Lawrie drops appeal of suspension

Saying he wants to move on, Blue Jays third baseman Brett Lawrie

has dropped his appeal of a four-game suspension for throwing a

batting helmet that bounced and hit an umpire.

”It’s easiest to put this behind me,” Lawrie said before

Thursday’s game against the New York Yankees. ”I feel like this is

an opportunity for me to end it. Plus, getting it reduced, it was a

coin flip. We didn’t know if they were going to reduce the games or

whatnot. I think it’s just easy enough to suck this one up and take

these four games and move on.”

The 22-year-old Lawrie, in his first full season, was suspended

by Major League Baseball on Wednesday afternoon and fined an

undisclosed amount for his ”aggressive actions” during an

incident in the ninth inning of Tuesday’s loss to Tampa Bay.

Lawrie was ejected by home plate umpire Bill Miller after

complaining about consecutive called strikes. When Lawrie slammed

his helmet on the ground, it bounced up and hit Miller on the right

hip.

Lawrie initially appealed and played in Toronto’s 8-1 win over

the New York Yankees on Wednesday.

Lawrie spoke briefly with Miller before Wednesday’s game,

apologizing for what happened.

”It was good,” Lawrie said. ”I just walked in there and said

`I apologize, I never meant to hit you, I would never do that. I’ve

never done that before, hit anybody with anything.’ That’s all I

said to him, I said `My apologies, let’s go out there and have a

good one tonight.”’

Miller umpired at third base Wednesday, putting him in close

proximity to Lawrie, but the two did not speak to one another on

the field.

Manager John Farrell said Lawrie’s appeal hearing had been

scheduled for Tuesday, May 22. Lawrie, Farrell and Blue Jays GM

Alex Anthopoulos discussed the hearing following Wednesday’s game

and decided to drop the appeal, which Anthopoulos called ”a

distraction.”

”Everybody was on the same page,” Anthopoulos said of the

decision on a Thursday afternoon conference call. ”Collectively,

it seemed like the right thing to do for the organization.”

Yan Gomes, whose contract was selected from Triple-A Las Vegas

earlier Thursday, was scheduled to start at third base against the

Yankees on Thursday, making him the first Brazilian-born player to

appear in a major league game. Gomes was promoted when Toronto

optioned struggling first baseman Adam Lind to Las Vegas.

Known for his abundant energy and exuberance, Lawrie said he

would use the suspension to ”get my body back to square one,” but

acknowledged it would be difficult for him to watch from the

sidelines.

”I’m going to be going crazy walking around,” he said.