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Brickman lives! Gardenhire’s chin scratch leads to Twins winWith 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.

But seriously, the Minnesota manager claims that an ill-timed scratch of his chin — a scratch! — was indirectly responsible for his team scoring the winning runs in a 6-4 win over Cleveland.

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.

From the Associated Press:  

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.

Gardenhire had Tosoni replace Benson in right field and was rewarded when the rookie drove a 1-1 pitch from Tony Sipp(notes) into the right-field stands leading off the 10th.

"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.

Let the big dog eat!

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