Umpire Paul Nauert taps Torii Hunter’s face after benches clear (GIF)
Benches cleared in Monday night’s game between the Detroit Tigers and Baltimore Orioles after Torii Hunter took exception to being hit by a pitch from Bud Norris. Hunter was plunked immediately after Ian Kinsler hit a two-run home run off of Norris, and the 38-year-old veteran did not think it was a coincidence.
Norris was ejected, and Hunter began shouting at him as he headed down the first base line. That eventually led to both teams pouring onto the field, and umpires and coaches did a decent job of stepping in before things got out of hand. However, third base umpire Paul Nauert may have crossed the line when he tapped Hunter in the face to get his attention.
At first, Hunter was too busy telling Norris he’s going to whoop his ass to notice.
You can see a video of the entire incident here. By baseball brawl standards, it was pretty mild. That said, players are automatically suspended if they make any type of contact whatsoever with an umpire. It didn’t look like Nauert meant anything by the gentle tap, but it was unprofessional at the very least.