MLB Insider: New replay system keeps Gardy in the dugout

  • Updated: May 11, 2014 - 12:31 AM
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Ron Gardenhire had a little conversation with plate umpire Chris Segal on Thursday in Cleveland.

Photo: Tom Dejak • Associated Press,

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He understands how the misperception was born, and why it became conventional wisdom. He’s seen all the photos and videos, the ones that reveal the veins popping out on his neck and the eyes wide with rage. Heck, he even likes telling some of the best, wildest stories himself.

But Ron Gardenhire wants to correct the impression most baseball fans have of him.

“The thought process is always [that] I don’t get along with umpires,” the Twins manager said. “That’s blatantly wrong. I get along with them all the time.” Now more than ever.

Gardenhire’s 67 regular-season ejections (plus one in the playoffs) are more than any active manager and place him in the top 10 in baseball history. Those fiery nose-to-noses have become part of Twins lore, so much so that when the team celebrated the manager’s 1,000th career victory last month, Twins players even wore T-shirts printed with photos of Gardenhire arguing with umpires and reading “1,000 wins, 67 ejections … and still counting.”

That count has stalled this season, however. Gardenhire has yet to be tossed from a game in 2014, and if he remains in the dugout throughout Friday’s game in Detroit, he will have survived 36 games so far — the deepest into a season he’s gone without an ejection.

The reason, he figures, isn’t a calmer temperament, or conflict avoidance. At 56, Gardenhire insists he’s just as competitive as ever.

The thing is, there just isn’t much to argue over anymore. “With the replay system, ‘I challenge the call’ is about as mean as you get,” Gardenhire said. “You walk out slowly, and I say, ‘This is what we see [in the replay],’ and they go, ‘Let’s take a look.’ … And there you have it. No yelling.”

Around the game, disputes have been replaced by detente, hostility by cooperation. Managers and umpires are colleagues; no longer does a manager have to live with a blown call, nor an umpire defend one. “It’s been a lovefest with the umpires, a big, happy discussion,” Rays manager Joe Maddon said via Twitter. “Almost no reason to get upset anymore except balls and strikes.”

Orioles manager Buck Showalter, a former college basketball referee, said the atmosphere on the field is less combative and believes the umpires, far from resenting the attempt to correct their mistakes, are embracing the system. “I wanted to leave every game having had nothing to do with the outcome. That was the greatest accolade [as a referee], when I walked off the court and didn’t have to sprint to the locker room,” Showalter said. “These guys now, they walk off every field knowing that, other than balls and strikes, the players decided that game. I think that might make it a more attractive job.”

Yet Gardenhire, who jokes that he yells at his coaches more now instead of umpires, admits that he … well, not that he misses throwing a fit in public every so often, not exactly. For one thing, he’s saved thousands of dollars in fines.

But this era of conviviality is definitely a change, and it takes some getting used to. “You’ve got this burn inside of you,” Gardenhire said. “You get intense in the dugout, you get fired up, and you run out there and you feel like you’re part of the game. You’re really into it. And now that’s kind of gone.”

It was always gone anyway, he said, an hour or two after each one of his rhubarbs, which is why he hates the notion that he doesn’t get along with umps. “I’m not afraid to argue with them, to go out and yell and scream, but the next day, it’s over with. It’s always been over with,” Gardenhire insisted, before adding with a smile: “Except for a couple.”

Of hitting streaks and Twins

Colorado third baseman Nolan Arenado entered the weekend with a chance to reach some rarefied air in the Mile High City: Collect a hit in 30 consecutive games, something that nine different franchises have never experienced. He didn’t get there, going hitless on Friday, but in reaching 28 straight games Arenado erased Colorado’s franchise record of 27, set last season by former Twin Michael ­Cuddyer.

But three other ex-Twins still own the longest hitting streaks for other franchises, including Paul Molitor’s 39 games in 1987, which is the Brewers’ record, and outside of Pete Rose’s 44-gamer, the longest streak since Joe DiMaggio set the all-time record at 56 games. Other ex-Twins holding franchise records: Luis Castillo’s 35-game streak in 2002 is the best in Marlins history, and Jason Bartlett’s 2009 streak of 19 in a row is the best ever by a Ray. (Another former Twin, Denard Span, had a hit in 29 straight games a year ago, missing by one Ryan Zimmerman’s Nationals team record.)

The best in Minnesota history? That belongs to Ken Landreaux, who hit in 31 consecutive games in 1980.

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Chicago Cubs - LP: J. Arrieta 2 FINAL
Cincinnati - WP: D. Axelrod 7
NY Yankees - LP: S. Kelley 2 FINAL
Detroit - WP: P. Coke 3
Colorado - LP: J. Lyles 1 FINAL
San Francisco - WP: Y. Petit 4
Tampa Bay - LP: K. Yates 4 FINAL
Baltimore - WP: A. Miller 5
Atlanta - WP: M. Minor 6 FINAL
NY Mets - LP: J. Niese 1
Cleveland - WP: C. Carrasco 3 FINAL
Chicago WSox - LP: J. Danks 2
Minnesota - WP: A. Swarzak 11 FINAL
Kansas City - LP: B. Chen 5
Texas - LP: R. Mendez 2 FINAL
Houston - WP: C. McHugh 4
Oakland - LP: R. Cook 3 FINAL
LA Angels - WP: F. Salas 4
Atlanta 24 FINAL
Jacksonville 14
Detroit 23 FINAL
Buffalo 0
Indianapolis 7 FINAL
Cincinnati 35
Kansas City 14 FINAL
Green Bay 34
NY Jets 7 FINAL
Philadelphia 37
St. Louis 13 FINAL
Miami 14
Carolina 10 FINAL
Pittsburgh 0
New England 13 FINAL
NY Giants 16
Washington 24 FINAL
Tampa Bay 10
Baltimore 22 FINAL
New Orleans 13
Chicago 13 FINAL
Cleveland 33
Denver 27 FINAL
Dallas 3
Minnesota 19 FINAL
Tennessee 3
San Francisco 40 FINAL
Houston 13
Arizona 9 FINAL
San Diego 12
Seattle 31 FINAL
Oakland 41
(21) Texas A&M 52 FINAL
(9) So Carolina 28
Wake Forest 10 FINAL
ULM 17
Boise State 13 FINAL
(18) Ole Miss 35
Tulane 31 FINAL
Tulsa 38
Rutgers 41 FINAL
Washington St 38
Weber State 14 FINAL
(19) Arizona State 45
Temple 37 FINAL
Vanderbilt 7
BYU 6:00 PM
Connecticut
(6) Jacksonville St 6:30 PM
(8) Michigan State
Bowling Green 6:30 PM
Western Ky
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Houston
Colorado State 8:00 PM
Colorado
UNLV 9:30 PM
Arizona
Penn State 8/30/14 7:30 AM
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UAB
(7) UCLA 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Virginia
Western Mich 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
(5) Ohio State 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Navy
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(17) Notre Dame
(10) South Dakota St 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(24) Missouri
Fla Atlantic 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(22) Nebraska
California 8/30/14 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Marshall 8/30/14 2:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
UC Davis 8/30/14 3:00 PM
(11) Stanford
Arkansas 8/30/14 3:00 PM
(6) Auburn
(16) Clemson 8/30/14 4:30 PM
(12) Georgia
Liberty 8/30/14 5:00 PM
(23) North Carolina
Ohio U 8/30/14 5:00 PM
Kent State
Louisiana Tech 8/30/14 6:00 PM
(4) Oklahoma
Idaho 8/30/14 6:00 PM
Florida
Stephen F Austin 8/30/14 6:10 PM
(20) Kansas State
Fresno State 8/30/14 6:30 PM
(15) USC
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Miss State
Texas-El Paso 8/30/14 7:00 PM
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(13) LSU
South Dakota 8/30/14 9:30 PM
(3) Oregon
(25) Washington 8/30/14 9:30 PM
Hawaii
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Tennessee
SMU 8/31/14 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
Miami-Florida 9/1/14 7:00 PM
Louisville
Arizona 9/4/14 7:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Ottawa 6:30 PM
Montreal
Winnipeg 8/31/14 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Toronto 9/1/14 12:00 PM
Hamilton
Edmonton 9/1/14 3:30 PM
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Calgary 9/6/14 6:00 PM
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Montreal
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