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Crew chief: Umpire made an incorrect call in Twins-Yankees Game 2

NEW YORK — Major League Baseball adds two umpires to its crews for the playoffs to handle calls down the foul lines.

And the crew in Friday's Twins-Yankees game still got it wrong.

Umpire Phil Cuzzi called an 11th-inning Joe Mauer drive down the leftfield line foul that was clearly fair, denying him a leadoff double and — even though Mauer went on to single — arguably a chance to take the lead as the next two Twins also singled.

The call is not subject to instant replay, but when the umpires looked at it afterward, they saw how wrong they were.

"Phil Cuzzi saw the ball as foul, called what he saw," crew chief Tim Tschida said. "Afterward, like any close play, we went in and we looked at it. And it's a clear indication that an incorrect decision was rendered."

Tschida claimed the addition of the extra umpires actually contributed to Cuzzi missing the call, that umpires aren't accustomed to working the foul lines "so getting into a position is a little bit foreign."

There are no reparations or repercussions for a missed call, though Tschida said, "There's a guy sitting over in the umpires' dressing room right now that feels horrible. … Nobody feels worse than the umpire."

Well, the Twins, who couldn't see where the ball landed from their third-base dugout so, thus, didn't protest, just might.

"I think we all know the ball was fair by a long ways," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said.

"A terrible call," closer Joe Nathan said. "An awful call at the wrong time."

Finally: The Yankees' A.J. Burnett made his postseason debut after making the third-most starts (244) among active pitchers without appearing in a game, trailing Toronto's Roy Halladay (287) and Kansas City's Jamey Wright (246). Burnett was a member of the 2003 champion Marlins but was recovering from surgery.

THE GOOD DOCTOR: Marc Philippon, who performed the spring surgery on Yankees 3B Alex Rodriguez's right hip, said a planned second offseason surgery might not be necessary.

What hex?: The Red Sox have eliminated the Angels in the first round three times over the past five seasons, winning nine of 10 games. But after hitting a three-run homer in Thursday's 5-0 Game 1 victory, Torii Hunter said the Angels aren't thinking about recent history. "Sometimes you read all that stuff, and it gets in your head," he said. "I tried to explain to (the media) that we really don't (care).''

Red Sox rotation: If there is a Game 4 in their series, the Red Sox will start Jon Lester on three days' rest. That would let RHP Josh Beckett, who started Game 2 late Friday, go in Game 5.

Information from the Boston Globe was used in this report.

Crew chief: Umpire made an incorrect call in Twins-Yankees Game 2 10/09/09 [Last modified: Saturday, October 10, 2009 6:20am]
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