Twins' Baldelli livid after 'pathetic' obstruction call gives Jays win
In the top of the 10th, Twins left fielder Tim Beckham appeared to easily throw out Toronto's Whit Merrifield at home plate to end the inning. But replay officials overturned it, ruling that catcher Gary Sanchez violated the obstruction rule by not giving Merrifield a lane to score.
Following the game, MLB tweeted out an explanation of the controversial call:
Baldelli was incensed by the ruling, throwing his hat during a futile argument with umpires.
An irate Baldelli directed most of his postgame anger toward the replay officials for what transpired.
"In all of baseball, the thousands and thousands of games and plays at home where the catcher actually does block the plate over and over and over again, that play has virtually never been called," Baldelli said, per Bally Sports North. "And for someone to step in in that situation and (decide) someone was blocking the plate - that's beyond embarrassing for our game, for all the players out there on both sides of the field working their ass off for the entire game, it's completely unacceptable."
He added: "It's one of the worst moments I think we've seen of umpiring in any game I've ever been a part of in baseball, and I think it was pathetic."
Crew chief Alan Porter said Sanchez "violated the home-plate collision rule," adding "that the runner was safe," according to Rob Longley of the Toronto Sun. Umpires didn't offer Baldelli an explanation.
"I wasn't given an explanation because, truthfully, there's no explanation to give on that play," he said, according to Do-Hyoung Park of MLB.com. "That was probably one of the most chickenshit things I've ever seen on a baseball field."
Sanchez was also perplexed by the ruling and was adamant he left a lane for Merrifield.
"I think they probably made a mistake on that call. I didn't do anything out of the ordinary other than what I always do," the catcher said, according to Betsy Helfand of the St. Paul Pioneer Press. "I didn't do anything different. I think it was a clean play."
Blue Jays interim manager John Schneider had a different view of the controversial play.
"The rules are the rules," Schneider said, according to Longley.
The win was the Blue Jays' 60th of the season and gave them a series split in Minnesota.