FORT MYERS, Fla. -- In addition to seeing baseball's new replay system correct a missed call, Ron Gardenhire got to test out his own communication system on Saturday. It was a lot less exciting.
But maybe that's a good thing. After Aaron Hicks was called out on an extremely close play at first base in the seventh inning, Gardenhire came out to discuss the play with umpire Bob Davidson. In reality, he was stalling for time, while video coordinator Sean Harvin examined the replay to determine whether the play was worth challenging.
So Gardenhire walked out. Strolled. Ambled.
"I've never walked out to talk to an umpire in my life," Gardenhire said after the Twins' 5-4 loss to the Yankees. "I thought, this don't feel right. Normally, I'm out there on a dead sprint and my face is red."
Finally, Harvin relayed to the Twins' bench that the replay wasn't conclusive, so Gardenhire shouldn't waste his challenge. "I got the thumbs-down from my bench. That's no fun," Gardenhire said. "Why did I walk all the way out there?"
Hicks had another interesting day, by the way. In addition to that replay-that-wasn't, he was also safe and then out on a play that was challenged, apparently made a mistake that his manager noticed, and then covered up for one by a teammate.
The most visible oddity in the Twins' center fielder's day came in the third inning, when he was called safe by umpire Marvin Hudson on a stolen-base attempt at second base. Joe Girardi appealed, and the replay revealed that Hicks was tagged while off the base.
In discussing Hicks' day after the game, Gardenhire said he's been swinging the bat well, but noted "a few snafus today. Some little things. We're working on it."
Asked to elaborate, Gardenhire said, "we missed three signs today as a team. You can't do that."
But Hicks was given credit by his manager for the long running catch he made to record the final out of the fourth inning. "You mean the one in left field?" Gardenhire asked sarcastically of Hicks' catch of an Antoan Richardson pop fly, a ball the manager clearly believes that Josh Willingham should have caught.
"Willie said, 'You think I should go after that ball?' " Gardenhire said. "I went, 'No, not if you're playing in foul territory.' The next ball that was hit out there to left, I yelled, 'Hicksie!' "
Terry Ryan met with each of the Twins' players on Saturday (and met one he didn't know, as I detailed in an earlier blog), watched batting practice and then the game, sat in on the radio broadcast during the second inning, and left for the airport to fly home to the Twin Cities. His radiation treatments for cancer in his neck resume on Monday.