Tempers nearly boiled over Monday night at Camden Yards, as Detroit Tigers right fielder Torii Hunter took exception to an eighth-inning beaning courtesy of Baltimore Orioles starter Bud Norris.
Norris had just surrendered a two-run home run to Ian Kinsler to break open a one-run game, so when Hunter was plunked two pitches later, the veteran outfielder apparently had a hard time believing it was accidental. The two began launching obscenities at one another, prompting both teams to trot out of their respective dugouts and, you know, just kind of stand around.
No punches were thrown during the incident (the full video of which can be seen here), but TV cameras caught umpire Paul Nauert lightly tapping Hunter on the cheek during the conflict’s latter stages.
It’s very unusual to see an umpire make contact with a player during a scrum like this — and if the roles were reversed, Hunter probably would be looking at a suspension. Hunter initially looked aggravated by Nauert’s tap, but he said after the game that he had no issue with the ump.
“(Nauert’s) my guy,” Hunter said, via The Detroit News. “He was trying to cover my mouth. I’ve known him too long (to be upset). He was just saying to me, ‘C’mon, T. You’re way better than that.’ And he’s right. I apologize to the fans for my reaction.”
Major League Baseball is expected to review the incident, a source told The Detroit News.
Kinsler’s homer finished off the scoring in a 4-1 Tigers win.
GIF via Deadspin