On Friday morning, news broke that the Detroit Tigers were being investigated for an incident which resulted in home plate umpire Quinn Wolcott being hit in the chest by a Buck Farmer fastball. The Tigers denied there was any intention whatsoever to purposely hit Quinn with the pitch, even though it happened to take place just after a couple of ejections for arguing balls and strikes.
“Anyone who thinks that was intentional is out of their mind as far as I’m concerned,” Ausmus said. “It’s asinine to think that was intentional.”
Well, the investigation did not take too long and Major League Baseball has concluded there was no intent to allow the pitch to hit Quinn and that there will be no discipline for what took place.
Statement from MLB:
“MLB takes seriously the safety of on-field personnel – players, coaches and umpires alike – and has thoroughly reviewed the incident. Upon completion of that review, Chief Baseball Officer Joe Torre has concluded that no Tigers player intended for the pitch to hit Umpire Wolcott, and therefore no discipline will be issued.”
It all began on Wednesday, during the game against the Cleveland Indians when multiple Tigers were not thrilled with what they deemed to be an inconsistent strike zone from Wolcott. In fact, it got to the point catcher James McCann was so fed up that he had words with Wolcott, resulting in the Tigers catcher being ejected from the game. When manager Brad Ausmus came out of the dugout to defend McCann, he too was tossed from the game by Wolcott.
McCann was replaced by John Hicks and that’s when the play that was under investigation took place. According to Hicks, he was expecting for Farmer to throw a slider but instead he got a 92 m.p.h fastball that he was not able to catch. The fastball drilled Wolcott in the chest, sending him to the ground.
“Obviously, it looked bad right after Brad and (McCann) got tossed,” Hicks said. “But it’s bases loaded and we’re trying to win a baseball game. Any thought of us trying to do that on purpose is just ridiculous.
“I called a fastball away and Buck shook. So, I called for a slider away. He went into his delivery thinking I called for a fastball in. I was looking for the slider away and he came with a fastball in.”
In case you missed it, here is the replay.
Did Buck Farmer hit the umpire on purpose? The ump asked the question pic.twitter.com/iw12uMniqE
— Evan Jankens (@KINGoftheKC) September 13, 2017
As soon as the play took place, social media blew up, many accusing the Tigers of purposely hitting Wolcott. Even the Indians broadcast team suggested it was done as a retaliation for Ausmus and McCann being tossed from the game.
Well, now that this is behind us, we can sit back, relax, and watch the Tigers play out what has been a very disappointing season, to say the least.
H/T to Detroit Free Press for quotes used in this piece.