Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Brett Lawrie is likely facing a suspension after throwing his helmet in anger and hitting home plate umpire Bill Miller in Toronto Tuesday night.
With a count of three balls and one strike in the bottom of the ninth, Lawrie took back-to-back pitches from Tampa Bay Rays closer Fernando Rodney. Miller called both strikes, sending Lawrie back to the dugout.
Trouble was, when the third strike was called, Lawrie had already taken two steps toward first base, thinking he had drawn a walk. He spun around, took two steps back in the direction of the umpire and threw his batting helmet to the ground. It bounced up and struck Miller.
Lawrie was promptly ejected from the game for the outburst, but is likely to face a further suspension and/or fine because the helmet struck Miller.
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," Lawrie said after the game, according to MLB.com. "It just kind of took an unlucky bounce and I think it got him, so my apologies for that."
The Blue Jays lost to the Rays 4-3. Major League Baseball has made no announcement yet as to how long they'll lose Lawrie's services.