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Twins retaliate against White Sox over unwritten rule; Baldelli denies it

Baldelli claims Tyler Duffey was simply trying to throw a pitch inside.
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Baseball's unwritten rules have brewed up some bad blood between the first placed White Sox and last placed Twins. 

The drama began in the ninth inning of Chicago's 16-4 win over the Twins Monday night when utility man Willians Astudillo entered the game as a pitcher and lobbed a 47 mph pitch that White Sox rookie Yermin Mercedes slugged to the moon for a mammoth home run. 

Mercedes swung away on a 3-0 pitch with his team up 11 runs, which is a no-no in the unwritten baseball rulebook. White Sox manager Tony La Russa called Mercedes "clueless" about the "big mistake." 

But the outdated reaction from the 76-year-old manager has been met with rejection from White Sox players, though the Twins apparently agreed that swinging at the 3-0 pitch while up big was against the rules.

That's because Tyler Duffey threw a fastball behind Mercedes on Tuesday night while the Sox were up 4-2 in the seventh inning.

Duffey was immediately ejected, as was manager Rocco Baldelli, who came out of the dugout to argue the ejection. 

"I don't have a problem with how the Twins handled it," La Russa said after the game.

Baldelli claimed Duffey wasn't trying to throw at Mercedes. 

"We were going out there to pitch him in," Baldelli said. "That’s going to be part of what we do with him ... that being said, again, we have to live with that. We have to live with the umpires’ decision. There was no issue after that pitch. It’s not like we were going out there and trying to hit him or trying to do that again, in any way."

To recap:

  • Twins use a non-pitcher to pitch to an MLB hitter
  • MLB hitter launches a massive homer off the non-pitcher
  • Twins don't like that their non-pitcher got embarrassed
  • Twins pitcher throws at the guy who did his job
  • White Sox manager has no problem with that
  • Twins claim they weren't retaliating

Trevor Bauer, the reigning Cy Young winner who has publicly lobbied for baseball to get with the times, tweeted that anyone who has a problem with a batter swinging at at a 3-0 pitch should "get out of the game." 

We'll see if any tension boils over into Wednesday afternoon's series finale at Target Field. Pending the rain the forecast, the game is scheduled to start at 12:10 p.m. 

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