A New York Yankees minor leaguer reportedly received death threats after bunting to break up a no-hitter, according to NJ.com.
Matt Lipka of the Trenton Thunder thrust himself into the spotlight Tuesday after he bunted in the ninth inning to break up a combined no-hitter by the Hartford Yard Goats.
The 27-year-old Lipka was successful, but the Thunder failed to complete the comeback, losing the contest 3-0. After the game, benches cleared.
Lipka’s story was picked up by most outlets, leading him to receive extra attention on social media. That’s when things got out of hand, according to NJ.com.
According to a source not authorized to speak on behalf of the Thunder organization, the 27-year-old Lipka received death threats on social media following Tuesday’s game. The Thunder are the Double-A affiliate of the New York Yankees. The source says the Yankees have been alerted to the threats and are investigating.
The Yankees are reportedly looking into the death threats made against Lipka. The team has not commented publicly on the situation. Yahoo Sports has reached out to the team for comment.
Lipka found himself at the center of controversy after violating one of baseball’s unwritten rules. The general belief is that players should not bunt to break up no-hitters. It’s considered a cheap, non-legitimate way to do it.
In Lipka’s case, however, he had competitive reasons for his actions. His team only trailed by three runs. The game was close enough that him getting on base could have made a big difference. He did what he felt was necessary to give his team the best chance to win.
On top of that, this was a combined no-hitter. Four players on the Yard Goats had no-hit the Thunder up until that point. Combined no-hitters still count, but they aren’t as meaningful as a regular no-no.
None of that really matters when we’re talking about death threats, though. No matter how you feel about the unwritten rules of baseball, there’s never any reason to threaten harm — or death — on a player. That is never an acceptable or appropriate response.
You’re allowed to be disappointed your team didn’t pull off the no-hitter. You should not make someone worry about their life because of a baseball game.
Key moments in the Red Sox-Yankees rivalry
Key moments in the Red Sox-Yankees rivalry
BOSTON - JULY 24: Alex Rodriguez of the Yankees and Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek trade blows in the 3rd inning that precipitated a bench clearing brawl between the two teams. Both players were ejected from the game. (Photo by Barry Chin/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
Babe Ruth wearing the uniform of the Boston Red Sox, the team he played with from 1915 until he joined the Yankees in 1920. (Photo via Getty Images)
NEW YORK CITY - OCTOBER 19: Alex Rodriguez of the New York Yankees heads into first base as Boston Red Sox pitcher Bronson Arroyo tries to tag him, during the eighth inning of the American League Championship Series at Yankee Stadium. Umpires ruled that Rodriguez was out because he batted the ball away from Arroyo. Doug Mienkiewicz of the Sox is at right. (Photo by Barry Chin/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
BOSTON - OCTOBER 16: As the fans go wild, Aaron Boone heads for home as Tim Wakefield heads for the off season in the background. (Photo by Jim Davis/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - OCTOBER 11: Boston Red Sox' pitcher Pedro Martinez (left) throws 72-year-old New York Yankees' bench coach Don Zimmer to the ground in a fourth-inning fracas at Fenway Park during Game 3 of the American League Championship Series. Martinez had hit the Yankees' Karim Garcia with a pitch at the top of the inning; when Yanks' pitcher Roger Clemens then nearly grazed the Sox' Manny Ramirez, a bench-clearing brawl ensued. Zimmer, who lunged at Martinez during the dustup, was taken to the hospital for observation, then released. The Yanks won, 4-3. (Photo by Linda Cataffo/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
(Original Caption) Boston: Boxing Or Wrestling? Yankee's Gene Michael (L) and Bosox catcher Carlton Fisk (top), battle on the mound as Yanks' Thurman Munson, (LL), is held down by (L to R), Boston's Doug Griffin, Carl Yastrzemski, and John Curtis during 9th inning melee at Fenway Park. Munson and Fisk were both thrown out of the game which Boston won 3-2.
UNITED STATES - OCTOBER 21: It's bedlam - but a happy kind - as Boston Red Sox players explode with joy after their 10-3 victory over the New York Yankees in Game 7 of the American League Championship Series at Yankee Stadium. In an astounding comeback, the Bosox became the first team in baseball history to win a best-of-seven series after losing the first three games. Now, they go on to the World Series. (Photo by Corey Sipkin/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
Apr 11, 2018; Boston, MA, USA; New York Yankees first baseman Tyler Austin (26) starts a scrum with Boston Red Sox relief pitcher Joe Kelly (56) during the seventh inning at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports