Ump won't be punished for incident

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Thursday, May 15, 2014

Major League Baseball will not discipline umpire Paul Nauert for briefly putting his hand on Torii Hunter's face during a benches-clearing altercation in Monday's game between the Detroit Tigers and Baltimore Orioles.

Joe Torre, MLB's executive vice president of on-field operations, reviewed the incident Tuesday and talked with Nauert on Wednesday. The Detroit News, citing a baseball source, reported that Torre and Nauert discussed how the incident could be misinterpreted by the public.

"Joe Torre had a good conversation with Paul today," an MLB spokesman told several media outlets. "We consider the matter closed. Paul will not be disciplined."

Major league players are subject to suspension if they touch an umpire. Hunter, however, came to Nauert's defense, saying he shouldn't be punished.

"It's nothing to really investigate," Hunter said Tuesday. "If MLB came to me [to ask about Nauert], I wouldn't even talk to them."

Both dugouts emptied after Hunter took exception to being hit in the ribs with a 94-mph fastball by the Orioles' Bud Norris just one pitch after Ian Kinsler's two-run homer gave the Tigers a 4-1 lead in the top of the eighth inning.

Hunter yelled at Norris, and as he made his way toward first base the Tigers outfielder moved slightly in the direction of the mound.

That prompted both dugouts to empty, and relievers from both bullpens charged toward the infield. No punches were thrown, and order was quickly restored.

During the incident, however, Hunter was taken aback when Nauert put his hand on Hunter's face as the outfielder was shouting in the direction of the Orioles' dugout.

"That's my guy," Hunter told reporters of Nauert. "He was trying to cover my mouth. I've known him too long [to be upset]. He was just saying to me, 'C'mon, T. You're way better than that.' And he's right.

"I apologize to the fans for my reaction."

Neither Hunter nor Norris is expected to be disciplined for the incident.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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