MLB

Blue Jays’ Ryan Borucki suspended for throwing at Kevin Kiermaier following scouting card controversy

Toronto Blue Jays left-hander Ryan Borucki has been suspended three games and fined an undisclosed amount for “intentionally hitting Kevin Kiermaier of the Tampa Bay Rays with a pitch during the bottom of the eighth inning of Wednesday’s game at Tropicana Field,” MLB announced Thursday. Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo was suspended one game and fined as well as well. 

Borucki is appealing the suspension and is eligible to pitch in the interim.

Borucki hit Kiermaier in the back Wednesday afternoon in apparent retaliation for Kiermaier picking up catcher Alejandro Kirk’s scouting card following a play at the plate Monday. Kirk’s scouting card shook loose, Kiermaier picked it up and took it back to the dugout, and the Rays later refused to return it to the Blue Jays.

Montoyo spoke to Rays manager Kevin Cash the next day — Montoyo served as Cash’s bench coach with Tampa from 2016-2018 — and called it “aqua under the bridge.” Blue Jays players (or at least one Blue Jays player) apparently felt differently, and Borucki threw at Kiermaier. Borucki and pitching coach Pete Walker were immediately ejected.

“I wanted to go down and away, as I was coming forward I felt the ball slip out of my hand and I missed up and in, and I accidentally hit him,” Borucki told reporters, including the Associated Press. “They can think want they want over there in their locker room, but it is what it is.”

“Pretty much almost went behind me,” Kiermaier told the Associated Press. “I thought it was a weak move, to be quite honest. It’s over. It’s didn’t hurt by any means, so I don’t care. Whatever. We move on. We got a series win, and I hope we play those guys (in the postseason), I really do.”

Whenever a pitcher is suspended for intentionally throwing at a hitter, the manager gets an automatic one-game suspension. Montoyo can not appeal and will serve the suspension Thursday night. Major league coach John Schneider will manage the Blue Jays during Thursday’s series opener against the Twins, reports the Toronto Star‘s Mike Wilner.

The Rays have already clinched a postseason spot and their magic number to clinch the AL East title is four. The Blue Jays, meanwhile, are a half-game behind the Yankees for the second wild card spot going into Thursday’s game.

Our Matt Snyder called the scouting card controversy one of the silliest controversies in baseball this season.



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