Brett Lawrie freaks out, throws helmet at ump

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Hey Brett Lawrie, what did you think of that called third strike?

source:

Oh. Really?

Yeah, I’m guessing you’re going to get suspended, son.

Yes, the ump made two bad calls during that at bat — check out the plots of pitches 5 and 6 here — but worse calls are made every day and that’s no excuse for erupting like that. The helmet throw was just disciplinary icing on a temper tantrum cake that MLB  is not going to take kindly to.  Here’s umpire Bill Miller’s statement:

“Upon seeing that he was ejected, he took several steps toward me and fired his helmet. It hit me in the right hip. That’s a bit extreme.”

For his part, Lawrie said he didn’t mean it:

“That was not my intention at all,” Lawrie said of striking Miller with his helmet. “I’ve never, ever, done anything to go at an umpire before in my life, and I didn’t mean to tonight. I apologize for that. It just kind of took an unlucky bounce and I think it got him, so my apologies for that.”

Not that I think that, or the fact that he was arguing bad call, will or should help him here.  Gotta keep your cool better than that.

Oh, and one Blue Jays fan was pretty classy too:

… a disgruntled fan in the stands at Rogers Centre tossed a mostly full cup of beer and hit Miller in the right shoulder as he walked off the field.

Oh, Canada.

Major League Baseball to launch an elite league for high schoolers

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This morning Major League Baseball announced a new elite league for high school baseball players who are likely to be drafted. It’s called the Prospect Development Pipeline League. It’ll start next summer and it’ll invite 80 of the best current high school juniors to play in a league in Florida from June through early July, culminating in an All-Star Game during MLB’s All-Star week.

The idea behind the league: to combat the current system in which a couple of pay-to-play, for-profit showcase leagues dominate the pre-draft season. Major League Baseball, schools and a lot of players’ parents have criticized this system because it favors rich kids who can afford to play in them. Major League Baseball is also likely quite keen on having greater control over the training, health and physical monitoring of prospects.

As Jeff Passan notes in his report about this, there will be a component of the program which involves live data-tracking of players during games and drills. Major League Baseball has become increasingly interested in such things but is limited in how much it can do in this regard due to labor agreements. There is no such impediment with high schoolers. Your mileage will vary when it comes to how you feel about that, I presume.