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Gardenhire tossed for third time this season

May 28, 2011

MINNEAPOLIS — Manager Ron Gardenhire was ejected following the sixth inning of the Twins’ 1-0 victory over the Angels on Saturday, his third ejection of the season and 55th of his career.

Gardenhire went out to dispute second-base umpire Andy Fletcher’s call that Denard Span was picked off by Angels right-hander Jered Weaver. Replays showed the foot of shortstop Erick Aybar may have blocked Span from getting his hand on the base.

“That’s what [Fletcher] said, he said [Aybar] blocked [Span],” Gardenhire said. “In my opinion, plus the replays I saw, his hand was underneath his foot on the bag. I think maybe it might have looked a little different, [because] after the fact he raised his hand back up and put it in the middle of the bag. But you’re not going to just lay there, but his hand was underneath his shoe.”

After a short discussion of the call, Fletcher ejected Gardenhire from the game.

Span’s reaction to the call made it clear he didn’t agree. As far as he was concerned after the game, he thought he should have been safe, and that he got his hand back to the base before Aybar’s tag.

“I did, I did,” Span said. “He called me out, but I thought I did. Aybar, he had put his foot in front of the base, but I still felt like I had my hand there. And then when he took his foot off the base, it looked like I was still reaching for the base, but I felt like I had my hand on the base.”

Minnesota starter Anthony Swarzak was working on a no-hitter at the time of Gardenhire’s ejection. The no-no bid was broken up in the eighth on a one-out double by Peter Bourjos.

Jordan Schelling is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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