While Rougned Odor’s fist connected with Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista's face on Sunday, some think he may have intended to hit him with a baseball moments prior.
A few former major leaguers have questioned whether or not the Rangers second baseman intended to hit Bautista with his throw before an illegal slide took place. The throw hit the ground between first and second base, and skipped into the outfield, coming nowhere close to first.
Former outfielder and current MLB Network analyst Eric Byrnes was adamant in his belief that Odor tried to “take off Jose Bautista’s head,” using slow-motion replay.
Later, on ESPN, Eduardo Perez also said that Odor was trying to “protect himself” by throwing the ball at Bautista—though he never cited any place in particular.
On Twitter, former Tiger Torii Hunter questioned whether or not Odor tried to hit Bautista in a conversation with former teammate Justin Verlander.
The Blue Jays and Rangers will not meet again in the regular season.
– Kenny Ducey