Twins' Gardenhire fined by MLB

Twins' Gardenhire fined by MLB

MINNEAPOLIS -- Twins manager Ron Gardenhire was fined an undisclosed amount of money after his team did not comply with Major League Baseball's pace of game regulations this past weekend, the league said in a release on Tuesday.

The fine comes after Gardenhire voiced his displeasure following Sunday's 4-2 loss in Milwaukee about a play involving shortstop Brendan Harris.

Harris had tried to call time during an at-bat in the eighth inning of the game. But while Harris was stepping back into the batter's box and looking down at the ground thinking he had been granted the timeout, Guillermo Mota threw an 85-mph slider into catcher Jason Kendall's glove for what home-plate umpire Brian Runge ruled a called third strike.

Gardenhire was upset that the pitch was allowed to be thrown with his player standing near the plate and his head down. But during Gardenhire's on-field protest, the skipper was told by Runge that he was just trying to do what he was told by the league -- and that's keep the game going.

Last month teams were asked by Major League Baseball to help enforce speed up rules already in place. It was an attempt to halt the recent trend of the length of games increasing each year.

"The speed up stuff, that's all good and fine, but if he gets hit in the head there with a pitch, not looking at it, what are we going to do then?" Gardenhire said after the game on Sunday. "It's gonna lead to bad things. It's gonna lead to somebody getting hurt."

The Twins had an off-day on Monday before returning to play against the Nationals on Tuesday. When asked again about his Sunday postgame comments before the series opener vs. Washington, Gardenhire said he could not talk about it.

Gardenhire wasn't the only skipper targeted this weekend. Astros manager Cecil Cooper was also fined by the league for not following to follow the pace of the game regulations. Cooper and Gardenhire are the first two managers sanctioned under the new enforcement of those rules.

Kelly Thesier is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.