With the score tied 2-2 in the top of the third at the Rangers Ballpark in Arlington with Ben Revere on second base, Twins catcher Joe Mauer worked the count to 3-0 when out of the clear blue, Texas Ranger pitcher Roy Oswalt plunks Mauer in the middle of his back just above the number 7. Gardy and the rest of the Twins seems a bit perturbed and had a few things to say to Oswalt from the dugout. Oswalt couldn’t have cared less and proceeded to strike out Ryan Doumit and Justin Morneau and was out of the inning. In the bottom of the third inning Scott Diamond retired the first batter and as Ranger outfielder Josh Hamilton was stepping in the batters box he appeared to be saying something to Mauer. Diamond who was not particularly sharp and had already thrown 53 pitches to that point threw the first pitch to Hamilton behind his head to the backstop and home plate umpire Wally Bell immediately came out from behind the plate and tossed Scott Diamond from the game. By that time Twins skipper Gardenhire was already flying out of the Twins dugout yelling and screaming at Bell who then wasted no time giving Gardy the heave-ho for the 62nd time in his career.
I have no issue with Diamond and the Twins retaliating by hitting the Rangers best player and I would have been upset if they hadn’t but why be so obvious about it by doing it so quickly? I have watched baseball for a long time and I know that a Twins pitcher had to protect his teammate but the timing was just plain stupid. The Twins and Rangers were tied and still early in the game, why throw at Hamilton there when you already know what the end result is going to be? That makes no sense at all and it was an emotional rookie mistake by Diamond. Mauer and his teammates wouldn’t have had any problem if Twins pitchers had gotten even later in the game. Wally Bell had no choice but to eject Diamond. So what did the Twins and Diamond gain by making such a unproffesional move? Nothing, they lost their best pitcher and manager for the rest of the game and they didn’t even hit Hamilton. This is just another display of the Twins lack of discipline and not thinking and when the game was over the Twins added another notch to the loss column.
This event is not over and there is more action to come in this four game series but for now Roy Oswalt and the Texas Rangers had a good laugh and another win in their pocket. That is why the Rangers are 73-51 and in first place and the Twins are fighting for a high draft choice in 2013. Hopefully Scott Diamond and the rest of the Twins have learned something here that they can use in the future to help them become a better baseball team.
UPDATE – MLB announced that Diamond has been fined and suspended for 6 games. Diamond has filed an appeal.