Two New York Yankees fans may want to keep a low profile for a couple days. In the top of the eighth inning of Thursday’s game, two fans nearly pulled a Jeffrey Maier and interfered with a home run ball.
It came at a crucial moment, too. The Yankees were tied 4-4 with the Boston Red Sox in the eighth. With Dellin Betances on the mound, J.D. Martinez hit a ball deep to the opposite field. The ball looked like it was going to leave the park, but just barely.
Outfielder Aaron Judge ran to the wall and jumped to make the catch, but came down empty-handed. After landing, he looked in his glove and then glared at some fans in the first row of seats in right. They had both gone after the ball, and Judge felt as though they may have interfered with his catch.
As you might expect, that did not make Yankees fans happy.
WHOEVER WAS THAT FANS FRONT ROW AT YANKEE STADIUM GOOD JOB YOU IDIOT
— Chris Angulo (@chris_angulo10) May 11, 2018
That Yankees fan cost them the game tonight
— louthewriter (@louthewriter) May 11, 2018
No, thank the dumb Yankee fans. Lol
— Mixtape (@MichaelMuscare1) May 11, 2018
That reaction is to be expected. However, it’s worth examining whether those fans actually did interfere with the play.
It’s pretty close, but on replay, it doesn’t look as though Judge was going to get to it. He jumps and reaches for the ball, and it falls just beyond his reach before Judge makes contact with the people in the stands.
There’s also a question regarding whether either fan reached over the wall to try and make the play. That might be too close to call on replay. The ball was going out of the park even without their help, but reaching into the field of play is always going to draw the ire of players and fans.
Yankees security seemed to think at least one of the fans came too close for comfort. They reportedly ejected one of the men from the park following the play.
After the game, Judge said he didn’t think there was interference on the play.
Judge said no interference on HR ball: "I ran into him (the fan) but once you get past that (invisible) line, it’s fair game. For me, if I get a better read and jump at the right time and get in a better position I make the play."
— Erik Boland (@eboland11) May 11, 2018
The home run wound up being the difference in the game. The Red Sox went on to win 5-4 thanks to Martinez’s shot.
In the end, the ejected fan probably didn’t mind having Yankees’ security next to him as he left the park. It would have been tough to get out of there alone with thousands of angry Yankees fans around.
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