Minnesota Twins manager Rocco Baldelli used terms like "beyond embarrassing," "completely unacceptable" and "pathetic" in criticizing a reversed call on a play at the plate that allowed the Toronto Blue Jays to beat the host Twins 3-2 in 10 innings on Sunday.
In a 2-2 game in the top of the 10th inning, Toronto's Whit Merrifield tagged up from third on Cavan Biggio's fly ball to left fielder Tim Beckham. Catcher Gary Sanchez placed the tag on Merrifield, who slid into Sanchez's leg and didn't initially get to home plate.
Home plate umpire Marty Foster called Merrifield out, but he was deemed safe on a review, which found that Sanchez blocked too much of the plate before he received the ball. Had the out call stood, the half-inning would have ended with the game still tied.
Baldelli was ejected for arguing the reversed call, and he had not softened on the subject after the game.
"For someone to step in in that situation and ultimately make a decision that 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 ass off for the entire game. It's completely unacceptable," Baldelli, who was tossed from a game for the third time this season, told reporters.
"I can't even believe that 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 that I've ever been a part of in baseball. I think it was pathetic."
Not surprisingly, Toronto interim manager John Schneider said the decision to reverse the call was appropriate.
"I think the call was correct. That's why they have the rule in place," Schneider said.
The umpires told Schneider that Sanchez "didn't establish a clear line for the runner," according to a tweet from Sportsnet Canada.
In another tweet, this one relating an explanation from Major League Baseball, it indicated that "the catcher's movements into foul territory were not in reaction to the trajectory of the throw and he did not have to be in that position to receive the ball. The catcher's actions while not in possession of the ball hindered and impeded the runner."
The Twins had to settle for a split of the four-game series with the Blue Jays.
The Cleveland Guardians and Chicago White Sox both won their games on Sunday, pulling to within one and two games, respectively, of the Twins in the American League Central.
--Field Level Media