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MLB: Tigers didn't intentionally hit umpire

MLB.com @beckjason

DETROIT -- Major League Baseball will not discipline any Tigers after reviewing the circumstances surrounding the pitch from right-hander Buck Farmer that struck home-plate umpire Quinn Wolcott in the shoulder after catcher James McCann and manager Brad Ausmus were ejected from Wednesday's 5-3 loss to the Indians.

MLB released a statement regarding the matter Friday afternoon: "MLB takes seriously the safety of on-field personnel -- players, coaches and umpires alike -- and has thoroughly reviewed the incident. Upon completion of that review, Chief Baseball Officer Joe Torre has concluded that no Tigers player intended for the pitch to hit Umpire Wolcott, and therefore no discipline will be issued."

DETROIT -- Major League Baseball will not discipline any Tigers after reviewing the circumstances surrounding the pitch from right-hander Buck Farmer that struck home-plate umpire Quinn Wolcott in the shoulder after catcher James McCann and manager Brad Ausmus were ejected from Wednesday's 5-3 loss to the Indians.

MLB released a statement regarding the matter Friday afternoon: "MLB takes seriously the safety of on-field personnel -- players, coaches and umpires alike -- and has thoroughly reviewed the incident. Upon completion of that review, Chief Baseball Officer Joe Torre has concluded that no Tigers player intended for the pitch to hit Umpire Wolcott, and therefore no discipline will be issued."

The investigation and decision followed vehement denials from Ausmus and the players involved that there was any intent behind the pitch that struck Wolcott.

"I talked to Joe Torre the day it happened," Ausmus said Friday. "Joe wanted to know what happened, because he saw what happened on TV. I talked to the players, and I spoke with Joe after the game. We talked for 10 minutes. Joe seemed to understand."

The situation began when Wolcott ejected McCann for arguing balls and strikes following a third-inning walk to Indians slugger Jay Bruce, then Ausmus when he interceded on McCann's behalf. McCann said afterward he didn't believe that he and Farmer were getting the same strike zone called as Indians pitcher Mike Clevinger was getting.

John Hicks replaced McCann, making his first appearance behind the plate since Sept. 1. Farmer threw seven consecutive balls after that, walking Carlos Santana to load the bases before falling into a 3-0 count against Yandy Diaz. One of those pitches crossed up Hicks, the Tigers insist, and hit Wolcott just above his left chest.

"I called a fastball away," Hicks said after the game. "[Farmer] shook. I called a slider away. He went with it. He thought I put down fastball."

Wolcott was helped up and stayed in the game. First-base umpire Brian O'Nora had words with the Tigers' dugout on his way back to his position after checking on Wolcott.

"Obviously it looks bad right after Brad and Mac get tossed, but it's bases loaded, we're trying to win a baseball game," Hicks said. "Any thoughts of us trying to do that on purpose are just ridiculous."

Hicks maintained that sentiment when asked about the investigation on Friday.

"I just got into the game, so when did me and Buck plan this out?" Hicks asked.

Both Hicks and Farmer said they did not speak with Torre, but Hicks watched video of the incident afterward.

"It looked a lot worse than what it was," he said. "I went to get the ball to prevent the run from scoring, and then I went to Buck to figure out how we got crossed up. I knew [Wolcott] had gotten hit, but I didn't know how bad."

Farmer tweeted after the game that he had no intent to hit Wolcott.

Tweet from @B_Farm09: Hate that people think I would hit the umpire intentionally... I have more respect for the game than that #notthattypeofplayer

Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and Facebook.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Detroit Tigers, Buck Farmer, John Hicks, James McCann