Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Brett Lawrie was served with a 4-game suspension Wednesday for an incident in which he accidentally hit homeplate umpire Bill Miller with a helmet.
In addition to the suspension, Major League Baseball also fined Lawrie an undisclosed amount for the altercation, which happened in the ninth inning of Toronto’s 4-3 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday.
CNN reports that a pair of questionable strike calls on a 3-1 count triggered a fiery protest from the 22-year-old, who had already taken two steps toward first base, thinking he had drawn a walk. Instead, after being called out on strikes, Lawrie spun around and spiked his helmet on the dirt just as he was ejected. The helmet bounced up and struck Miller on the hip.
Lawrie has since appealed the decision and can continue playing until his hearing, which will likely take place next week. The British Columbian native explained that he looks forward to the hearing where he will be able to tell his side of the story.
“The only thing I would change is maybe not throwing the helmet or any equipment toward the umpire because you can get an unlucky hop and have the kind of mess that’s going on right now,” he said.
The Washington Post reports that Lawrie, who is batting .289 with three homers and 17 RBI, started Wednesday night’s game against the New York Yankees and received the loudest ovation of any Blue Jays player.
Though Brett said he planned to apologize to Miller before the game, no visible on-field exchange was witnessed, according to USA Today.
Watch Brett Lawrie’s helmet throwing incident — and the pitches that fueled his anger — in the video below: