Plate umpire James Hoye ejected Orioles starter Bud Norris tonight in the eighth inning after Torii Hunter was hit in the ribs following Ian Kinsler’s two-run homer. Norris insisted it wasn’t intentional. Hunter offered his own opinion.
“I was actually thinking he’s got good stuff today,” said Hunter, who jawed at Norris while the pitcher was on the mound and again when he headed to the dugout.
“He’s pitching pretty well, and what, he just all of a sudden lost it? I want all the people out there to get in front of a pitching machine, put it on 94 and see how that turns out for you.
“It’s just adrenaline going. Once you calm yourself, you think about the situation. I’ve got kids in college, I can’t be doing that.”
Was Hunter trying to get Norris ejected?
“I don’t know what happened,” Hunter replied. “I wasn’t trying to get him ejected. I was just talking to him. Had a nice talk.
“He looked back and said something. Starting at me and saying something. I don’t know. I’m too old for that. I’ve probably more hits than he does days in his life.”
Not really, but I’ll let you do the math.
“It hurts,” Hunter continued. “I wasn’t going to rub it on national TV. It hurts. I’ve been around for a long time. Even if he didn’t try to do it, it looks fishy, suspicious. I don’t know if he did it on purpose or not. I thought he pitched a tremendous game.”
Boston’s David Ross and Pittsburgh’s Neil Walker also yelled at Norris this season. Ross apologized, according to Norris.
“I heard bad things about him, but you can’t go by what you hear,” Hunter said. “But after tonight, maybe so.”
A pool reporter collected quotes from Hoye and crew chief Bob Davidson.
Davidson: “Kinsler hits a two-run homer and then the next hitter gets drilled. I thought Hoye handled it properly. I think that’s what anybody would have done. It’s a fastball that drilled the guy in the ribs, and I think Hoye did the right thing. That’s pretty much what it was. As an umpire, it wasn’t rocket science. I really think that that was the right thing to do.
“Torii Hunter didn’t like it and had some words, so James, correct me If I’m wrong, was kind of trying to tell Hunter to calm down, then he threw out (Norris).”
Hoye: “I kind of wanted to wait until I knew there wasn’t going to be a fight or anything going, and that’s when I (ejected him).”
Davidson: “I thought it was handled, actually, textbook.”
Hoye: “I don’t know exactly when I decided when to throw him out. When I did throw him, I guess that’s when I decided. I don’t know when, the sequence of events.”
Hoye (on no discipline for Hunter): “I think Bud Norris was the instigator in that position again.”
Davidson: “Norris said ‘(expletive) you’ to him or something, is what Torii told me he said.”
Hoye: “At that point, I wouldn’t eject Torii, because Bud Norris instigates it at that point. Why would I throw Torii out?”
Hoye and Davidson said they didn’t notice that Norris remained in the dugout after the ejection.
Hoye: “If he was in there longer, that’s my fault. I assumed he knew that he needs to leave.”
Davidson: “I didn’t notice that he was in there longer. I didn’t see it, so as far as I’m concerned he left right away.”