Tigers’ Joe Jimenez calls out Miguel Sano for ‘lying’ after Homer sparked feud
The feud between Minnesota Twins slugger Miguel Sano and Detroit Tigers reliever Joe Jimenez is getting hotter.
A visibly angry Jimenez spoke to reporters on Sunday morning, a day after Sano hit a home run against him in the seventh inning and then blew it up to the press after the game.
“It’s just crazy. I have no words, ”Jimenez said. “I had great respect for him the day before yesterday. There is no reason for (what he did).
Sano said he shouted, took longer to admire his home run, and slowly walked through the basics on Saturday – “close” to a home run, in baseball parlance – in order to ‘send a message to Jimenez.
Sano said he was upset because Jimenez had already over-celebrated after Sano pulled out on strikes in a 2019 game and then did the same against teammate Nelson Cruz earlier this season.
“He’s not supposed to get angry, you know?” Sano told reporters from Minnesota. “You pimped him, so prepare yourself for the pimp too.” “
But Jimenez was mad because he said Sano’s claims are just not true.
“It was a lie. I didn’t make it personal, ”Jimenez said.
In fact, he said his recent struggles on the mound make it all the more unlikely that he would one day try to show off another hitter.
“I’m not going to be that guy to back a strikeout in a big situation to let them know I did it,” he said. “I’m going to say this: I’ve never, ever done anything on the mound that affects the other hitter. I never said anything to a batter. I have never fought before in baseball.
“I never told anyone when I was on the mound. I’m not that kind of guy. I’m the guy who’s gonna do my own thing. If I speak, it will be to myself.
A video review of the two strikeouts in question appears to corroborate Jimenez’s claim that he never addressed his words to the Twins.
On August 31, 2019, Jimenez struck Sano at the bottom of the ninth to end the game. He parties and shouts, but not at Sano.
Last Sunday in Detroit, Jimenez struck out Cruz to end the seventh inning.
In his celebration, he turns to the Twins’ dugout canoe, which could have been considered provocative, but again, he never seems to speak to Cruz or the individual Twins players.
Jimenez struck out the first two hitters in the seventh inning before Sano’s unmistakable homerun to left field.
What came next is the crux of the current fight. Jimenez said he didn’t mind bat-beating or pauses to admire a home run, but found Sano’s verbal chatter disrespectful.
“He got the circuit. He got the land. I hooked up a cursor and it hit a home run. I deserved it, ”Jimenez said. “But do like that and say something like that to the press?” That bothers me. I respect him. I respect all these guys in the other clubhouse. It just disappoints me.
“I’ve given a lot of home runs in the big leagues since I arrived. I don’t care if you get up and the pimp or whatever. But never tell me anything, because I never told you anything. If he had pimped him without saying anything, that would have been cool. But he did it the wrong way.
What will happen next?
Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said after Saturday’s game that he wanted to defuse the situation so that there were no flare-ups on Sunday. But before the game, it wasn’t even clear who would lead the Tigers. Ron Gardenhire struggled with a stomach bug; if he can’t go, bench coach Lloyd McClendon will be in charge. Neither Gardenhire nor McClendon spoke to the media ahead of the game.
Regardless, the Tigers and Twins face each other regularly, not just this year, but every year. Jimenez is 25 years old. Sano is 27 years old. It could take a while.
“We’re going to go up against each other a lot, because we’re in the same (division),” Jimenez said. “I don’t know what’s going to happen from now on. I didn’t tell him anything and I wasn’t going to, but because he said something yesterday, I’m going to do my own thing too. If I pimp a strikeout and watch him or whatever, he can’t get mad.
“If I remove it, from now on I’m going to do my own thing too.” “
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