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Thursday, October 18, 2018

Fan interference negates Jose Altuve home run

Good job by security blocking the best camera angle.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 18, 2018 at 06:30 AM | 46 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: astros, red

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   1. Walks Clog Up the Bases Posted: October 18, 2018 at 09:04 AM (#5770087)
And naturally, two runs was the difference in the end.

Really tough call and while it's easy in real time to say the fans should've gotten out of the way, keeping an eye on the ball AND any nearby fielders is asking a lot of the typical schlub in the crowd.
   2. Lassus Posted: October 18, 2018 at 09:17 AM (#5770092)
Ultimately I actually disagree with the sentiment above. It's not like you're in a random place in the crowd and having to worry about the fielders. You're in the goddamned front row FFS. It's a relatively finite set of seats and circumstances.

I have a recurring fantasy where I'm that guy in the middle and I open my arms lean and push everyone back away from the play. I'd be a hero.
   3. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: October 18, 2018 at 09:20 AM (#5770096)
Lassus in that situation I think you want to get as far forward as you can get away with. Push everyone away if it's an Astro player going for the ball.

I think that is why the call was made the way it was. I think at least subconsciously (if not consciously) West said "that's an Astro fan so of course he's interfering." It would have been interesting if it had been Reddick going for the ball how the call would have been made.
   4. Lassus Posted: October 18, 2018 at 09:29 AM (#5770103)
Push everyone away if it's an Astro player going for the ball.

Honestly, I would (hopefully) actually be the guy who does it no matter what the play is. You should GTFO of the way. I understand that is not the universal default consensus.
   5. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: October 18, 2018 at 09:29 AM (#5770104)
I have a recurring fantasy where I'm that guy in the middle and I open my arms lean and push everyone back away from the play. I'd be a hero.


I don't think it would work the way you imagine. If the ball goes into the stands, I think you get little if any credit. If Betts catches the ball in the stands and robs Altuve of a HR, you are the next Bartman.
   6. Greg Pope Posted: October 18, 2018 at 09:36 AM (#5770108)
So, after the call, they put Springer back on first, obviously. But I'm curious about other things involving replay. When a guy is thrown out at second base on a steal attempt, for example, and he thinks he's safe, he stays on the base the whole time while signaling to the coaches, etc. But if he goes to the dugout and they challenge the play and it's overruled, he'll just be placed back on second, right? Even if a fielder tagged him while he was walking off the field. It's not like the umpires will say, "OK, you were safe on the steal, but since the SS tagged you when you weren't on the bag, you're out".
   7. Zonk is One Individual Posted: October 18, 2018 at 09:51 AM (#5770117)
Blame the architects!!!!

I mean, seriously - there's no reason that seats need to be close enough to the playing field that it's possible for fans to interfere... Is there a football stadium in America where a fan sits close enough to tip a pass? Granted, it's for the fans protection - but hockey rinks are surrounded by high glass walls. I suppose basketball has court-side seats, but seems to me that has caused problems on a few occasions, too.

I suppose you can excuse ancient parks - but any park built since sports have had problems with streakers or whatnot running onto the field in the 60s and 70s (like, ummm, 1992-built Minutemaid/always-be-Enron-to-me)?

I can see the designer now, envisioning an OF leaping into the arms of the crowd to steal a HR... and completely, stupidly failing to realize that this is the far more likely outcome.
   8. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: October 18, 2018 at 09:54 AM (#5770121)
But if he goes to the dugout and they challenge the play and it's overruled, he'll just be placed back on second, right? Even if a fielder tagged him while he was walking off the field. It's not like the umpires will say, "OK, you were safe on the steal, but since the SS tagged you when you weren't on the bag, you're out".


That's what happened on the Utley play where he took out Tejada. Utley was initially ruled out and he trotted back to the dugout. But upon review he was ruled safe, as Tejada came nowhere near the base on the pivot. So Utley came back on the field to second base.

But the thing is, Utley never touched second base either. He leapt over the base to take out Tejada, and then trotted back to the dugout. No, he was never subsequently tagged by a Mets player, but again, he never touched the base. I can see awarding him the base if he never touched iy because he was obstructed, or some other Met committed an infraction that required Utley to be safe, but that wasn't the case. It was merely ruled that Tejada never touched the base (or more accurately, didn't;'t come close enough to the base. This was still in the neighborhood days era.), but Utley never touched the base either. It was a weird situation.
   9. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: October 18, 2018 at 09:55 AM (#5770123)
I agree with #2, that if you are sitting in certain seats, you have some responsibility to at least take five seconds and talk to the people in your group about what you'll do if a play is coming at you. There have been a couple of games where we sat down and realized we could theoretically be in the way of a foul ball, and we ended up talking with the people around us about when we would try to get the ball...and when we would specifically try to clear the space to make it easier for the defensive player to catch the ball.

One note: There was never a little kid sitting close enough to us where he or she would have been a part of such a moment. I think it is asking a lot of a little kid to quickly think strategically about something like this. You don't want a kid to be anxious about a ball coming their way.

One last note, somewhat related: When my family has attended a baseball game, including my wife and two kids, I have spent time urging everybody to pay attention to the game when we sit in seats where a line drive foul ball could reasonably come our way. The rest of my family is, at best, casually interested in the action on the field, and they have absolutely no sense as to the likelihood of a line drive being hit. For example, when we are sitting, say, 10 rows up down the left field line, and a left-handed slap hitter is up, the chances of a line drive coming at us is higher than in some other situations. Meanwhile, I see my kids looking at their phone, completely unaware of what is happening. That scares me a little bit when we are at a game. When I see an adult fan get injured from a batted ball, my first instinct is to blame the fan for not paying attention to the game. I don't know if that is completely fair...
   10. PreservedFish Posted: October 18, 2018 at 09:56 AM (#5770126)
I mean, seriously - there's no reason that seats need to be close enough to the playing field that it's possible for fans to interfere...


Because the view is better?
   11. Zonk is One Individual Posted: October 18, 2018 at 10:15 AM (#5770139)
Because the view is better?


A couple feet of space isn't going change much.
   12. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: October 18, 2018 at 10:20 AM (#5770144)
#6, I'd imagine it's a dead ball situation so you're OK to not be on the bag.
   13. puck Posted: October 18, 2018 at 10:35 AM (#5770159)
I suppose basketball has court-side seats, but seems to me that has caused problems on a few occasions, too.


Supposedly this is a factor how backboards game in to the game, or at least the size of them. At least, that's what I used to read as a kid. I wonder if it's really true.
   14. Charles S., looking 4 band-aids instead of dreams Posted: October 18, 2018 at 10:49 AM (#5770172)
Lassus is right. There's been enough talk and recrimination about fan interference in recent years (particularly here in Chicago) that fans should know what they need to do.

My fantasy is that before every game ushers in each section give a talk to the fans in the front row the same way that flight attendants talk to people in the exit rows. "You understand that you are in the front row. In the unlikely event of a foul ball/home run attempt coming into your vicinity, you may be required to take evasive action to avoid contact with a ball or a ballplayer. Do you understand this responsibility? Please answer verbally. If you are unwilling or feel you might be unable to comply with these instruction, a flight attendant, er I mean usher, would be happy to re-seat you."

And just like the exit row, no damn kids in the front row.
   15. PreservedFish Posted: October 18, 2018 at 10:54 AM (#5770182)
So wait, what were fans supposed to do in this case? Give the opponent defender as much space as possible? The best they can do for their team is interfere with the ball the moment it crosses the fence - which may well be exactly what happened.
   16. PreservedFish Posted: October 18, 2018 at 10:54 AM (#5770184)
My fantasy is that before every game ushers in each section give a talk to the fans in the front row the same way that flight attendants talk to people in the exit rows.


Dear Penthouse...
   17. , Posted: October 18, 2018 at 11:10 AM (#5770204)
I think this is a weird situation where it probably SHOULD be interference but, by the rules, isn't. The play was in the stands. As I read the rule, that means the fans don't have to get out of the way. Though, I think they should have to.

   18. villageidiom Posted: October 18, 2018 at 11:30 AM (#5770237)
The play was in the stands.
Asserted without evidence.
   19. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: October 18, 2018 at 11:50 AM (#5770267)
MLB has a weird expectation that a fan should lean back, not try to catch the ball, and take the very real, possibly likely, chance that the ball smashes into them at 80 miles an hour.
   20. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: October 18, 2018 at 11:51 AM (#5770268)
if you are sitting in certain seats, you have some responsibility to at least take five seconds and talk to the people in your group about what you'll do if a play is coming at you.


CRAZY TALK
   21. Red Voodooin Posted: October 18, 2018 at 11:51 AM (#5770269)
Yeah, I'm not sure if the play was in the stands or not. I've seen enough angles to know that more than one fan was reaching into the field of play, but can't tell if any contact is made on the in-play side of the "plane". I'm not sure if, by the rule, that matters. Are fans allowed to reach into play as long as they don't touch the player/ball? Does interference only occur at the moment such contact occurs, or has it occurred at the moment when a fan or fans stick their hands into the general area where the play is occurring (in the field of play)?

All in all, I think it was the right call.
   22. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: October 18, 2018 at 11:52 AM (#5770270)

Further, Rule 6.01(e) states: No interference shall be allowed when a fielder reaches over a fence, railing, rope or into a stand to catch a ball. He does so at his own risk. However, should a spectator reach out on the playing field side of such fence, railing or rope, and plainly prevent the fielder from catching the ball, then the batsman should be called out for the spectator's interference.

I think I understand the intent of the rule, but the bolded part is strange wording. I think they mean "no interference shall be called", which effectively means "Interference is allowed". Is that correct?
   23. Batman Posted: October 18, 2018 at 11:56 AM (#5770278)
I have a recurring fantasy where I'm that guy in the middle and I open my arms lean and push everyone back away from the play. I'd be a hero.
I used to think about that, but it leaves your balls quite exposed when there's a baseball coming at you at around 100 MPH. Now I fantasize about sitting in the second row.
   24. , Posted: October 18, 2018 at 11:57 AM (#5770280)
Now I fantasize about sitting in the second row.

You misspelled "couch".
   25. Kiko Sakata Posted: October 18, 2018 at 12:01 PM (#5770289)
I think I understand the intent of the rule, but the bolded part is strange wording. I think they mean "no interference shall be called", which effectively means "Interference is allowed". Is that correct?


Yes. I think the logic of the wording "no interference shall be allowed" is that the rule book is using the term "interference" to mean a ruling where the batter is ruled out because a fan interfered with the ball. That can only happen if the fan interferes with a ball that is still in the field of play. Once the ball crosses the barrier, the potential call of interference is off the table.
   26. Kiko Sakata Posted: October 18, 2018 at 12:04 PM (#5770295)
Also, I didn't see the play live, but I've seen several people note that in the absence of the interference call, this wouldn't have been a home run anyway, because the ball came off of Betts's glove back into the field of play. And from the angles I've seen, this looks like interference to me.
   27. SoSH U at work Posted: October 18, 2018 at 12:05 PM (#5770296)
Yes. I think the logic of the wording "no interference shall be allowed" is that the rule book is using the term "interference" to mean a ruling where the batter is ruled out because a fan interfered with the ball. That can only happen if the fan interferes with a ball that is still in the field of play. Once the ball crosses the barrier, the potential call of interference is off the table.


I wonder if that's absolute. If a visiting first baseman at Wrigley is reaching into the stands to catch a sky-high popup and a fan rips his glove off, would the umps be allowed to call interference?

Personally, if I were the replay guys, I'd have just awarded a double (it clearly hit the outside of Betts' mitt first and might have struck a fan's hand afterward. But it did fly back into the field of play).

   28. Lassus Posted: October 18, 2018 at 12:21 PM (#5770315)
Give the opponent defender as much space as possible?

Yes.


The best they can do for their team is interfere with the ball the moment it crosses the fence - which may well be exactly what happened.

I don't care if I'm banished from Queens forever and Keith Hernandez won't let me pet his cat, if I interfered with a play like that, I would regret it forever. It's just the way I'm wired. It hasn't been proven to me yet that it was over the fence when interfered with, and even if it was, I don't think I could manage to do that.
   29. The Yankee Clapper Posted: October 18, 2018 at 12:35 PM (#5770324)
I think at least subconsciously (if not consciously) West said "that's an Astro fan so of course he's interfering." It would have been interesting if it had been Reddick going for the ball how the call would have been made.

I think the ball was in the stands, so interference shouldn't have been called, but it may be close enough that you can't meet the replay reversal standard without the side view, which was blocked by the security guy leaning over to see the play himself. I'd have more confidence in the on-field call - despite my own eyes - if it hadn't been made by Joe West, who isn't known for hustling to get into the best possible position, and who seems to have a penchant for making games all about his umpiring.
   30. BDC Posted: October 18, 2018 at 12:37 PM (#5770327)
If a visiting first baseman at Wrigley is reaching into the stands to catch a sky-high popup and a fan rips his glove off, would the umps be allowed to call interference?


That's an interesting hypothetical. I would call no interference (because it's in the stands) – but maybe eject the fan for being a jerk.
   31. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: October 18, 2018 at 12:50 PM (#5770340)

That's an interesting hypothetical. I would call no interference (because it's in the stands) – but maybe eject the fan for being a jerk.

Agreed.
   32. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: October 18, 2018 at 12:57 PM (#5770343)
That's an interesting hypothetical. I would call no interference (because it's in the stands)


If it's in the stands, it's not interference. The point of this Altuve play is that the ball was not clearly in the stands. At least two of the four guys standing and going for the ball are pretty clearly hanging out over the fence, above the field of play proper. That's interference all day long.
   33. Rally Posted: October 18, 2018 at 01:12 PM (#5770358)
I used to think about that, but it leaves your balls quite exposed when there's a baseball coming at you at around 100 MPH.


Not a home run ball. Maybe a line drive foul over the dugouts could be that fast. We know the ball loses about 10 MPH due to air resistance from pitcher's hand to the plate, just about 55 feet away.

By the time it gets to the seats, it's just going that fast. Which makes it all the more disappointing that the only time I ever got my hands on a ball like that, hit to right center by Nick Markakis, I dropped it. I don't have the excuse "the ball was going 100 MPH". It probably was the moment it left the bat but not when it got to me. On the plus side, I tried to catch it with my bare hand and afterwards my hand did not hurt.
   34. This is going to be state of the art wall Posted: October 18, 2018 at 01:23 PM (#5770370)
This is exactly what baseball needed to get some buzz. Genius move! Every sports talk radio host in America will dedicate some time to this today. Already heard it out here in Seattle this morning which isn't exactly baseball hot this time of year.
   35. Benji Gil Gamesh VII - The Opt-Out Awakens Posted: October 18, 2018 at 01:54 PM (#5770408)
This is exactly what baseball needed to get some buzz. Genius move! Every sports talk radio host in America will dedicate some time to this today. Already heard it out here in Seattle this morning which isn't exactly baseball hot this time of year.
Yeah it's interesting. If the fans aren't in the way and Mookie makes the catch, it's a fantastic homer-saving grab on a big stage...but probably not ultimately as famous as this play will be.
   36. This is going to be state of the art wall Posted: October 18, 2018 at 02:07 PM (#5770419)
Yeah it's interesting. If the fans aren't in the way and Mookie makes the catch, it's a fantastic homer-saving grab on a big stage...but probably not ultimately as famous as this play will be.


The Manny stuff and then this. Manafort isn't sitting at a BW3s is he?
   37. perros Posted: October 18, 2018 at 02:25 PM (#5770438)
Blame the architects!!!!

I remember there was a good sized gap between the left field front row seat and the wall at Turner Field. Make the gap a little bigger so that if you lean over in the field of play you'll plummet to your death.
   38. Khrushin it bro Posted: October 18, 2018 at 02:39 PM (#5770452)
Definitely need a little more death at the old ballgame.
   39. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: October 18, 2018 at 03:26 PM (#5770483)
I remember there was a good sized gap between the left field front row seat and the wall at Turner Field. Make the gap a little bigger so that if you lean over in the field of play you'll plummet to your death.

Good point. That's how the Rangers wound up with a statue dedicated to "the fan" outside their soon-to-be-razed park.
   40. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: October 18, 2018 at 03:33 PM (#5770489)
Moats are an underutilized design feature these days.
   41. phredbird Posted: October 18, 2018 at 05:45 PM (#5770572)

there are some very edifying pictures in the other thread that lead me to believe the interference call is correct. it's pretty obvious the spectators who were all over betts were leaning over the railing. that's interference, right?
   42. The Yankee Clapper Posted: October 18, 2018 at 05:55 PM (#5770577)
You can believe Joe West, or this perceptive observer:
Kate Upton, @KateUpton
Watch this video! Mookie’s glove is closed. That’s a home run. #bullshitcall

Kate Upton, @KateUpton
So if a player is IN the stands fans are suppose to move over? If those are the rules MLB shouldn’t let fans sit there. They didn’t reach over the fence. @MLB

Kate Upton, @KateUpton
I feel the need to acknowledge & address the amount of people who have called me “princess”, “honey” or a terrible “girl” sports fan. Just because I have an opinion on the call doesn’t give you the right to be degrading & disrespectful because I’m a woman.

Kind of sexist to go with Joe West's call.


   43. PepTech, the Legendary Posted: October 18, 2018 at 06:47 PM (#5770587)
There's a still at the top of this article that's funny mostly because Mookie Betts is following the ball into his glove and the three Astro fans all have their eyes tightly shut. That's why he's in the majors, and you're not...

There's no way to say if the contact was on the field, in the stands, or right over the fence. Therefore, gotta go with the position of Betts' body, still a foot or two from the wall at the point of contact, and the fact that his arm was more vertical than horizontal. Interference. There, argument over!

ETA: The guy in the dress shirt has his gut *on the wall* and his arm extended out, not back. How anyone could think it's definitively in the stands is.... unhinged.
   44. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: October 18, 2018 at 06:49 PM (#5770588)
degrading & disrespectful because I’m a woman.

Being degrading and disrespectful just because she's a woman would be wrong. OTOH, I've been wondering all playoffs long if Verlander needs anything else done in threes.
   45. Booey Posted: October 18, 2018 at 09:51 PM (#5770657)
Being degrading and disrespectful just because she's a woman would be wrong.


Agreed. But taking her opinion with a grain of salt because there's legit reason to believe she might be a tad bit biased...well, that's different. And understandable.
   46. Lassus Posted: October 18, 2018 at 10:18 PM (#5770687)
wrong thread

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