There was a bit of drama Wednesday in the Tigers' game against the Indians when umpire Quinn Wolcott ejected catcher James McCann and manager Brad Ausmus.
McCann was ejected in the third inning after arguing with Wolcott following a close pitch. Wolcott called it a ball, which allowed Jay Bruce to reach on a walk. McCann said after the game he told Wolcott: "'I want the same strike zone that they're getting. I don't care about their win streak, where we are in the standings. We deserve the same pitches called strikes that they're getting called strikes.'"
Ausmus came out of the dugout to argue McCann's ejection, which resulted in him being ejected by Wolcott as well.
Tigers pitcher Buck Farmer stayed in the game and intentionally walked the next hitter, Carlos Santana. His first pitch after the walk went past the mitt of replacement catcher John Hicks and hit Wolcott in the left shoulder.
Some wondered whether the pitch was intentional.
After a couple ejections pic.twitter.com/7Wg7DY5uAt
— Dallas Braden (@DALLASBRADEN209) September 13, 2017
After the game, the Tigers were upset people were saying the pitch was intentional. Ausmus (per MLive) was especially upset.
"I heard the Indians broadcast. To imply that that was intentional is, first of all, a lie. If any player on this team intentionally tried to hurt an umpire, we'd deal with that severely. But for anyone to imply that that was intentional, that's completely wrong," Ausmus was quoted as saying. "They're out of line saying that, quite frankly."
Farmer, the man who threw the pitch, also responded via his Twitter account.
Hate that people think I would hit the umpire intentionally... I have more respect for the game than that #notthattypeofplayer
— Buck Farmer (@B_Farm09) September 13, 2017
Considering the circumstances, an intentional pitch by Farmer would have been a bad decision. First, the bases were loaded, so a pitch that missed the catcher and Wolcott would have likely resulted in a run. It's not exactly the easiest thing for a pitcher to hit the umpire in his shoulder with intent.
For what it's worth, Wolcott remained in the game without incident.