Rocco Baldelli Throws Epic Tantrum, Lashes Out After Questionable Call

'It's completely unacceptable'

by

August 8

Rocco Baldelli got his money’s worth when he stepped onto Target Field in the 10th inning of Sunday afternoon’s Blue Jays-Twins game.

Baldelli went into hysterics after Minnesota fell victim to a highly questionable call reversal. Whit Merrifield initially was ruled out when he tried to score on a Cavan Biggio sacrifice fly, but Toronto challenged the ruling on the field. Upon review, officials determined Gary Sanchez blocked the plate, which granted the visitors the go-ahead run. The Blue Jays held on for a 3-2 win, which sealed a four-game series split.

Baldelli’s frustrations weren’t left on the diamond. Minnesota’s manager still was steaming when he met with the media after the game.

“I wasn’t given an explanation because, truthfully, there’s no explanation to give on that play,” Baldelli told reporters, per The Athletic. “That was probably one of the most (expletive) things I’ve ever seen on a baseball field, done to a team. That play has not been called since the beginning of replay, more than a couple of times, 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.

“And for someone to step in, in that situation, and ultimately make a decision that 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 asses off, for the entire game. It’s completely unacceptable. I can’t even believe I’m sitting here talking to you guys about this right now. 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 what just played out.

“I could go on and on and on about this. The umpires on the field have nothing to do with it. They made (a call) on the field, which is the right call, which every person in all of baseball, including the umps, know is the proper call. And someone in New York decided that was worthy of being overturned on the field. It’s (expletive) awful. Awful. Awful. In every way possible. You’re looking for the umpires to keep things in order on the field and the guys in the replay booth clearly did not. I think it was pathetic.”

Baldelli and the Twins, who currently own a one-game lead atop the American League Central standings, will be able to cool off over the course of an off day Monday. A tough test awaits Minnesota starting Tuesday, though, as it will be in Los Angeles for a two-gamer against the Dodgers.

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