I’ve had such a chip on my shoulder about how difficult it seems to be for umpires to make a fan interference call, ever since the 1996 ALCS when a Yankee fan reached out from the stands and prevented a catch at the wall. The media played this kid up like a hero. The right field umpire was right there, looking up and seeing the kid clearly stick his glove out and catch a ball that was coming straight down to the outfielder who was camped under it. Not only did they not rule interference, they ruled it a homerun. I’ve been shaking my head over that one ever since.
Last night, they make the call on a play even more obvious, and the Florida announcers were saying the fan “robbed Miguel Cabrerra of a double”. Well, if you see the video, the fan caught the ball directly over Norris Hopper’s glove. He had basically made the catch. The announcers were looking right at it, and could not fathom the idea, apparently, that Hopper had the ball literally snatched out of his glove. Maybe I can find a freeze frame picture of the fan grabbing the ball (he used a cap to make the catch)
One of the few breaks the Reds got came in the sixth, when a Cabrera drive to the wall was ruled fan interference. Norris Hopper made a leaping attempt for the ball, but a 21-year-old male fan reached over the fence and caught it with his cap.
The umpire ruled Cabrera out on the play because of the interference. The fan was ejected from Dolphin Stadium.
“He took it out of my glove,” Hopper said. “I thought I had it, and then I heard it hit a glove and it wasn’t mine. I didn’t know what happened. Obviously, he reached over and grabbed it. That was a good catch.”
Find this link in the right hand column under More Coverage (about the 4th one down)
â€¢ Reds record out on fan interference 400K
I thought I was going to be able to look at the js files in mlb.com and create a link that does the popup here locally, but they’ve hidden their playMedia2 function very well. It kind of pisses me off, since most other media sites give you an “embed” link to use the video on your site.
Other articles picked up the Marlin announcer’s theme:
Baseball: Fan robs Marlins’ Cabrera with hat grab. No, they robbed Norris Hopper of getting a “Web Gem”, because that ball was IN his glove ; unfortunately, the fan’s hat with the ball in it was in his glove too. Sheesh.