There are years when nothing seems to go right for a team. They are riddled with injuries, every call goes against them and things go from bad to worse with each passing game.
Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, children of all ages; your 2011 Minnesota Twins.
And the events of Memorial Day were just a microcosm of their season.
It wasn’t that the Twins just lost on Monday that’s the story, but it’s how they lost which is the story.
With the game tied at five in the bottom of the eighth, Alex Avila came to the plate with Jhonny Peralta on first with two outs. Twins’ pitcher Alex Burnett delivered a fastball on the inside corner that Avila sliced down the third base line.
As you can see here, a fan touched the ball and then another fan touched the ball when the ball went into the stands. Originally, third base umpire Gary Darling ruled the play a ground rule double and Peralta would have to remain at third.
After Jim Leyland came out for maybe 30 seconds to argue that Peralta should have been allowed to score, Darling gathered with the rest of his umpiring crew, and in record time, overturned the call. Peralta was allowed to score.
“We ruled spectator interference and we ruled the runner would have scored without it,” said Darling through the Associated Press. To anyone who watched that play as it happened, that explanation is utter nonsense.
Peralta wasn’t even around second when the first fan touched the ball. I don’t know how four umpires could miss that, but that decision gave the Tigers the lead late in the game.
Of course, this brought out Ron Gardenhire, and everyone knew what the end result of Gardenhire going onto the field would be. After arguing for what seemed like five minutes, Gardenhire was eventually tossed from the game.
Here is what confuses me about Major League Baseball: They say they don’t want to increase the scope of instant replay because they don’t want to slow down the pace of the game.
Well, what’s worse for the pace of the game? Having Gardenhire coming out of the dugout, screaming at the top of his lungs, face turning red and cursing at an umpire for three minutes, or having the crew chief run into a tunnel and look at a replay for two minutes and get a call right?
I think the answer to that question is easy.
But this loss and the way the Twins lost is just another example: When it rains it pours. If the Twins are 35-17, Peralta doesn’t score, the game goes into extra innings and the Twins somehow find a way to win.
Speaking of "when it rains it pours," the Twins also placed Francisco Liriano on the 15-day DL with a left shoulder inflammation.
Yup, it’s going to be a long season in Minnesota.
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