Detroit Tigers outfielder Torii Hunter has said he’s not upset by third-base umpire Paul Nauert touching his face during an altercation Monday, but even so, Major League Baseball has said it will investigate the situation.
Hunter has already gone on record to say he isn’t mad about the physical action Nauert took apparently in an effort to calm him down as Hunter and Tigers pitcher Bud Norris had a verbal altercation on the field.
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But because there are strict rules about players touching umpires, players often get upset when umpires touch them.
“That’s my guy,” Hunter told the Detroit News about umpire Nauert
. “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.”
But MLB.com said Major League Baseball would be looking into
what occurred between Nauert and Hunter, and said it was standard operating procedure to look into all such on-field incidents.
The incident started when Hunter came up to bat after a homerun hit by Ian Kinsler that put the Tigers ahead against the Orioles. Norris nailed Hunter in the side with his first pitch, and the two began yelling at each other on the field.
During an interview with MLB.com, Hunter later admitted he questioned whether Norris might have thrown the ball at him on purpose.
“The guy had control. I was actually thinking ‘man, he’s got good stuff today, he’s pitching pretty well.’ Then he just all of a sudden lost it?” Hunter said. “I want all the people out there to get in front of a pitching machine, put it on 94 and just hold your ribs up and take one. See how that turns out for you.”
He also told MLB.com he was sorry for “picking on the old guy.”
“Once you calm yourself down, you think about the situation,” Hunter said. “It doesn’t make sense. I’ve got kids in college, I can’t be doing that.”
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