Rocco Baldelli Needs to Throw His Challenge Flags

ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA - JUNE 02: Rocco Baldelli #5 of the Minnesota Twins looks on to gameplay during the second inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field on June 02, 2019 in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)
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The Twins lost last night, snapping a streak of 4 consecutive wins they piled up while sweeping the Rangers in Arlington over the weekend, and that sucks because it was against the White Sox… who suck… It was a missed opportunity to gain a half-game while the Indians were sitting at home for the night. But, it’s not the end of the world, nor am I worried about it. Neither is Vegas, who puts the Twins at -230 tonight in game 2 (at least it was early this morning). For those who don’t gamble, that means you have to bet $230 on the Twins to win only $100.

That’s one hell of a moneyline…

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What I am worried about, is the eyes of whoever is working the replay monitor, and then advising Rocco Baldelli, for the Twins’ dugout on whether or not they should be challenging umpire calls on the field. After some research, I’ve found out this person’s name is Nate Dammann. He was one of the Twins bullpen catchers from 2007 until 2018, when repeated fastballs cost him the feeling in the tip of his middle finger. The Twins’ brass decided he would be a good candidate for the vacant video replay advisor position…

I’m starting to think he is a good candidate for glasses, contacts, or LASIK…

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This should have been challenged for the catcher blocking the plate BEFORE he had the ball, which is illegal and would have put another run on the board for the Twins, while also saving an out and continuing a rally. But, there was no challenge. Baldelli stuck behind Dammann’s call NOT to challenge that play after the game but both Baldelli and Dammann admitted their mistake when they failed to challenge a call from the weekend on a CJ Cron foul ball that was actually fair. 

I know I’ve seen tweeted pictures on this but I can’t find them for whatever reason so this apology letter in the Star Tribune from a couple of days ago will have to suffice.

I’m not calling for Nate’s job yet, but the entire team needs to huddle up and get a better gameplan for challenges, going forward. If runs are on the line and it’s close, late in a game like both of these calls were, you need to throw the preverbial challenge flag. You have way more time than the NFL coaches, to make these decisions. They need to come more decisively. 

Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan

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