MLB Determines Tigers Did Not Intentionally Plunk Umpire With Pitch
Did the Tigers intentionally hit an umpire with a pitch after he booted manager Brad Ausmus and catcher James McCann from a game? That's the question before MLB, which according to the Associated Press is reviewing the whole situation to see if Detroit pulled some shenanigans on umpire Quinn Wolcott during a game against the Indians on Wednesday.
The whole fracas started in the bottom of the third inning, when Wolcott ejected McCann and Ausmus after the two took exception to a close pitch on Cleveland's Jay Bruce that was called a ball; Ausmus had apparently been barking at Wolcott all game about his strike zone. McCann was replaced by backup catcher John Hicks, but two batters later (after an intentional walk to Carlos Santana), a fastball from starter Buck Farmer got past Hicks and nailed Wolcott in the chest. And while being attended to by trainers, Wolcott apparently asked his fellow umpires, "They didn't do it on purpose, did they?" The Indians' broadcast also raised questions about the pitch's intent.
Check out the video of the plunking below:
Wolcott was able to stay in the game, and afterwards, the Tigers blamed the drilling on crossed signals between Farmer and Hicks, denying any attempt to ding the ump. But an anonymous source told the AP that MLB is investigating the incident to see if anything untoward happened.
UPDATE: That was quick. MLB has reportedly determined that there was no intent on the part of the Tigers to drill Wolcott.
MLB statement says it has reviewed incident, and that Joe Torre concluded no Tigers intended for pitch to hit Wolcott. No discipline issued.— Jason Beck (@beckjason) September 15, 2017