If The Tigers Intentionally Hit The Ump With A Pitch Then They Did A Decent Enough Job Of Making It Look Like An Accident
LBS- In the third inning of Detroit’s 5-3 loss to Cleveland on Wednesday, Ausmus and catcher James McCann were both ejected by home plate umpire Quinn Walcott for arguing balls and strikes. Just a handful of pitches later, new Tigers catcher John Hicks failed to catch a Buck Farmer delivery and it hit Wolcott in the shoulder on the fly, knocking him down.
Most people felt that it was a simple cross-up involving a pitcher and catcher who had just been abruptly put together, but the Cleveland TV broadcast — and one writer — implied that something more sinister was going on.
Delayed reaction to an off-target pitch, orrr a vengeful, intentionally plunking of an umpire that a piss poor team deemed a little too hasty in throwing out their manager? You be the judge.
I mean, the fact of the matter is that even having to question whether or not it was an accident has to be considered a win for the pitcher/catcher combo that potentially conspired to bean blue, no? I don't watch enough baseball to know whether or not John Hicks' hand-eye coordination is too trusty to completely whiff on a pitch that was far from wild. I would imagine that it's arguable given that a professional catcher of oft-unpredictable projectiles that move at a rapid pace just Daria'd the shit out of that laser. However, if there's a way to make it look like it's not then it's to come in fresh off the bench as a backup and crouch over the outside corner as an allegedly inaccurate fastball comes up and inside with some heat behind it.
I don't feel completely comfortable crying conspiracy here, and I'm pretty sure that skepticism is all it takes to get away with hitting an umpire with some chin music. It's up to a more trained eye to determine whether or not this was an athlete-taught lesson, but either way it could teach Quinn Walcott to keep a tighter strike zone in the future. A painful example of impact correction, if you will.