Joe Torre doesn’t think Brett Lawrie was trying to hit the ump

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Brett Lawrie is still going to get suspended, it seems, but any of you who were saying this was or should be a Delmon Young/bat toss situation are going to be disappointed because, according to Danny Knobler of CBS Sports.com, Joe Torre acknowledges that Lawrie was not trying to hit the ump with his helmet on purpose:

“The decision could have been better as fas as the direction, but I don’t believe he was trying to hit him.”

That seemed pretty obvious, of course, but it’s still significant that the man in charge of discipline said so. Yes, one is responsible for that which one sets in motion, but if he had really tried to go after the ump with his helmet, he’d be looking at 50 games or more.

My guess when this comes down: 7-10 game suspension, akin to a Milton Bradley-style ump bump.

Video: Starling Marte refuses to take first base after being hit by pitch

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Pirates outfielder Starling Marte was hit on the hand by a Jack Flaherty pitch in the fourth inning of Tuesday night’s game against the Cardinals. Rather than take first base, Marte — who came to the plate with a runner on first base — insisted to home plate umpire Bruce Dreckman that the ball hit the knob of the bat, not his hand. Marte was allowed to continue his at-bat, though manager Clint Hurdle came out to discuss the ruling with Dreckman. Marte eventually grounded into a fielder’s choice. He then got caught attempting to steal second base and the Pirates scored zero runs in the inning.

According to Baseball Prospectus, a team that has runners on first and second with no outs is expected to score 1.55 runs. Having a runner on first base with one out yields 0.56 expected runs. Marte essentially cost his team a run by rejecting first base. Oops.