet bounced away WITHOUT hitting the ump. I’m not a fan of the umps and think they’re generally confrotational, but Lawrie was completely in the wrong here. The ump- like most in MLB- had a crappy strikezone, but that’s all he was guilty of in this situation. Even a lib, ex-lawyer like Craig would have a hard time defending his actions…unless he went with something like fetal alcohol syndrome or something…

      • jeffbbf - May 16, 2012 at 1:00 PM

        For once, I’d like to see the suspension announcement from the league to be something like: “We understand why the player was upset, because the calls were clearly inaccurate. However, we cannot condone his dangerous actions.” Seriously, call out the ump on this one. Horsebleep calls.

      • proudlycanadian - May 16, 2012 at 1:16 PM

        Agreed! Both calls by the ump were horse dung. MLB owes Lawrie an apology.

      • hasbeen5 - May 16, 2012 at 1:53 PM

        So here’s a question, kind of ties into a question Craig asked in an earlier post.

        If you’re going to type “horsebleep” or “dung,” but everybody clearly understands what you’re trying to say, is it really any better than just typing “shit?” I mean, why are those 4 letters so much more offensive when you’re clearly conveying the same meaning?

    • Detroit Michael - May 16, 2012 at 1:11 PM

      When Pete Rose was suspended for 30 days for bumping an umpire, he was a manager, not a player. Given that players have collective bargaining rights and managers don’t, the Rose situation probably isn’t useful precedence.

  7. stlouis1baseball - May 16, 2012 at 12:25 PM

    Of course he wasn’t trying to hit him. Cause’ ummm…he threw the helmet into the ground.
    Unless he and the ump were playing a game of richocet. If so…then he definately tried to hit him.
    Either way…I would say (5 – 7) games tops on the suspension.
    Just a guess of course. But it seems about right to me.

  8. mydadyourmom - May 16, 2012 at 1:13 PM

    Serious question – does the fact that the ump made a completely embarrassing call factor into the length of the suspension? Lawrie should get 4 games and Miller should get 6 games for being an embarrassment to umpires around the world. The fan who nailed him with the beer should get 8 free tickets.

    • proudlycanadian - May 16, 2012 at 1:18 PM

      10 free tickets!

    • paperlions - May 16, 2012 at 1:22 PM

      No, it doesn’t.

      It really doesn’t matter how bad a call is…it does not justify going after the ump.

    • samu0034 - May 16, 2012 at 1:42 PM

      How have you convinced yourself that these calls were so terrible? The 5th pitch was Maybe 4″ outside, about 1.5 ball diameters. That’s not a good call, obviously, but it’s hardly reprehensible. And strike 3 was right on the edge, so close that it’s preposterous to argue that the ump made some huge mistake. That the bashing of umpires has gone so far that fans are trying to justify Lawrie’s behavior because of one badish and one borderline call is shameful.

      • mydadyourmom - May 16, 2012 at 1:53 PM

        it wasn’t hard – i watched the game. didn’t need to convince myself of anything. did you see the overhead shot of strike two? a retarded blind mule wouldn’t have called that a strike. the third strike was also clearly a ball.

      • samu0034 - May 17, 2012 at 4:06 AM

        Does the ump have an overhead view of the plate? Can he see if from half a dozen different angles? No? Then why should he be expected to get every call perfectly correct, based upon information that he doesn’t possess? Was strike-2 a ball? Yeah. Was it some kind of “The umpires all suck and deserve to be treated with disrespect because they suck so hard” level blown call? Absolutely not, and the inability of people here to understand that split second decisions can’t always be perfect astounds me. You’re watching the game on TV, with a zoomed in camera view in HD, with replays from different angles. Of course your ball/strike calls are going to be better than the umpires, they’re informed by FAR more data.

    • hasbeen5 - May 16, 2012 at 1:57 PM

      You guys are clowns. I hope someone comes into your office and throws a beer at you when you screw up a report or something.

      • mydadyourmom - May 16, 2012 at 2:03 PM

        i would love that shite. would spice up life dramatically.

  9. myedayok - May 16, 2012 at 1:44 PM

    Sooner or later umpires are going to have to be held accountable for their actions “too”. That ump clearly knew Lawrie was upset at the 1st of the 2 bad calls. It was almost like he called the 3rd strike as payback for showing him up on the call before.

    • drewsylvania - May 16, 2012 at 1:57 PM

      Yes, let’s blame the ump for Lawrie’s temper tantrum.

      • drewsylvania - May 16, 2012 at 2:11 PM

        Whee look at me I’m a Jays homer downthumber!

  10. drewsylvania - May 16, 2012 at 1:56 PM

    If this had been Harper, you’d all be feasting like vultures.

    Instead some of you are defending Lawrie. WTF

    • drewsylvania - May 16, 2012 at 2:17 PM

      Continuing to prove my point, I see.

  11. psuravens19 - May 16, 2012 at 2:04 PM

    Looks like MLB will need an aribitor for this one… oops never-mind.

  12. 32bigg - May 16, 2012 at 3:34 PM

    LOL drewsylvania!!!!

    If people thumbs up, it proves your point. If they thumbs down, it proves you point. What a well crafted argument (mocking sarcasm)

    The only point that has been proven is that your IQ hovers somewhere below the average.

  13. sabatimus - May 16, 2012 at 4:09 PM

    Torre’s right: he didn’t mean to hit the ump. But it was terribly ill-advised to do what Lawrie did. The fact that the helmet did hit the ump, though, indicates probably 10 games off. If Lawrie turns around and slams his helmet down like that behind him, this probably isn’t a story unless the ump decided to eject him for it.

    Even Lawrie himself admitted he screwed up. Which hopefully will mean that he’ll take his suspension quietly, without appeal, and get on with life.

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