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Ump taps Torii Hunter on face during scrum; MLB reportedly reviewing

By Mike Axisa | Baseball Writer

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UPDATE (10:24 a.m. ET): The Detroit News reports the incident is being reviewed by MLB.

During the eighth inning of Monday's game, benches cleared between the Orioles and Tigers after Bud Norris hit Torii Hunter with a pitch. The unembeddable video is right here.

As with most baseball scrums, there was a lot of standing around and yelling, but no actual fighting. That's pretty standard when it comes to benches clearing incidents. There was contact though. Umpire Paul Nauert gently tapped (slapped?) Hunter in the face in an effort to calm him down. Here's the GIF:

It was an innocent little tap, but that really doesn't look good for Nauert. All hell would have broken loose if it had been Hunter who tapped the ump on the face like that. He would have been fined and suspended almost immediately.

It appears Hunter did not appreciate the tap from Nauert -- to be fair, he was pretty fired up after getting plunked, so who knows what he was really mad about -- and rightfully so. Players can't make contact with the umpire and the opposite is true as well. A grown man touching another grown man like that isn't cool.

Between Laz Diaz childishly shooing away Shawn Kelley last week and Nauert tapping Hunter on the cheek, this hasn't been a good few days for the umpires. At some point the league has to rein them in a bit.

(GIF via Deadspin)

 
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