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Posted at 03:35 PM ET, 05/17/2012

Brett Lawrie suspended 4 games after helmet ‘took a bad hop’


Toronto Blue Jays Manager John Farrell restrains Blue Jays third baseman Brett Lawrie as he confronts home plate umpire Bill Miller. (Chris Young - AP)
If Brett Lawrie had it all to do over again, he would have chucked his helmet in a different direction, rather than at the home plate umpire.

As for the rest of it, he wouldn’t change a thing.

The Toronto Blue Jays third baseman was suspended for four games and fined an undisclosed amount on Wednesday, one day after a ninth inning tirade directed at umpire Bill Miller. A pair of questionable strike calls triggered a fiery protest from Lawrie, who spiked his helmet on to turf just as he was ejected. The helmet bounced up and struck Miller on the hip.

Lawrie has appealed the decision and can continue playing until his hearing, which will likely take place next week.

UPDATE (3 p.m.): Lawrie has dropped his appeal, and according to the Blue Jays, the 22-year-old has apologized to Miller.

“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,” Lawrie said. He also said he plans to apologize to Miller for the incident.

Lawrie started Wednesday night’s game against the New York Yankees and received the loudest ovation of any Blue Jays player. Miller was the third base umpire for the contest, but despite the close proximity, he and Lawrie did not exchange words.

“He’s an energetic player, we don’t want him to lose that energy and that passion for the game, that will to compete and do whatever he has in his power at the moment to make an impact on the game,” Blue Jays manager John Farrell said.


Does this look like a bad hop to you? (Brad White - Getty Images)
Lawrie said he looks forward to the hearing where he will be able to tell his side of the story.

“The only thing I regret is the helmet hitting him,” he said. “I never meant to do that and it shows ... it took a bad hop and hit him totally by accident.”

Playing the hot corner, Lawrie can attest to the unpredictable nature of the Rogers Centre’s AstroTurf Grass 3D playing surface. But should he have been more contrite?

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By  |  03:35 PM ET, 05/17/2012

 
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