Posted on: September 5, 2010 7:06 pm
Edited on: September 5, 2010 7:35 pm

Strange call ends Texas comeback

Michael Young For as much crap as umpires get, it's only appropriate to point out when they get it right.

The ending in Minnesota may have been strange, but third base umpire Alfonso Marquez got the call right, as the Rangers' Michael Young was called out after making contact with third base coach Dave Anderson.

Marquez pointed at Anderson and made the interference call, ending the game. The contact was unintentional and almost inconsequential, but by the rule book, Young was to be ruled out, and Marquez saw the play correctly and called the play correctly.

Texas entered the ninth down 6-2, had scored two runs and had bases loaded for Vladimir Guerrero. Guerroro grounded the ball up the middle and second baseman Orlando Hudson fielded it. When Hudson got the ball, Young threw on the brakes and it appeared his right hand made contact with Anderson's right hand.

Ron Washington argued the call, but to no avail.

UPDATE: Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Tribune has reaction from the Rangers' clubhouse. Unsurprisingly, they didn't agree with the call.

First, here's what crew chief Tim Tschida said: "The ruling on the play is that a base coach either touching, physically assisting in any way, with the baserunner is not allowed and the runner is called out," said Tschida, who said that the Rangers argued that any contact was accidental. "If it's touching him, they can't make contact. In 30 years of doing this, it's the second time I've ever seen it.''

From Washington:

"[He said] that David reached out and touched him. All you have to do is go look at the replay. It never happened. He [Marquez] said [Anderson] tried to stop him."

"The thing is this: Too many calls are being made that are costing ballgames in 2010. You certainly shouldn't have a game end on something like that, especially when you're out there for the hours you're out there and played as hard as we played to get back in the ballgame and have that happen.

"When you look at the replay, it's obvious that he never touched him. Maybe he [Marquez] had a plane to catch."

From Young:

"Bad call. It was a bad call by a good umpire. It's a shame the game had to end like that. We would all have loved to see Cruzie have a shot at it with the bases loaded. It's an absolute shame the game had to like that."

"I didn't touch Dave. I don't think I was anywhere even close to Dave. He said I touched Dave. I disagreed about as ... I couldn't disagree more. He kept saying that's what he had, that's what he saw."

From Anderson:


"I don't think I touched him. I think Michael and I would have felt something if we had touched each other. I haven't looked at a replay, but I didn't feel anything and I don't think Michael felt anything. The disappointing part is that Michael would have been safe getting back to third base if we'd had the opportunity."

"I was telling him to stop (holding his left hand over his head and pointing to third with his right). It was a stop from the get-go."

"You can not touch him. You can't touch him. At some point in baseball, you see that play happen a few times. It's the first time I've been involved in it. I understand the rules in that aspect. You can't even touch him, let alone grab him or hold him up."


Honestly, I've seen the replay many times now -- and I think he touched him. But I can see where others could point to a place and say it's inconclusive.

It's one of those cases that even if there were replay in baseball, I'm not sure this one would be overturned. It would be one of those NFL calls where they say there isn't
"incontrovertible visual evidence" to overturn a call.

No matter if you think the umpire is right or wrong here, I'm not sure you can say video would resolve the matter. Rangers fans will likely say there was no contact and Twins fans will say the opposite. In the end, the call on the field stands.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Category: MLB
Posted on: September 4, 2010 5:35 pm
Edited on: September 4, 2010 5:36 pm

Thome passes McGwire

Jim Thome Jim Thome continues to climb up the all-time home run list. In the first four innings of Saturday's game, Thome tied and passed Mark McGwire for ninth on the all-time list.

Thome hit his 20th of the season in the third inning and 21st int he next inning, marking his 584th career homer. He is now two behind Frank Robinson for eighth on the list.

Is now 6 for 8 in his career against Colby Lewis with three homers and nine RBI.

The 40-year old is now hitting .270/.392/.616 (through three plate appearances) -- not too shabby for a guy on a  one-year, $1.5 million contract.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Category: MLB
Tags: Jim Thome, Twins
Posted on: September 3, 2010 11:39 pm
Edited on: September 4, 2010 12:55 am

Rangers' Hamilton leaves game

Texas outfielder Josh Hamilton, the major leagues' leading hitter, left Friday's game in Minnesota with lower back stiffness.

Hamilton was in the lineup for the first time since having an injection to help his aching knee, and was at DH instead of playing the field. The seriousness of the back issue was not immediately known.

UPDATE: The Rangers say Hamilton is day-to-day. Then again, aren't we all?

UPDATE: Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News said the back pain was a "momentary twinge" and that Hamilton should be in the lineup Saturday. Tragedy apparently averted for the Rangers.

-- David Andriesen

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Category: MLB
Posted on: September 3, 2010 12:12 am
Edited on: September 3, 2010 1:57 am

Some explaining to do in Minnesota

Scott Baker
You could almost hear the entire state of Minnesota screaming at the TV set Thursday night: "How in the %#@* do you run out of pitchers in September ?!?"

There were some extenuating circumstances, but it's still pretty much inexcusable that the Twins got caught short-handed in the bullpen two days after they had the ability to import as much pitching depth as they wanted thanks to roster expansion.

Starter Scott Baker left the game against Detroit after two innings with elbow pain, and the game went extra innings. So atop the mound in the 11th inning appeared Brian Duensing -- who started and threw 103 pitches on Tuesday in the opener of this very series, and promptly gave up the go-ahead run Thursday. The Twins came back and tied it, and Nick Blackburn, the scheduled Friday starter, pitched the 13th -- and promptly gave up what would be the winning run.

The Twins used five relievers between Baker and Duensing, two of them for less than an inning. Matt Capps and newest Twin Brian Fuentes were unavailable with medical issues. So why in the world would a team in a pennant race not have half its Triple-A pitching staff dispatched to Minneapolis? I count seven pitchers on the 40-man roster who aren't on the 25-man, and all were available to be called up.

Obviously it's not every day you get two innings from your starter and play into the 13th, but with so much at stake and so many people being paid to cover all the bases, the Twins should have had extra arms available. There are going to be some tough questions for Bill Smith and Ron Gardenhire after this one.

-- David Andriesen

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Posted on: September 2, 2010 10:37 pm

Tigers lose Cabrera

Miguel Cabrera
Despite the short slate, it's shaping up to be a bad night on the injury front. The Twins lost their starting pitcher, as did the Mets. Now Tigers star Miguel Cabrera, chasing a longshot Triple Crown bid, is out.

Cabrera left Detroit's game in Minnesota with what the team called biceps tendinitis in his left shoulder. He's listed as day-to-day.

The Tigers first baseman entered the day leading the American League in RBI (108) and was second in home runs (33, 10 behind Jose Bautista) and batting average (.336; Josh Hamilton leads at .361).

-- David Andriesen

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Posted on: September 2, 2010 9:21 pm
Edited on: September 2, 2010 9:26 pm

Twins' Baker out with elbow pain

More bad injury news for the Twins, as starter Scott Baker left Thursday's game against Detroit after two innings, and the team announced the reason was elbow pain. No more details were immediately available. Baker had a bout of tendinitis in the elbow earlier in the season.

Baker had won five consecutive decisions and hasn't lost since July 19. The 28-year-old right-hander is 12-9 with a 4.55 ERA. With the Twins trying to hold off Chicago in the American League Central, a sudden hole in their rotation is not not something they need.

The game was tied 2-2 when Baker left. He was replaced by Jeff Manship.

-- David Andriesen

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Category: MLB
Posted on: September 2, 2010 12:27 am

Pettitte takes another step

Andy Pettitte
It's too late for teams to add players for the stretch run -- except for adding the ones they had to begin with, that is.

The Twins are trying to fend off the White Sox in the American League Central without concussed star Justin Morneau, whose recovery is uncertain. Think they wouldn't like to add a guy with a 1.055 OPS to their lineup for September and beyond?

The Yankees were unlucky to lose Andy Pettitte, but they're lucky that the left-hander, who had an 11-2 record and 2.88 ERA when he was lost with a groin injury, will come charging over the hill like the cavalry for the final weeks of their battle against the Rays in the AL East.

Pettitte had an encouraging 55-pitch bullpen session Wednesday, a big step toward his return. Pettitte threw at full intensity and said he felt no discomfort at all. He said it was the first time he was able to focus completely on pitching mechanics rather than worrying about his legs.

The Yankees are being careful with Pettitte given the setbacks he's had in trying to come back. His next step could be a simulated game.

"I know they want me to face some hitters," he said. "I would imagine, if everything's good, that would probably be the next step," Pettitte said. "When you get a hitter in there, it's a little bit different. You know what you're trying to do."

-- David Andriesen

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Posted on: September 1, 2010 1:48 am

Injuries loom over Twins victory

Jason Kubel
The Twins got an important, come-from-behind victory over Detroit on Tuesday night, but injury concerns kept them from celebrating it too much.

Outfielder Jason Kubel was hit on the left wrist with a fastball in the seventh. X-rays didn't show anything broken, but it sounds like it's something that will cost him at least a few days.

Brian Fuentes, the reliever acquired from the Angels just three days earlier, was unable to enter the game after his lower back froze up while he was warming in the bullpen. He's had trouble with the back in the past, but doesn't think this tweak is going to be a long-term setback.

Second baseman Orlando Hudson has been struggling with a foot injury for a few days, and manager Ron Gardenhire sent him for another examination after watching him hobble around during Tuesday's game. Hudson made an error that allowed an unearned run.

"I think we all saw that he wasn’t moving very well," Gardenhire said. "He says he’s fine, but that’s not fine. That’s not good enough for me."

The Twins are already playing without All-Star Justin Morneau, who is out indefinitely with a concussion, and have starter Kevin Slowey and infielder Nick Punto on the disabled list as well.

-- David Andriesen

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com