Interesting. Yankees manager Joe Girardi wants replay now. But he didn’t want it in 2009. In 2009, the Minnesota Twins were playing the Yankees in the ALDS. In the 12th inning of a scoreless game, Joe Mauer hit a ball to left field that bounced off Melky Cabrera’s glove and landed six inches inside the line (above photo). Left field umpire, Phil Cuzzi, was standing five feet from the play and ruled it ‘foul’. Cuzzi, who remains one of the worst umpires in all of baseball, was the only person in the world who thought the ball was foul. The Yankees went on to win the game 2-0.
I don’t recall Girardi whining about instant replay that night. If you want instant replay, you want it across the board, not just when your team has a call go against them.
Mark my words: Additional instant replay will be used by Major League Baseball by the start of next season. And we will all know the reason why.
After the Twins lost their first two games of the season, historians were scrambling to see if a team had ever lost all 162 games.Â Although they are still researching, it appears as though no team has ever gone winless for an entire season.Â And the Twins won’t be the first after their very shaky 4-3 win yesterday in Toronto.
While it was nice to get the first one out of the way, a few red flags emerged during their trip to Canada.Â The new second baseman from Japan seems very, very nervous to me.Â And while it was good to see Joe Nathan back out on the mound closing out a win, it was painful to watch.Â He topped out at 90 m.p.h. and his slider had very little bite to it.Â So in turn, he refused to throw anything over the plate because he didn’t trust his stuff.Â Will he regain some arm strength?Â Yes.Â Will he make it all the way back to where he was a couple of years ago?Â Maybe.
So now it’s off to New York for four games.Â I’m a little concerned that this team might be 1-6 or 2-5 before they get to Target Field.Â Maybe the Yankees will be overconfident?
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I’m not prepared to say that one at-bat can turn a season around, but in this case, two at-bats can improve the Twins psyche where the New York Yankees are concerned. The first at-bat was Twins DH Jim Thome facing Yankee reliever Mariano Rivera in the 8th. It’s the kind of plate appearance that Twins hitters usually fail at. But Thome’s professional approach and his ability to foul off a couple of nasty Rivera offerings led to him working out a two-out walk on a pitch three inches outside.
That led the way to Jason Kubel’s at-bat. Kubel was able to pull a Rivera pitch down the right field line for his sixth career grand slam and give the Twins a 6-3 win.
The Twins will most likely see the Yankees again this postseason, and leaving New York without a win would have most certainly had a lasting effect on their collective egos. Minnesota hadn’t won in New York since the Carter Administration, or at least that’s how long it felt like.
So remember those two at-bats. Without them, I would have tore up my Twins/Yankees tickets for May 26th.