Brian Dozier doubles down on unwritten rule enforcement
On Sunday, the Twins took offense when Orioles catcher Chance Sisco laid down a bunt while the O’s trailed 7-0. Twins starter Jose Berrios was working on a one-hit shutout and wound up finishing with a three-hit shutout. Still a pretty good day if you’re involved with the Twins in any capacity.
After the game, several Twins expressed their displeasure with Sisco’s choice to bunt. Second baseman Brian Dozier was among them, saying, “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. I’m sure they’ll address that. It’s all about learning. You learn up here.”
It’s an interesting argument since the Twins were heavily shifting Sisco to the right side. According to the Twins, it’s totally fine to play non-standard defense, but it’s not fine to have non-standard offensive strategy that’s in direct response to that defense.
Dozier doubled down, sticking to enforcement of questionable unwritten rules. Via Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press, Dozier said, “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. 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.”
He added, “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.”
Dozier made assumptions about the Orioles’ behavior, then got upset when his expectations weren’t met. Which is totally his problem and not the Orioles’. A seven-run lead isn’t insurmountable. Sisco was simply doing his job, trying to get his team back in the game. It worked, as the Orioles loaded the bases with one out, but were unable to push any runs across before Berrios escaped.
As Craig wrote earlier, Dozier is just being a fuddy duddy. Carry on.