Tony Diaz Messed Up; You Don’t Need to Defend Him

Minnesota Twins' Max Kepler, right, is congratulated by third base coach Tony Diaz as he runs the bases after hitting a solo home run off Seattle Mariners starting pitcher Erik Swanson during the third inning of a baseball game Thursday, May 16, 2019, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Stephen Brashear) ORG XMIT: WASB104
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I should have seen this coming. You can’t blame anyone for anything anymore. That’s too much pressure to put on a fragile human being. We’re too sensitive to handle that kind of negative spotlight. If you’ve logged onto social media or you have message group of Twins’ fans, then you’ve already had this discussion. Should Ehire Adrianza have been sent home on this play yesterday, with one out in the bottom of the 9th inning?

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The correct answer is “NO”.

Adrianza never should have been sent home in this situation. The play wasn’t even close. With only one out and the possibility of guys on 2nd and 3rd (no force outs), you don’t take any unnecessary risks here. It’s just not worth it. If there are two outs, sure… hope for a bad throw. But, that wasn’t the situation.

Tony Diaz was the 3rd base coach and the sole decision-maker in Ehire’s feeble attempt at scoring the walkoff run yesterday. So, it is ok to blame him for the end result. That doesn’t make you insensitive or a bad person. You don’t need to be a Tony Diaz apologist.

In just the 5 or 6 hours following the game last night, the excuses from big Twins’ voices around town were already pouring out to support Diaz’ decision to send Adrianza home. I saw it from notable voices here, here, here and even a video comparison side-by-side here

I tried to dig up my own stats but it’s difficult to find anything on plays at home. The Twins do rank in the top-10 for guys thrown out at home and top-5 for ones thrown out at 3rd in 2019 BUT there are a lot of factors that play into that… too many for me to use it as a large part of my argument.

Here’s what I will say. I’ve coached a lot of 3rd base in both baseball and softball. If I sent someone home and they were thrown out by this much, ESPECIALLY WITH LESS THAN TWO OUTS, I’d be going back to the dugout apologizing to everyone for a bad send. Because that’s what it was.

Not only that, but I don’t remember calling out 3rd base coaches often, while watching Twins games in the past. Yet, I’ve found myself calling out Tony Diaz multiple times just in this series and throughout the season. It’s not just his sends that are bad. It’s also who he sends. I’ve seen him send injury plagued (and big mf-ers) guys like Miguel Sano, CJ Cron, and Nelson Cruz; who have all been thrown out.

How many times does it need to happen before we address it? Maybe we’ll just wait until it costs us a playoff game…

Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan

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