The American League Central Detroit Tigers have vehemently denied they intentionally hit Quinn Wolcott, the home plate umpire, with a pitch during their 5-3 loss on Wednesday to the Cleveland Indians.
Buck Farmer was the pitcher for the Tigers who threw the controversial pitch that eluded John Hicks the Tigers catcher and hit Wolcott on the shoulder. Farmer disputed the incident had been planned.
Farmer following the game said even questioning it was appalling. It should not even be questioned. When you take a look at the whole situation, it is stupid to even consider it.
The incident took place just two batters after Detroit Tigers manager Brad Ausmus as well as the catcher at the time James McCann were both ejected with Cleveland leading 4-1 during the bottom half of the third inning.
McCann got tossed when he turned to Wolcott to argue balls and strikes following the walk of Jay Bruce from the Indians to put two runners on base with a pair of outs. At that time, Ausmus left the dugout to confront the home plate umpire who promptly ejected him.
Hicks then came in to replace McCann at catcher, with the bases loaded, two out and Yandy Diaz at the plate.
Farmer then unleashed a fastball high and inside that sealed past the glove of Hicks and hit Wolcott directly on the shoulder.
Rather than making a turn and checking on the umpire, Hicks picked the ball up and started to walk toward Farmer.
Hicks following the game said it looked bad after McCann and Ausmus were tossed, but the bases were loaded, and we were attempting to win a game. Any thought, said Hicks, of the team attempting to do that purposely was ridiculous.
Following the game, Farmer tweeted that he did not mean to hit Wolcott.
Ausmus, who had been ejected but watching the game in the clubhouse, said he had been upset with a suggestions made during the broadcast from the Indians’ announcers that Farmer and Hicks planned to hit the umpire.
Implying it was intentional is a lie to start, said Ausmus. If any player were to intentionally try to hurt one of the umpires on the Tigers, we would deal with it quite severely.