Brian Dozier refuses to back down from criticism of late-game bunt by Orioles
The Minnesota Twins were subjected to some criticism of their own after criticizing the Baltimore Orioles over a late-game bunt during Sunday’s 7-0 victory. And Brian Dozier is refusing to back down over what he perceives as the Orioles’ violation of the much-ballyhooed unwritten rules of baseball.
The scene played out as follows: The Twins were on the verge of a commanding victory at Oriole Park thanks to a virtuoso performance by starter Jose Berrios, who was still in the game in the ninth inning in an effort to notch his first career shutout, only yielding one hit heading into the final frame.
The issue developed when Orioles catcher Chance Sisco laid down a bunt against the shift, which some Twins, including Dozier, contended was in poor form. It was a stance that was ridiculed by many.
This was the defensive alignment Sisco was facing when he bunted down 7-0 in the ninth. Pathetic of Dozier or any other Twin to complain about Sisco taking advantage in this supposedly non-competitive situation when you're obviously playing as thought it's a competitive situation pic.twitter.com/LX3cvWECDZ
— Matthew Pouliot (@matthewpouliot) April 1, 2018
“Obviously, we’re not a fan of it. He’s a young kid. I could’ve said something at second base but they have tremendous veteran leadership over there,” Dozier said of the incident. “I’m sure they’ll address that. It’s all about learning. You learn up here.”
Other Twins weighed in as well, including Berrios, not to mention skipper Paul Molitor, who to his credit took a more diplomatic approach.
“Some of those unwritten rules of the game are not black and white,” Molitor said. “He did what he thought was right.”
When provided an opportunity to back down from his arguably dubious criticism, Dozier instead doubled down, arguing the Twins demonstrated adherence to the so-called unwritten rules in a previous instance during the game.
“When they didn’t hold our runner on [in the top of the ninth inning], they conceded to the fact they didn’t want us to steal, so we didn’t steal,” Dozier said, via the Pioneer Press. “We could have very easily stolen and put up more runs, so therefore in return you don’t bunt. That’s what everybody is missing in this whole thing.
“… Everyone just thinks, ‘He’s whining because they bunted against the shift.’ That’s how baseball is played. That’s just how the game is played. That’s just how it is.”