MLB Foul Ball Week in Review (August 15-21): Pence Victim of Baseball Gods, Racist Tweet and Using the Force

Major League Baseball ended the week of August 15-21, 2016 with over nearly 140 Foul Ball Facials (#FoulBallFacials) in nearly 135 games. These are only those fans hit in the head area at MLB games as self-reported on Twitter. That equates to one fan per day of play. It seems like a lot, and it is, but over 60% indicate they weren’t paying attention.

But that’s not the only thing going on with foul balls this week. Here’s the rundown of the best and worst foul ball and fan-related actions from the past week:

DID THEY SEE IT?

This. I don’t know how to describe it. Is it The Force being used? Is it something else? An angel in the bullpen? This ball shot past the third base umpire, who moved out of the way quickly, and toward the Cubs bullpen. Every reliever was oblivious to it. The ball appears to careen off something, but again, none of the pitchers seem to even see it. You decide what happened:

Cubs bullpen is oblivious?

 

UMPIRES

I am generally ambivalent to the plight of umpires; like most baseball fans I know they are a necessary evil to the game. But I don’t wish any ill-will on them. I’ve noticed what appears to be a growing pattern this season: There sure seem to be a lot of umps getting injured by fouls. Here’s yet another one leaving the game due to a foul ball injury. 

HUNTER PENCE AGAIN

It hasn’t been long since Pence nailed himself in the face with a foul ball a couple weeks ago. Now he’s endangering himself by tripping over the bullpen mound. Accident prone

One thing’s for sure, and you gotta give the man credit for it, he sure knows how to sacrifice his body.

NETTING ISSUES

I am not an advocate of extended netting. At the start of the season a ball went through the Tampa Bay Rays netting and struck a fan. Last season at a Pirates game a fan turned her back on the action as she made her way to across the front row of seats directly behind home and a foul ball was not stopped by the netting—which was too loose. She was nailed in the back of the head. Then there are the number of reports of failed netting in Fenway and other parks. Now this. The netting BARELY stopped the ball. BARELY. But it did end in comedic action at least.

I’ve said something like this with intense consistency: Netting is a waste of money and grossly imperfect. It gives a false sense of security and opens Major League Baseball to lawsuits since they can only defend against assumed risk. Sitting behind a net infers protection. Manfred’s mandate will destroy baseball. He really needed to heed my warnings and suggestions about family areas and “hockey glass”. 

 

ANTHONY RIZZO SPECTACULAR FOUL PLAY

This is heads up play by Anthony Rizzo. We all know ball players are athletic, but how many are also gymnasts or circus high-wire performers? I’m guess in only the Cubs’ Rizzo. Heckuva a snag against the Brewers last week.

 

EYE ON THE BALL

This Phillies fan was solid. A good leap and his eye on the ball to snag it. Good work! 

This fan at the Diamondbacks-Padres game last week also had his eye on the ball. But not

Like the Phillies fan, this fan got nailed by a foul in the eye at the Diamondbacks-Padres game. We hear people claiming and insisting without any evidence whatsoever, that fans simply don’t have time to react to foul balls. That is a logical fallacy. If that where the case, 90% of foul balls that are catchable wouldn’t be caught. It’s a minority that doesn’t go to many games that complains about it. This guy, to his credit, didn’t complain. He laughed. You can see in the video that he had plenty of time to react. He was actually going for the foul. It simply ricocheted and slammed into his head. It looks like he’s more embarrassed about missing the ball than getting hit by it. You be the judge: 

This fan at the same Diamondbacks-Padres game as the guy who took one to the eye, had an epic fail as well. The ball was right there. He had his hand out. And he lost it. The ball bounced off this and in the process he lost all his beer…except for a sip. 

Also, over the weekend TWO more Phillies fans were nailed by foul balls. One was a child, the other a mother who pushed her daughter out of the way. There’s a clear issue with foul balls and Phillies.

HALL OF UTTER SHAME

It’s disgusting seeing this type of racism and intolerance. As baseball fans, we ALL get emotional and argue about things. It’s in our baseball blood. It’s our passion. I get that emotion; it’s a passion for the game and our teams. BUT there’s NEVER a need for this, and even less so in baseball, particularly with the number of Latino players in MiLB and MLB. This is clearly not a true baseball fan.

I’m not going to include the person’s name, but here is the full tweet; I’d also like to point out the avatar of the account shows a simian—I’m not versed in types of simians, so can say for sure it’s a monkey though:

@JRvillar6 CATCH THE BALL, U SAND MUNKEY !!!! GO BACK TO WHERE U CAME FROM TACO !!! OR CATCH THE DAMN BALL !!! WHO DROPS A FOUL BALL!??

There’s no room for such behavior. It’s one thing to say someone sucks and should be in The Show, but to resort to racist slurs like “Sand Munkey” [sic] and “taco” is irreprehensible.

 

 

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