Umpire Taps Torii Hunter In The Face After Benches Clear

Umpire Paul Nauert gently slapped, or tapped, Torii Hunter in the face tonight during Detroit's game against the Orioles and it's kind of a strange thing. It seems harmless—obviously he did not injure Torii Hunter—but if the roles were reversed, and Torii Hunter put his hands on an umpire, we'd be discussing whether or not Hunter would be suspended.

It all started when Bud Norris was ejected in the top of the eighth inning tonight for throwing at Torii Hunter. Norris had just surrendered a two-run home run to Ian Kinsler and Hunter did not appreciate the coincidence. The benches cleared and everyone stood around yelling and gesticulating.

Order was basically restored until Norris made his way to the dugout, at which point he shouted back at Hunter at first base. Umpires impeded Hunter's move to the dugout and that's when Nauert got in Hunter's face and it looked like he was trying to get his attention or calm him down.

It's hard to tell, since Hunter was already hot, but he does not seem to appreciate Nauert hitting him. And rightly so; umpires and players should afford each other the same level of respect, which includes not invading the personal space of another human being like that.

[Detroit4lyfe]