In the bottom of the third inning of the New York Yankees vs. Kansas City Royals game today, Gleyber Torres hit what should have been a three-run homer to give the Yankees a 5-0 lead. Instead, it was taken away on a challenge from the Royals because a fan interfered.
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Upon first glance, it looks like the ball would have been a home run had the fan not interfered, but the Royals believed that outfielder Alex Gordon would have made the catch. They challenged, and won the challenge, resulting in an out instead. Upon looking a little closer, it looks like they did have a solid case for that assumption.
The Yankees ended up winning the game 9-2, so it ultimately didn’t matter. But at the time, they only had a two run lead. And there is no way to definitively know that Gordon would have made the catch. So the fan basically handed Gordon the out by interfering.
Many would argue that it’s normal to want to try to catch a home run ball, but if you are extending your arms out over the field of play, you are doing it wrong! If you are interfering with a catch at the wall, you are doing it wrong!
I don’t say this as a judgment against the fan, it’s understandable to get caught up in the heat of the moment and want to take a piece of the game home with you. But fans have to be a little bit better about this kind of thing if they are going to sit in a part of the park that could present them with the challenge of having to restrain themselves from touching a ball in play. If you know you are sitting in the first row and it looks like a home run is coming your way, maybe make sure it gets over the wall first, before you stretch your hands out towards the outfielder
Speaking of outfielders, Yankees’ outfielder Aaron Judge exited the game after a single in the bottom of the sixth with a left oblique injury. This is very unfortunate timing for Giants fans who may have been hoping to see the young outfielder (a California native from the central valley) next weekend when they come to San Francisco. The Yankees are the walking wounded at the moment, with Judge joining Giancarlo Stanton, Greg Bird, Didi Gregorius, Gary Sanchez and several others on the injury list.