You’ve seen or heard about it by now. Orioles starter Bud Norris looked solid through the first eight innings of Monday’s start against the Tigers. Then in the eighth, Ian Kinsler took him deep for a two run homer to give Detroit a 4-1 lead.
O’s pitching coach Dave Wallace strolled out to the mound to talk with Norris. Then, the next batter, Torii Hunter, took one in the ribs and on his way to first base he took a step or two into the grass towards the mound.
Guys shouted. Relief pitchers ran on to the field. An umpire touched Hunter’s face. The whole thing was weird.
“I don’t know if he was trying to hit him or not, but it looks odd when after a home run the coach goes out and all of the sudden the guy gets drilled,” Tigers manager Brad Ausmus told reporters after the game.
True. I’m admittedly biased, but wouldn’t the Orioles be more discrete about calling for Norris to plunk a guy? And what did they have to gain by putting Hunter on base?
When asked if he thought the bad blood would carry over into Tuesday’s game, the veteran Hunter pulled out one of my favorite baseball cliches: “the game polices itself.” Look out, O’s hitters.
“I want all of the people out there to get in front of a pitching machine, put it on 94 and just hold your ribs up and take one,” Hunter said after the game. “See how that turn out for you.”
I think I know a guy who would actually like that…