NEW YORK (AP) — Major League Baseball has ruled that the Detroit Tigers did not intend to throw a pitch that struck the plate umpire in the shoulder and knocked him to the ground.
MLB said Friday that Chief Baseball Officer Joe Torre reviewed the play and found no wrongdoing and no cause for disciplinary action.
Umpire Quinn Wolcott was hit by a fastball from Detroit’s Buck Farmer during a game Wednesday at Cleveland. Rookie backup catcher John Hicks never touched the ball as it sailed past his mitt.
The incident came two batters after Wolcott ejected Tigers catcher James McCann and manager Brad Ausmus over a close pitch to Cleveland’s Jay Bruce that was called ball four.
As Wolcott was being examined by a trainer and talking to the other umpires, he appeared on a TV replay to ask them: “They didn’t do it on purpose, did they?”
The Tigers had bickered with Wolcott earlier in the game about his strike zone. After Detroit lost 5-3, Farmer, Ausmus and Hicks vehemently denied any intent to deliberately hit Wolcott, who remained in the game after being hit in the third inning.
“MLB takes seriously the safety of on-field personnel — players, coaches and umpires alike — and has thoroughly reviewed the incident,” MLB said in its statement on Torre’s decision.
Shortly before Friday’s ruling was announced, Ausmus said he had spoken to Torre on the day of the play in question. Both Ausmus and Torre were former catchers in the big leagues.
“He called me, and I told him that I wasn’t exactly sure what had happened, because I had been ejected, but that I…
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