Twins manager Rocco Baldelli has tirade against umps after controversial winning run

Minnesota Twins manager Rocco Baldelli was ejected in the 10th inning of a loss to the Toronto Blue Jays on Sunday in Minneapolis. File Photo by Ray Stubblebine/UPI | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/76d8ba8babf5bf63eb73ccd091487b9f/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
Minnesota Twins manager Rocco Baldelli was ejected in the 10th inning of a loss to the Toronto Blue Jays on Sunday in Minneapolis. File Photo by Ray Stubblebine/UPI | License Photo

Aug. 8 (UPI) -- Minnesota Twins manager Rocco Baldelli unleashed a fierce screaming tirade on umpires and was ejected after a controversial ruling in a series finale with the Toronto Blue Jays.

The heated reaction occurred in the 10th inning of the Blue Jays 3-2 extra-innings win Sunday at Target Field in Minneapolis. Baldelli was still angry after the game and told reporters in a news conference that the call was "embarrassing."


"For someone to step in, in that situation, and ultimately make a decision that [the catcher] was blocking the plate, that's beyond embarrassing for our game, for all the players out there, on both sides of the field, working their [expletive] off, for the entire game," Baldelli said.

"It's completely unacceptable."

The Blue Jays carried a 2-0 lead into the eighth inning. The Twins rallied with two runs over the final two innings of regulation to force another inning.

Blue Jays outfielder Whit Merrifield started the 10th on second base. He then moved to third when second baseman Santiago Espinal flew out to center field. First baseman Cavan Biggio stepped into the box for the next at-bat.

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Biggio hit the first pitch of that exchange to left field. Merrifield tagged up on the play and charged toward home. He went into a slide a few feet from the plate as Twins catcher Gary Sanchez fielded a throw from left fielder Tim Beckham.

Sanchez blocked Merrifield's path to the plate as he caught the throw and tagged the Blue Jays outfielder for an out. The Blue Jays challenged the call.

Umpires then ruled that the out was overturned due to a "violation" by Sanchez.

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Baldelli ran out of the dugout and slammed his hat on the ground. He then angerly pointed at the umpires and exchanged several words with the crew. Players from both teams remained in their respective dugouts until first base umpire Alan Porter ejected Baldelli.


Blue Jays pitcher Jordan Romano retired the Twins in order in the bottom of the 10th to seal the victory.

"Obviously, it's a big point in the game, and you don't want it to come down to a rules decision, but the rules are there for a reason," Merrifield said. "A while ago, I could have run him over and tried to free the ball, but you can't do that anymore.

"He's got to give me a lane to slide in. I didn't think I had one. Like I said, I think they made the right call."

Biggio went 1 for 3 with an RBI and a run scored for the Blue Jays. Left fielder Lourdes Gurriel Jr. and right fielder Teoscar Hernandez recorded two hits apiece in the win.

Designated hitter Luis Arrez went 3 for 5 with an RBI for the Twins.

The Blue Jays (60-48) will face the Baltimore Orioles (56-52) at 7:05 p.m. EDT Monday at Oriole Park at Camden Yards in Baltimore. The Twins (57-51) will battle the Los Angeles Dodgers (75-33) at 10:10 p.m. Tuesday at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles.

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