Just a little food for thought for Twins fans (and the manager) about missed calls at second base. Here are the first few paragraphs from La Velle E. Neal III's game story following the Twins' 9-7 victory over Kansas City on April 24 (quote in bold for emphasis, and helpful screen grab from MLB.com video):
Both teams were soaked from all the rain. The Twins were soaked and shaking hands. Royals manager Trey Hillman was soaked but on the field disputing a questionable call that ended the aquapalooza between the teams.
It was a strange scene, as the Twins' celebration line had to walk around Hillman, who believed that Scott Podsednik beat J.J. Hardy's throw to second on the force play that ended the Twins' 9-7 victory in the 12th inning.
"All I saw was that the umpire said he was out," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "We were shaking hands."
Which is a polite way of saying, "Hey, we caught a break there." Unless we're reading it wrong and Gardenhire really didn't see the play. Which doesn't seem likely. In fact, it seems fairly consistent with the kind of quote you're going to get from a team or player that got away with something and knows it. No need to check the replay ... just whistle on past that one and put it in the "W" column. And now, the opening paragraphs from Joe C's game story from last night, again with helpful screen grab from MLB.com:
Though the call probably won’t be as scrutinized as the one that cost Tigers pitcher Armando Galarraga a perfect game on Wednesday, the Twins were coping with a call that cost the entire team a victory.
Tenth inning. Two outs. Runners on first and second. A pitcher’s duel started by Cliff Lee and Kevin Slowey still hanging in the balance.
Ichiro Suzuki grounded a ball up the middle. Second baseman Matt Tolbert made a sliding stop and flipped to shortstop J.J. Hardy. Replays showed the ball reaching Hardy’s glove before Josh Wilson slid into second base, but umpire Dale Scott called Wilson safe.
Meanwhile, Ryan Langerhans dashed around third base and scored, giving the Mariners a 2-1 victory and leaving the Twins in disbelief.
“Did you think he was out?” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said, snapping at a reporter. “The replay show he’s out, bottom line. We don’t need to talk about that anymore. It’s all out there for you. Just go watch the replays.”
Conclusion: Gardenhire, like most humans, enjoys it when screw-ups happen in his favor, and not so much when they go against him. Let's just remember that it works both ways.