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In days following controversial call, Baldelli has 'good conversations' with MLB officials

Baldelli was fined an undisclosed amount, but not suspended, for his actions on the field Sunda

MLB: Toronto Blue Jays at Minnesota Twins
Minnesota Twins manager Rocco Baldelli reacts on Sunday with umpire Marty Foster and umpire Alan Porter to an overturned call during the tenth inning at Target Field.
Jeffrey Becker / USA Today Sports
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In the days following a controversial play at the plate that led to an ejection for Rocco Baldelli and critical comments from the Twins manager, Baldelli said he had two “very good conversations,” with Major League Baseball officials.

Baldelli was fined an undisclosed amount, but not suspended, for his actions on the field Sunday — he threw his hat and then kicked some dirt over home plate — and his comments, in which he ripped the call, which was overturned by a supervisor in New York, calling it “one of the worst moments I think we’ve seen of umpiring in any game I’ve ever been a part of in baseball.”

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Locked in a tied 2-2 game with the Blue Jays in the 10th inning, Whit Merrifield tagged up and raced home toward catcher Gary Sánchez at the plate after Cavan Biggio had lifted a fly ball to left field. As Tim Beckham’s throw came in from left, Merrifield collided with Sánchez, who the supervisor ruled was illegally blocking the plate. Merrifield had been called out by the umpire on the field.

Baldelli said he spoke with Mike Hill, MLB’s senior vice president of on-field operations, and Matt McKendry, MLB’s senior director of umpire operations, about the play, spending “as much time as both sides of the conversation felt like we needed to have to talk through all aspects.”

“They walked me and some of our group through the rule itself,” Baldelli said. “They discussed why they believed and would state that the ruling was applied correctly, which I disagreed with.”

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Baldelli said he still did not believe Sánchez had made a misplay and believed the rule had been applied inconsistently as recently as this month. He said he expressed as much in his conversations.

“I don’t know if on every point of this, we’re going to all get together and come into accord and have some sort of agreement on every aspect of it,” he said. “Sometimes, you just have to talk through things and understand to the best extent we can, what’s going to be expected going forward, and then play from there.”

Kirilloff undergoes surgery

Twins outfielder Alex Kirilloff’s season-ending surgery on Tuesday performed by Dr. Steven Shin in Los Angeles to shorten his ulna, went well, his agent, Scott Boras, said.

Kirilloff had a different surgery on his wrist last July, which ended his 2021 season prematurely in hopes that he would be healthy for the 2022 season. But the wrist pain wound up plaguing him for most of this year, disrupting a second straight season.

MLB: Minnesota Twins at Detroit Tigers
Minnesota Twins left fielder Alex Kirilloff celebrates with teammates on July 23 after the game against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park in Detroit.
Raj Mehta / USA Today Sports

Kirilloff has twice been on the injured list for it in 2022, landing on the IL early this month after a cortisone shot he received during the all-star break did not produce the desired result and his pain while swinging progressively worsened.

“We were told by the surgeon that he got a very good result,” Boras said. “I just think it was the best step for him to be the Alex Kirilloff that the Minnesota Twins signed and we all expect him to be.”

Briefly

Starting pitcher Bailey Ober threw a 20-pitch bullpen on Tuesday in Fort Myers, Fla., with no issues. Ober has been on the injured list with a groin strain since June 6. … Reliever Tyler Duffey, whom the Twins designated for assignment last week, cleared waivers and was released.

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