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Minnesota Twins: Tough Outing for Diamond as He Appeals His 6-Game Suspension

ARLINGTON, TX - AUGUST 23: Scott Diamond #58 of the Minnesota Twins pitches against the Texas Rangers on August 23, 2012 at the Rangers Ballpark in Arlington in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Layne Murdoch/Getty Images)
Layne Murdoch/Getty Images
Tom SchreierCorrespondent IAugust 29, 2012

And they say, “You don’t tug on Superman’s cape,

You don’t spit into the wind

You don’t pull on the mask of that ol’ Lone Ranger

And you don’t mess around with Jim”

Jim Croce – Don’t Mess Around with Jim

***

Diamond is appealing a six-game suspension for throwing a pitch near Texas Rangers star Josh Hamilton’s head after Roy Oswalt beaned Joe Mauer.

The pitcher was simply following baseball codes.

They say: You don’t steal a base if your team is comfortably ahead or behind.

You don’t show up a pitcher when your team is ahead or behind.

You don’t swing hard at a 3-0 pitch in a blowout game.

And, you don’t throw at a superstar without consequences.

Oswalt tugged on Superman’s cape so Diamond tried to pull on the mask of that ol’ Lone Ranger, and for all we know, manager Ron Gardenhire very well could have spit into the wind while arguing with home-plate umpire Wally Bell.

Diamond’s actions made one thing clear:

You don’t mess around with Joe.

***

On Tuesday Diamond went out there against Seattle knowing that his noggin-seeking heater may cost him six games.

“I felt pretty energetic out there,” he said, “and early on I felt I was located a lot of my pitches.”

Things went well for the Canadian until the third inning, when Brendan Ryan’s line drive caught the left-most white shade of grass on the left-field foul line. Diamond would walk Franklin Gutierrez with two outs, and Kyle Seager would double to right-center, scoring both runners.

“Looking back at it, I probably shouldn’t have,” he acknowledged, when asked if he was being cautious with the right-handed Gutierrez knowing that Seager batted left.

“I seemed to attack [Gutierrez] really well with my fastball tonight…but I kinda looked at it as lefty on lefty might be a little better.”

The Twins got a run back in the bottom frame when Seattle starter Hisashi Iwakuma walked Jamey Carroll and Pedro Florimon to start the inning off, catcher John Jaso allowed both runners to advance on a passed ball, and Ben Revere scored a runner on a sac fly.

But in the fifth, he would give up a three-run home run to Dustin Ackley with no outs before getting the next three batters—Gutierrez, Seager and Montero—to ground out.

“That one bad pitch to Ackley,” said manager Ron Gardenhire, “really was a killer.”

“He got a fastball,” said Diamond. “I just left it in his bat path, middle-middle, and he did what he needed to with it.”

The 5-1 lead ended up being insurmountable for the Twins.

“Not many hits,” Gardenhire said of his once-potent offense.

“I don’t know what to say, we’re kind of floating around offensively.”

The Twins rallied in the ninth.

Willingham singled to left with one out, and Doumit drove him with a double. Closer Tom Wilhelmsen came into the game at the point, walked Plouffe, but got Carroll to line out to right.

“Giving up that three-run home run and getting those three outs with seven pitches, that’s still a positive,” said Diamond, who managed to go nine innings despite giving up a season-high five runs on nine hits.

“I’ve got to reflect a little better on that and try to take as much away from this game as I can into my next one.”

The question is: when is his next game going to be played?

 

All quotes were obtained firsthand.

Tom Schreier writes a weekly column for TheFanManifesto.com.

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