Ump Paul Nauert won’t be disciplined for making contact with Torii Hunter’s face
Even though Torii Hunter would be facing some kind of punishment, likely a suspension, had the roles been reversed, umpire Paul Nauert will not be punished by Major League Baseball for making brief contact with the Detroit Tiger outfielder’s face in a game on Monday.
After reviewing the incident, Joe Torre, MLB’s executive vice president of on-field operations, decided that no punishment was necessary, according to an ESPN.com report.
It is further reported that according to a source of The Detroit News, Torre and Nauert discussed how even though the incident could be misinterpreted by fans and media, no discipline was warranted.
“Joe Torre had a good conversation with Paul today,” an MLB spokesman reportedly told several media outlets. “We consider the matter closed. Paul will not be disciplined.”
Nauert briefly put his hand on Hunter’s face as he tried to defuse a tense situation when benches cleared during the Tigers-Orioles game on Monday after Hunter was plunked by Orioles pitcher Bud Norris.
Hunter, visibly upset, threatened Norris, saying, “I’ll whoop your ass” as umpires and players attempted to keep the two players separated. It was at about that time that Nauert touched Hunter on the face.
After the game, Hunter quickly and clearly made his case that he held no ill will towards Nauert.
“That’s my guy,” Hunter said. “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.
“I apologize to the fans for my reaction.”
Hunter echoed his original sentiment and characterization of the incident on Tuesday, insisting that he believed Nauert did not deserve to be punished.
“It’s nothing to really investigate,” Hunter said. “If MLB came to me [to ask about Nauert], I wouldn’t even talk to them.”
So there you have it. Major League Baseball looked into it, handled it and quickly is trying to put the end to any further discussion. Again, had the roles been reversed and it was Hunter who made contact with an ump’s face, the outcome would have been wholly different.