Matt Lipka of the Trenton Thunder thrust himself into the spotlight Tuesday after he bunted in the ninth inning to break up a combined no-hitter by the Hartford Yard Goats.
The 27-year-old Lipka was successful, but the Thunder failed to complete the comeback, losing the contest 3-0. After the game, benches cleared.
Lipka’s story was picked up by most outlets, leading him to receive extra attention on social media. That’s when things got out of hand, according to NJ.com.
According to a source not authorized to speak on behalf of the Thunder organization, the 27-year-old Lipka received death threats on social media following Tuesday’s game. The Thunder are the Double-A affiliate of the New York Yankees. The source says the Yankees have been alerted to the threats and are investigating.
The Yankees are reportedly looking into the death threats made against Lipka. The team has not commented publicly on the situation. Yahoo Sports has reached out to the team for comment.
Lipka found himself at the center of controversy after violating one of baseball’s unwritten rules. The general belief is that players should not bunt to break up no-hitters. It’s considered a cheap, non-legitimate way to do it.
In Lipka’s case, however, he had competitive reasons for his actions. His team only trailed by three runs. The game was close enough that him getting on base could have made a big difference. He did what he felt was necessary to give his team the best chance to win.
On top of that, this was a combined no-hitter. Four players on the Yard Goats had no-hit the Thunder up until that point. Combined no-hitters still count, but they aren’t as meaningful as a regular no-no.
None of that really matters when we’re talking about death threats, though. No matter how you feel about the unwritten rules of baseball, there’s never any reason to threaten harm — or death — on a player. That is never an acceptable or appropriate response.
You’re allowed to be disappointed your team didn’t pull off the no-hitter. You should not make someone worry about their life because of a baseball game.
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