September 26, 2011
With the way this season has gone for the Minnesota Twins, maybe Ron Gardenhire should have been scratching himself at inappropriate times all year.
OK, that came out a little bit weird.
According to Gardenhire, it all started when his goatee started to get a little itchy and his attempt at relief was misinterpreted as a steal sign.
There's a reason he's the reigning AL Manager of the Year, folks.
Thinking he was supposed to give Joe Benson(notes) a green light to steal, third base coach Steve Liddle relayed the signs. Benson was thrown out to end the ninth inning with Tosoni at-bat as a pinch-hitter.
"Benson took off," Gardenhire said. "Steve thought I had given the green light when I was actually just scratching my chin. It's just fitting. Then he got thrown out, so I had to kind of ad-lib. We just did a flip-flop, but it caught me by surprise. It worked out pretty good."
Despite Gardenhire's inadvertent genius (which makes a presumption that Tosoni would not have also hit that homer in the eighth given the chance) the victory was only Minnesota's 61st of the season, which still leaves the Twins five games behind the Seattle Mariners, the American League's next-worst team.
Still, you have to love a little piece of Daniel Stern's "Phil Brickman" character from "Rookie of the Year" making his way into an actual Major League Baseball game with unintended signals working their way onto the field.
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