In the playoff game between the Oakland A's and Detroit Tigers October 8, the umpires call of a ball interfered with by fans on its way down 'a HOMERUN' was wrong on two, er, make it 3 counts:
1) As mentioned in previous blog, the ball's trajectory was almost straight down and into Josh Reddick's glove; certainly Reddick was '100% sure' he would have caught it. Looking a the replay itself one cannot accurately judge where the ball would have come down since it was interfered with by fans before it had a chance to drop; however, it was a high fly ball well on its way down rather than a line drive shot with little time to drop.
2) The ball MAY NOT HAVE EVEN BEEN A HOMERUN if fans let it fall. Umpires assumed the ball would stay over the yellow line but with its trajectory it could have dropped below the line. In that case , it would have not been a home run - and A's Reddick would have probably caught it.
But wait, there is yet a THIRD REASON the homerun should not have counted:
3)In addition, The baseball rule book states that fan interference can result in the batter being called out. Clearly, fans interred with the ball as it came down still within the perimeter of the playing field . So, this is yet a third reason the homerun should not have counted.
CBS Sports give us a little more help with a good still shot of the interference (admitted to by the fans who touched the ball). We quote:
Replays showed a fan (two fans, really) reached over the railing in right field and interfered with the ball. It not only looked like the ball might not have cleared the wall, but it looked like Josh Reddick may have even been able to catch it. Here's a still photo of the ball in flight:
As for the fans in question, CBS Detroit has the details:
A local chef and a long-time season ticket holder, John Bendzinski, 49, of Macomb almost changed the course of Game 4 for the Tigers.In any event, the only thing the replays showed conclusively was that the ball was interfered with. That's it. Without enough evidence to overturn it, the homer stood and the game was tied at four. A few batters later, the Tigers took a 5-4 lead on an Austin Jackson single. (CBS Sports)
“It was coming to me and I didn't know if it had enough – I didn't really want to reach over,” he told WWJ's Russ McNamara. “Next thing you know, I'm switching hands with my beer and it hits me right in the hands.”
Bendzinski didn't catch the ball but he did hold on to his beer.
Bendzinski's friend Mark Beauchamp was right next to the action: “The ball was coming out and we had to like ‘go for it' we were above the yellow,” he said.”That's all we knew.”
OPINION 2: HOMERUN CALL WAS WRONG IN THREE WAYS, NOT TO MENTION MENTAL AFFECT ON GAME