Ramirez's bat flip fires up Twins dugout
Rosario responds with HR next inning, barks at Tribe infielder
CLEVELAND -- Jose Ramirez sent a pitch soaring into the night in the eighth inning on Wednesday at Progressive Field. Following a 10-2 romp over the Twins in the second game of a doubleheader, Indians manager Terry Francona wished he could just talk about the approach at the plate or the gorgeous swing that followed.
A bit of showboating by Ramirez got in the way.
"Nice, good swing," Francona said. "Poor judgment."
With Cleveland leading 7-1 in the eighth, Ramirez followed an intentional walk to Jason Kipnis by sending a 1-0 offering from Twins righty Ricky Nolasco to the first row beyond the right-field wall. The Indians infielder held his bat high in the air as he jogged out of the batter's box and, after roughly eight steps, flipped his bat high in the air in the direction of the visitors' dugout.
A handful of Twins players immediately moved to the top step of the dugout, alongside manager Paul Molitor, and shouted at Ramirez as he made his way around the bases. Nolasco did not see the bat flip until after the game, but had threatening words for Ramirez.
"I didn't realize what he was doing. I kind of wish I did," Nolasco said. "I didn't know until I got into the dugout and they were talking about it. It's frustrating. I came in here and looked at it on the computer. It was pretty [bad]. He'll get his. Don't worry."
Ramirez said he realized he made a mistake.
"I think the emotion got me," said Ramirez, who used Indians pitcher Danny Salazar as an interpreter. "That's my bad. If they hit me. I'm going to take it."
Molitor took exception to Ramirez's antics.
"Players get comfortable doing things that some people might interpret as disrespectful," Molitor said. "So, we reacted a bit there."
In the top of the ninth, Minnesota's Eddie Rosario led off with a homer against reliever Austin Adams and then exchanged words with Ramirez, who was playing second base. Tribe rookie shortstop Francisco Lindor would not say what Rosario said as he ran by.
"Baseball-player stuff," Lindor said. "No one needs to know."
Francona hoped nothing more came of the heated moment, and he expected Ramirez to learn from the incident.
"Hitting the home run is good enough," Francona said. "He'll learn -- hopefully, not the hard way -- but he'll learn. It's not really what we're looking for, because it was a beautiful swing. I'd rather talk about that."