May 15, 2012; Toronto, ON, Canada; Toronto Blue Jays manager John Farrell (left) holds back third baseman Brett Lawrie (right) after he was ejected in the 9th inning by home plate umpire Bill Miller (14) against the Tampa Bay Rays at the Rogers Centre. The Rays beat the Blue Jays 4-3. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY SportsWith the new year nearly upon us and fans clamboring for the beginning of the 2013 season, it is only appropriate to look back at 2012. With that in mind, we will be counting down the days to the new year by remembering the five best Blue Jays moments of 2012.
So let’s get started, and what better place to start than Brett Lawrie‘s epic meltdown on May 15, 2012.
The incident occurred in the ninth innings, with the Blue Jays down 4-3 with 1 one out. On a 3-1 count, Lawrie thought he had taken ball four and headed down to first base representing the tying run. Umpire Bill Miller thought differently and called it strike two, despite replays showing the pitch well outside of the strike zone.
Lawrie returned to the batter’s box slowly, amazed that the pitch was called a strike. His reaction of disbelief likely cost him on the next pitch, when Miller rung him up on a pitch that looked about chin high. Lawrie immediately turned to argue and Miller tossed him.
What followed is can only be summed up in the following quote:
“Whoever wields this hammer, should he be worthy, shall possess the power of Thor.”
Lawrie was certainly calling down his Norse strength when he blew up completely, spiking his helmet with such force into the turf that it bounced up and struck Miller on the arm. The Blue Jays third baseman did not intend for his helmet to strike Miller, but alas the damage was done.
Lawrie would receive a four-game suspension for his antics, which at the time seemed a tad light considering. He would initially appeal his suspension, but eventually dropped the appeal, serving the full four-game ban.
“The only thing I would change is maybe not throwing the helmet or any equipment toward the umpire because you can get an unlucky hop and have the kind of mess that’s going on right now,” said Lawrie after dropping his appeal.
Bad hop or not, the moment was the most colorful of the season for the Blue Jays and illustrated just how young Lawrie still is.