|But Mr. Umpire, sir, I was safe, really I was.|
My copy of the rules lists that as 7.09(i), but my copy is about 15 years old and they may have tightened up the section. All the stories say 7.09(h), so that's what I'll go with.
Rule 7 is about base running, and 7.09 deals with baserunner interference, (h) obviously with interference by the coaches.
On the face of it, 7.09(h) gives the umpire discretion. It appears, from the comments in the postgame stories, that in practice, there's a zero tolerance policy.
The Rangers don't argue that the contact between third base coach Dave Anderson and baserunner Michael Young was incidental. They say it didn't happen.
The crew chief, Tim Tschida, said bluntly, "They can't make contact."
Ron Gardenhire: "It probably didn't help him stop, or it didn't help him get back, but contact is contact, and that's what Alfonso (Marquez) called."
My take on it: There was contact, and so what? The rule book should be interpreted literally, and I don't think the hand contact "physically assisted" Young. Bad call.
And as a Twins fan, I'll take it. That same ump jobbed the Twins earlier this season.
The Twins got no help from the Red Sox this weekend. Chicago swept that series — the White Sox are 6-0 on their current road trip — and had to score four in the ninth off Jonathan Papelbon to do it.
Two reasons to expect little from Boston this month. One, they've got injury problems: Dustin Pedroia, Kevin Youkilis, Jacoby Ellsbury and Mike Cameron are all out for the season. That's half the infield and two-thirds of the outfield regulars. Second, they've fallen out of contention — 10 games out in the division, 7.5 in the wild card — and veteran-laden teams having disappointing seasons have a tendency to pack it in.
The White Sox have another series late in September against Boston. The schedule again conspires against the Twins.
Poll stuff: 43 votes on who should be AL MVP. Twenty nine — 67 percent — love them some Josh Hamilton. Seven (16 percent) went for Miguel Cabrera, three (7 percent) for Robinson Cano or none of the above; one for Evan Longoria.
New poll, related to the Monday print column, is up.