Ex-Twin Joe Nathan apologizes to fans for 'chin-flick' gesture

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Ex-Twins closer Joe Nathan, who now pitches for the Detroit Tigers, typically delivers baseballs from the pitcher's mound to home plate. But on Wednesday night Nathan delivered something else with his right hand.

Nathan entered last night's game between the Tigers and Pittsburgh Pirates with a four-run lead. After walking the first two batters he faced, the Detroit faithful began booing him. Nathan was able to end the game, but afterward, he offered up a rude gesture to the fans.

HardballTalk.com's Aaron Gleeman explains.

Nathan, who has six blown saves and a 5.11 ERA in his first season with the Tigers, responded by making a chin-flick gesture that, loosely translated, means something similar to the middle finger.

A fan captured the moment and put it on Vine.

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Nathan, according to the Detroit Free Press, offered an explanation and apology today.

“I was frustrated and, obviously, the fans were frustrated,” he said. “For myself, I apologize for that, but I have two kids and I need to be a better example for them. Thank God they’re still young enough so they won’t know about this, but I do know and I need to be better for that. I know both sides are frustrated, but the thing is, we’re on the same page.”

According to Michigan Live, this isn't the first time Nathan has rocked the boat in Detroit. Back in May, Nathan threw a rookie third baseman under the bus after he allowed a walk-off home run to the Oakland Athletics.

Nathan has struggled this season, posting an ERA of 5.11 and six blown saves.

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