Blue Jay throws helmet, hits umpire
Brett Lawrie of the Toronto Blue Jays throws his batting helmet to protest a third strike call Tuesday night.
May 16th, 2012
11:32 AM ET

Blue Jay throws helmet, hits umpire

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  "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.

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Filed under: Baseball • Sports
soundoff (162 Responses)
  1. Matt

    Look at the replay ... his bat crossed the plate. One could argue that he took a swing at the pitch and struck out. Last time I checked, if you swing at a pitch and miss, it's a strike.

    May 17, 2012 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Craig

    Sure, umpires need to be reviewed, but everybody knows, the quickest way to show up an umpire is to start running to first before he makes the call. Lawrie deserved to be called out, and he acted like a baby when he was.

    May 17, 2012 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Juan Torres

    they need to use an electronic ump. not human. this will prevent tantrums from these idiots that play the game.

    May 17, 2012 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
  4. John Doe


    May 17, 2012 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Anonymous

    I don't think he should get suspended. He accidentally hit him and I'm not even a Royal's fan, but either that umpire needs his eyes checked or make better calls. That was a horrible called strike 3 and so delayed.

    May 17, 2012 at 7:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Anonymous

      *Blue Jays

      May 17, 2012 at 7:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • really?

      do you have any idea what you are saying? so i mistakenly shoot someone, can i let go free because it was an accident on my part. you're pathetic.

      May 17, 2012 at 7:30 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Boohincus

    Typical jock with a middling IQ and some anger management issues....

    May 17, 2012 at 7:37 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Andy Daniel

    I don't condone the helmet throwing though he didn't look like he was trying to hit the ump.

    My issue is this: yes, umps miss some calls, they're only human, and it's part of the game. But the video clearly shows the ump ejecting him before he threw the helmet – he went back to argue, but the ump makes the ejection sign when Lawrie is a few steps away. Not sure what he ejected him for, but the ump doesn't look good for missing two calls (the first wasn't even that close) and then not letting the guy argue a bit before ejecting him.

    May 17, 2012 at 9:33 pm | Report abuse |
  8. ...a laurel and hardy handshake......

    Now, if the U.S. Army had only did the same with their helmets to DUBYA when he ordered the ATTACK ON IRAQ, the WRONG COUNTRY!

    May 17, 2012 at 9:43 pm | Report abuse |
  9. 83Tunes

    Hey, Brad Lendon, please report the story correctly. He was ejected BEFORE he threw the helmet, not "promptly" afterward, as if the ejection were the umpire's response.

    So umpires make mistakes, true. Do you really think the second was a mistake or, more likely, a petty response to the batter having had the audacity to question the first bad call? The umpire's eagerness to eject him BEFORE any real protest tells me it was the latter. Skill and experience aside, what I saw was a man who does not have the temperament and judgment necessary to officiate a sporting event.

    May 17, 2012 at 9:54 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Bigdaddydarin

    Why wasn't the umpire suspend for the bad calls ? The second and third strike where used to show up a PROFESSINAL at his job.

    May 19, 2012 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |
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