Postgame: Arcia says he followed 'unwritten' rules
- Blog Post by: Phil Miller
- June 5, 2014 - 12:25 AM
A trio of leftovers from the Twins' third win in four days:
WATCHING IT GO: When Oswaldo Arcia smacked his three-run homer on Wednesday, he stood at home plate for a second or two before heading to first base. Baseball's "unwritten rules" have gotten a lot of attention lately, given the brawl that erupted between the Red Sox and Rays, so there was some discussion afterward about whether Arcia had violated them by admiring his blast. Manager Ron Gardenhire defended his young hitter, sort of. "In his defense, he's trying to see if it's fair or foul," Gardenhire said. "That's what I'm going to say."
Arcia agreed, and he pointed out that if he goes into a home-run trot and the ball -- which hit the foul pole, after all -- curls foul, that would be awkward, too. After he knew it was fair, he probably ran a little faster than a normal trot, he said. "He knew it was going to be close, he wasn't sure, so he waited," Eduardo Nunez said, acting as Arcia's intepreter. "He didn't want people to think he was walking slow. He knows he's rookie, and he went hard."
BROUGHT DOWN SHORT OF A FIRST DOWN: Arcia's tie-breaking single in the seventh inning came with an odd play, too. Josh Willingham was on second base with a two-out double when Arcia lined a Will Smith pitch into right. Willingham rounded third and never hesitated, coming home with what turned out to be the game-winning run. But as he neared the plate, Smith wandered into his path, and Willingham didn't see him. Their collision looked like a linebacker bringing down a fullback, and umpire Andy Fletcher signaled interference on Smith, awarding Willingham the base whether he was tagged or not. (He wasn't.)
Willingham was funny about the play after the game.
"I knew I got a really good jump on it, and I knew [Arcia] didn't crush it right at [right fielder Ryan Braun]. I had a pretty good feeling I was going to be safe," Willingham said. "He just sort of showed up. I was looking at the ball, he was looking at the ball, and he just got in the way. I tried to avoid him, and my athleticism took over after that."
LET'S GO TO THE VIDEOTAPE: The game was full of controversial calls and video replays, with Brewers manager Ron Roenicke especially upset with how the game was officiated.
In the first inning, Brian Dozier was called out while trying to steal third base, but Gardenhire challenged third-base umpire Mark Wegner's decision. Replays showed the ball beating Dozier to the base, but third baseman Mark Reynolds slapped the tag on the ground, not Dozier's hand, and the call was overturned. It was the sixth time this season (in 14 appeals) that Gardenhire has gotten an umpiring mistake corrected.
Replay was no help to Trevor Plouffe three innings later, however. Plouffe followed Arcia's home run with a long blast to left, a ball that crossed the foul line very close to the pole. Wegner ruled it foul, but Gardenhire convinced the umpires to check the video, which confirmed the initial judgement.
Roenicke's complaints were about a trio of calls at home plate that aren't reviewable under baseball's new rules -- one a third strike that may or may not have been foul-tipped, one a third strike that bounced to the backstop but only after ricocheting off the batter's foot, and the last about a ground ball that Lyle Overbay insisted (and replay seemed to confirm) had glanced off his leg and into fair territory. Home plate umpire Andy Fletcher conferred with his fellow umps, but not replay, to rule against Roenicke and the Brewers each time.
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