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Gardenhire suspended for one game

Gardenhire suspended for one game

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MINNEAPOLIS -- Twins manager Ron Gardenhire was suspended for Saturday night's game against the Indians for his actions that led to fans throwing hats, baseballs and other objects onto the field during Thursday's contest against the White Sox.

In addition to the one-game suspension, Gardenhire has also been fined an undisclosed sum.

"I figured something was coming," Gardenhire said. "You kick your hat, and then all the havoc that went on afterwards, I figured I'd get a little bit of a fine. I didn't know about the suspension."

Third-base coach Scott Ullger managed the Twins on Saturday.

In the seventh inning of Thursday's 10-6 Minnesota victory, Denard Span was awarded first base after being hit by Chicago starter John Danks. The call was overruled by third-base umpire Marty Foster, who said Span, on a bunt attempt, had gone far enough to constitute a swing.

Gardenhire emerged from the dugout for a fiery argument and was promptly ejected. While leaving the field, the manager was so furious that he tossed his cap into the air and punted it roughly 15 feet.

The incensed crowd of 31,493 responded by cascading the field with hats of their own. After baseballs, a Nerf football and other paraphernalia was thrown, White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen bolted from his dugout and frenetically waved his players off the field. A warning of a possible forfeiture was issued by the stadium's public address system before order was restored.

On Saturday, Twins players were quick to defend their manager.

"I don't think he deserved a suspension, but I'm not the one that makes the ruling," Michael Cuddyer said. "I don't know if they want to make an example; I don't know."

"You go back and look at the replay of the play he argued, I think he had a right to argue that play," Span said. "I think the umpire, even if he were to watch that replay; I think you would get him to admit that he missed that call. So for [Gardenhire] to get a one-game suspension for that, I don't think that's right. But I guess they are trying to say he started the 'riot.' I guess he needs to do his [one-game suspension], pay his fine, and he'll be right back. I'm pretty sure you'll see some more of that -- if an umpire makes another [bad] call, I'm pretty sure he'll have our backs again."

Pitching coach Rick Anderson, who has worked with Gardenhire and the Twins since 2002, was also surprised by the league's decision.

"I've seen Gardy before get thrown out many a time. And I've seen him throw his hat a few times," Anderson said. "To me, I think it's a little drastic to get suspended for that. I can see getting suspended for bumping an umpire. ... I just think it's a little extreme for what he did."

Gardenhire was at the stadium on Saturday to take part in the club's annual team photo. He expected to watch the game, but as of early Saturday evening, he wasn't sure in which location.

"I'm not supposed to be in any 'Twins area.' I don't know what that means," Gardenhire said. "I can be in the stadium, but I can't be in my clubhouse or office. I think I have to be up in the press box, or maybe I'll sit in the stands."

The team has been able to derive plenty of humor from Gardenhire's infamous hat punt, which led to his fifth ejection of the season and 41st of his career.

"Yeah, that was pretty good right there," Span said. "He looked like [NFL kicker] Neil Rackers."

Thor Nystrom is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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