Blue Jay Brett Lawrie drops appeal, will serve suspension

Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Brett Lawrie has rescinded his appeal of his four-game suspension.
Brett Lawrie has since apologized to umpire Bill Miller. (Chris Young/Canadian Press)

Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Brett Lawrie has rescinded his appeal of his four-game suspension.

Lawrie was suspended four games and fined an undisclosed amount "for his aggressive actions" after hitting an umpire with his helmet Tuesday night.

Lawrie has apologized to home plate umpire Bill Miller.

"I just think that it's easier just to put this behind me ... I feel they understand that I didn't mean to hit him on purpose. I think the message is already through," Lawrie said Thursday before serving the first game of his suspension.

"Plus getting it [the ban] reduced was a coin flip," he added.

The Langley, B.C., native was tossed after arguing strike calls then bouncing his helmet off the turf into Miller in a 4-3 loss to Tampa Bay.

"It’s [Lawrie's] right to appeal the suspension, but upon further review with more information, being able to look objectively at everything and without having any guarantees that the suspension was going to be reduced, Brett felt like he had made his peace, apologized to Bill Miller," Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos said on a conference call.

Lawrie was eligible to suit up for the Jays' 8-1 rout of the New York Yankees Wednesday night, but went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts.

Asked why Lawrie wouldn't wait to drop the appeal until after Thursday's series finale against the visiting Yankees, Anthopoulos said the player and organization wants to move forward and not the appeal process hang over their head.

"I don't think there's ever good timing with a suspension," said the GM. "All the games are important, whether it's the Yankees or the [New York] Mets [who play an interleague series at Toronto this weekend]. I think everything's been addressed and he [Lawrie] has put everything to bed.

"Bill Miller apologized. I think he took responsibility, was very accountable for his actions."

With files from CBC Sports