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Mauer recalls 2009 double that wasn't

Minnesota Twins first baseman Joe Mauer looks on during the game between the Minnesota Twins and the Detroit Tigers at Target Field in Minneapolis on Oct. 1, 2017. Jeffrey Becker / USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK — Joe Mauer has been back to Yankee Stadium many times since the 2009 postseason, but Tuesday marked just his second postseason game here since the infamous blown call by left-field umpire Phil Cuzzi.

Mauer's leadoff double in the left-field corner was incorrectly ruled foul in the 11th inning of a 4-3 loss in Game 2 of the AL Division Series. The Twins were swept in three games in the best-of-five series.

"Oh, boy," Mauer said when the topic was raised. "Well, we've got replay now. That could have been reviewed."

Mauer later singled off lefty Damaso Marte but had to stop at second instead of scoring when Jason Kubel followed with a single to right. The Twins lost in the bottom of the 11th on Mark Teixeira's leadoff homer off lefty Jose Mijares.

Cuzzi later admitted his mistake in an interview with the Newark Star-Ledger.

"There is no excuse," Cuzzi said. "I missed the play. It's a terrible feeling. As badly as many people on that field may have felt, I don't think any of them had a worse night's sleep than I did."

Has Cuzzi, 62, ever apologized to Mauer for his gaffe?

"I don't know if we've ever really talked about it, to be honest," Mauer said. "To be honest, I remember the ball in play. I thought it was fair, but obviously I didn't see what happened. We all know (now) what happened."

Cuzzi has been named to umpiring crews for five postseason series since his 2009 gaffe, including a league championship series in 2014. Then-Yankees left fielder Melky Cabrera, who had the best view of all and may have had the ball tick off his glove in fair territory, has never spoken about the play with Mauer either.

Net gain

Twins second baseman Brian Dozier, so passionate in his public call for improved safety measures in the wake of a Sept. 20 foul ball at Yankee Stadium that sent a young girl to the hospital, was pleased to hear the Yankees plan to "significantly expand" their field-level netting in 2018.

"I'm glad they responded to it," Dozier said. "Hopefully, this is our movement, getting the netting for everybody. We've been bringing it up for a long time (as players)."

Geoffrey Jacobson, whose 23-month-old daughter was struck in the face by a Todd Frazier foul ball with a 105-mph exit velocity in the fifth inning of a game against the Twins, told the New York Times his daughter spent five days in the hospital. Her condition remained serious and her vision was impaired after suffering fractures to her nose and orbital bone as well as bleeding on the brain.

"We can't ignore how fortunate we are that our little girl is home," Jacobson told the Times.

Dozier said he hadn't spoken with the Jacobson family but would still like to reach out with his well wishes "just for their comforting."


Former Twins first-round draft pick Aaron Hicks, traded for catcher John Ryan Murphy in November 2015, got his first postseason start in center field for the Yankees. Hicks, who missed both regular-season series against the Twins because of stints on the disabled list with oblique strains, went 3 for 11 (.273) with a double and a walk in six games (three starts) against his old team in 2016.

The Pioneer Press is a Forum News Service media partner.