Quantcast

Fan interference helps give Victor Martinez home run (Video)

Victor Martinez fan interference

A fan’s interference in right field at Comerica Park helped give Detroit Tigers DH Victor Martinez a solo home run in the bottom of the seventh inning to tie Game 4 of their ALDS with the Oakland A’s at 4.

The original call on the field was a home run. Umpires met to review the play and upheld the original call. That seemed to be the correct decision.

There appeared to be definitive proof that Martinez’s ball was going past the yellow line above the right field fence even without the fan touching it. As long as a ball hits above the yellow line, it’s considered a home run.

There was some speculation that A’s right fielder Josh Reddick may have been able to rob the home run, but he appeared to be hitting the wall and running out of room as the ball was flying over the fence. He would have been close but likely come up short.

Below is a video and GIF of the home run:

GIF via @cjzero



Around The Web

  • eric

    I don’t know what game this idiot author was watching, but Reddick was not descending … he was ascending toward the ball. He absolutely had a play on the ball. All this does is encourage more fans to try to influence games… and encourage more hack writers to write about stuff they know nothing about.

  • http://larrybrownsports.com Larry Brown

    He was out of room. He literally was hitting the wall and had nowhere to go. Sorry for your loss, A’s fan.

  • CamBam415

    What Reddick is doing isn’t irrelevant. The fan reached over the the plane of the yellow line (as the top photo shows very clearly) and interfered with a ball that is in play; that is by definition fan interference. Had the fan not reached over the plane of the yellow line, but instead caught the ball once it was on the home run side of the fence, but still nabbed it from Reddick that would not have been interference. Clearly the umps blew this call and no surprise that the Crew Leader of the Umps, who blew the call, wouldn’t admit the mistake and over turn his initial call.

  • Steven Resnick

    Sorry Mr. Brown completely wrong on this he had an opportunity to get to the baseball, can’t tell what the trajectory was anymore due to the fan could have easily ended up in Reddick’s glove. Don’t know how blind these umpires are not to see that!

    Clear as day that it was fan interference.

  • Steven Resnick

    You are correct that it might have hit over the line yet the fan reached over on a ball still in play, fan interference no question asked. Reddick wasn’t out of the field of play attempting to make the catch.

  • Steven Resnick

    Look at your title it even says Fan interference helped it become a home run? So you’re admitting that the call was incorrect when you say helped.

  • Brian

    Article says “Likely will come up short.” We’ll never know now will we?!?!

  • mystikmike

    Rule 3.16: ….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.

  • Patrick Hargis

    Look, even if he could have “robbed” the home run, it doesn’t matter. IF the ball is over the fence, the fan has equal right to the ball as the player does. Interference only happens when the fan reaches over to a ball that is going to stay in the park.

  • stephengbuck

    what is the definition of the playing field?

  • y_p_w

    No.

    “Rule 2.00
    INTERFERENCE
    (d) Spectator interference occurs when a spectator reaches out of the stands and over the playing field, or goes on the playing field, and (1) touches a live ball or (2) touches a player and hinders an attempt to make a play on a live ball.”

    So the question is whether or not he was A) over the playing field (YES) and B) touches a live ball (YES).

    So now that it’s clear that this is interference, the key is what to do about it.

    “3.16
    When there is spectator interference with any thrown or batted ball, the ball shall be dead at the moment of interference and the umpire shall impose such penalties as in his
    opinion will nullify the act of interference.

    APPROVED RULING: If spectator interference clearly prevents a fielder from catching a fly ball, the umpire shall declare the batter out.

    Rule 3.16 Comment: There is a difference between a ball which has been thrown or batted into the stands, touching a spectator thereby being out of play even though it rebounds onto the field and a spectator going onto the field or reaching over, under or through a barrier and touching a ball in play or touching or otherwise interfering with a player. In the latter case it is clearly intentional and shall be dealt with as intentional interference as in Rule 3.15. Batter and runners shall be placed where in the umpire’s judgment they would have been had the interference not occurred.

    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.”

    Now I’m not sure what the ump should have done, but it certainly wasn’t to call it a HR. I thought Reddick had an excellent shot at catching the ball or at least batting it back on the field. It would have been tough to call an out on that, but in similar cases I’ve seen it ruled a double.

  • y_p_w

    Whatever is separated from the spectator area by a fence, railing, or rope.

  • Daniel

    He was hitting the wall, but his glove continued over the wall after it was interfered with. Look at 1:50 in the video–the ball is interfered with. Look at 1:54–Reddick’s glove has continued far over the wall. You are objectively wrong.

  • Chris C

    Larry – you’re a moron. The fan interference rules state nothing about the ball going over the yellow line. This is a fan interference decision regarding a bal in play. Your statement that Reddick was running out of room is retarded. He had his glove in position to catch the ball. He had a clear opportunity to catch it, when a fan took that away. Should have been an out. Disastrous black eye for MLB umps. Larry – you’re a biased Detroit fan.

  • Chris C

    This is the rule. And under this MLB rule, the Home Run should have been overturned.

    3.16
    When there is spectator interference with any thrown or batted ball, the ball shall be dead at the moment of interference and the umpire shall impose such penalties as in his opinion will nullify the act of interference.
    APPROVED RULING: If spectator interference clearly prevents a fielder from catching a fly ball, the umpire shall declare the batter out.
    Rule 3.16 Comment: There is a difference between a ball which has been thrown or batted into the stands, touching a spectator thereby being out of play even though it rebounds onto the field and a spectator going onto the field or reaching over, under or through a barrier and touching a ball in play or touching or otherwise interfering with a player. In the latter case it is clearly intentional and shall be dealt with as intentional interference as in Rule 3.15. Batter and runners shall be placed where in the umpire’s judgment they would have been had the interference not occurred.
    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. Example: Runner on third base, one out and a batter hits a fly ball deep to the outfield (fair or foul). Spectator clearly interferes with the outfielder attempting to catch the fly ball. Umpire calls the batter out for spectator interference. Ball is dead at the time of the call. Umpire decides that because of the distance the ball was hit, the runner on third base would have scored after the catch if the fielder had caught the ball which was interfered with, therefore, the runner is permitted to score. This might not be the case if such fly ball was interfered with a short distance from home plate.

  • Chris C

    You’re an idiot Larry Brown. What does that even mean, “he was out of room”? His glove was right underneath the ball, about a foot and a half from his glove.

    You’re a biased Detroit fan.

  • Chris C

    There is no reference to “a yellow home run line” in the official MLB rule.

  • Mike M

    this one is so close i think if there was no interference it could of hit the green fence which is a home run by the ground rules. probability did not change the outcome of this game.

  • y_p_w

    The only reference is to whether or not the ball is in the field of play, which is outside of the spectator area as separated by a fence or railing. So the magic area where a spectator legally interferes with a ball in play is anything inside the fence or above. I thought that the contact occurred above the height of the fence, but several inches inside the playing area.

    I just hate these stadium designs that actually allow someone to do this. I’ve been to the outfield area in a few of these new HOK designed ballparks, and in some of them you can hang your arms over the fence. This one had a metal railing, but it’s still one where there’s opportunity to interfere with a ball in play.

  • Bob Gallagher

    but what if the interfering fan is rooting AGAINST the batter- and how will we ever know?

  • Brennan OBrien

    That third video makes it pretty clear that the angle of the ball and the angle of the glove were about to intersect.

  • Kevin Candland

    The point of the rule is so fans (fanatics) do not interfere with the outcome of the game. Reddick is a glove glove outfielder; it would have been nice to see if he could have caught the ball or not.
    It should be “if” he could catch the ball, not “if” the fan can interfere.
    The video shows the railing a foot or so behind the yellow ledge, with Reddick’s glove clearly over and about to be somewhere near the balls vector.
    The fan was over the railing as well as the yellow line.
    As for “if’s”, what “if” the ball was not interfered with, Reddick did not catch the ball, but it bounced off his glove and back into play?
    Stranger things have happened in baseball. Due to a fan, we will never know. Bad Umpiring with video makes it odd and confounding.

    Wish I could be in the room when Joe Torre reviews the game with Mr. Darling and the crew.

  • Mike M

    i agree with you completely. :)

  • Nick in CA

    These two fat bastards altered the destination…not a home run…pussy umps didnt want to upset the yuppies that drive to Detroit.

  • Nick in CA

    I absolutely agree – in Oakland, we cant come this close to a ball – a real field…this is bullshit!

  • Nick in CA

    Umps knew they had to call it a home run, they were in Detroit…the yuppies would have taken to the streets. Or Twitter.

  • Nick in CA

    Reached out…touched the ball, altered the destination, prevented the catchers plan…not a home run.

  • Shaggy Douglas

    Baseball needs to clarify the rule even more. The fans hands are over the field, but the ball itself is over the fence when it hits his arms. If we could remove the fan from the play, Reddick would not actually have a play on the ball until it was past the yellow line. The comments on the rule say that if a fan reaches over the fence to catch the ball it is interference. But what if the ball is past the fence, but his arms are over the field? Does the ball have to be in the field of play for it to be interference? Or just the fan’s arms? Reddick is reaching over the yellow line, but the fan is too. So is Reddick “at his own risk” as the rule comment says? Or is the fan interfering? The rulebook doesn’t directly address this unique situation.

  • Chris in Michigan

    Let’s review two other things from this moment.
    1) Josh Reddick was not “clearwIthlywhatever” going to catch the ball. He had the opportunity to play a ball outside the field of play denied by a fan. If you dispute the ball being in play when the fan touched it you have a point, but there is no doubt that Reddick’s glove was outside the field of play.

    Ask yourself if you would have been more satisfied had the fan simply slapped Reddick’s glove away from the ball. When a player leaves the field of play they lose all protection from interference.

    2) let’s not forget that the A’s lost by 2 runs. Without hypothetical arguments about momentum this play didn’t change the outcome of the game.

    Were I an A’s fan I would be much more upset that my team had the bases loaded with no outs in the 8th and did nothing. Reddick could have righted this grievous wrong by not swinging at a ball “clearly” out of the strike zone.

    Also, Nick in CA, please stop calling people in Detroit yuppies. We don’t take it as whatever negative you seem to think it is. You sound like the self important, entitled jerk, turd that the rest of us assume Californians until proven otherwise.