Tigers irate over insinuation of purposely hitting umpire

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In the third inning of Detroit's 5-3 loss to Cleveland on Wednesday, Ausmus and catcher James McCann were both ejected by home plate umpire Quinn Walcott for arguing balls and strikes.

The argument started when McCann apparently disagreed with Wolcott's strike zone following a two-out walk to Jay Bruce that loaded the bases. We know the timeline - the Tigers were angry over Wolcott's strike zone, and long after McCann and Ausmus were run, Wolcott gets nailed. Tigers pitcher Buck Farmer was still on the mound and proceeded to walk Carlos Santana, loading the bases. Were Farmer and Hicks upset by the strike zone and the ejections? "We deserve the same pitches called strikes that they're getting called strikes, '" he told reporters. "Any thought of us trying to do that on objective is just ridiculous. But we felt we weren't getting the same calls that they were".

"It never got that far", Ausmus said. "If any player intentionally tried to hurt an umpire on this team, we'd deal with it severely".

Nonetheless, Brad Ausmus was not pleased when he heard the Indians broadcast implied there was intent behind the pitch, which led to this response following the game.

The crowd booed and reacted like the Tigers had hit Wolcott on goal.

"Hicks assumed the slider was coming and it was the fastball".

Hicks was expecting a slider, which Farmer throws at 81-83 miles per hour and got a 92-mph fastball in the opposite quadrant of the plate and he couldn't react fast enough to catch it. "They're out of line saying that, quite frankly".

"It shouldn't be a question", he said. That said, I'd like to think Hicks, Farmer, and the Tigers as a whole are professionals - and, above that, human beings - who are unwilling to be so petty as to expose another unsuspecting human to harm over a game.

Dayn Perry: I think it looks bad, but I'll say no, it wasn't intentional, mostly because it's a very serious allegation. "Anybody that's thinking that should be ashamed".

Farmer also defended himself via Twitter. The most damning bit of circumstantial evidence for me is that Hicks didn't check on the umpire, even after he'd retrieved the ball. "Hashtag - not that type of player". But at the same time, there's that old thing about veterans getting calls over rookies. For instance, if you fail to advance a runner, take too long rounding the bases, wear the wrong jersey to batting practice, or in the case of former Red Sox manager John McNamara use aerosol deodorant as hairspray, you get fined by the judge.

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