Major League Baseball ended the week of August 1 – 7, 2016 with over 120 Foul Ball Facials (#FoulBallFacials) in about 120 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 each week. Here’s the rundown of the best and worst foul ball and fan-related actions from the past week:
JOEY VOTTO NEEDS TO LEARN MANNERS…and does
Votto has gotten a great deal of bad press this season for his antics regarding fan involvement. Last week it looked like he was going for yet another lashing by the media and fans. The interesting thing is he’s Canadian, and they have a well-deserved reputation for being pretty calm folks. Maybe it’s too many years in the U.S. that’s got him so cranky?
Remember this fake out?
Regardless of the reason, he was WAY out of line with a Reds fan last week. The fan was going for a pop-up foul ball. Votto was nowhere to be seen when the Reds fan stood up, but his legs got him to the ball quickly and then flubbed the snag. Utterly flubbed it. The ball hit off the heal of Votto’s glove. The fan, whose hands were nearly a foot away from Votto when the ball glanced off his glove, blamed the fan for interfering with him. He then decided to be an ass (there’s really no polite way to say it) and grabbed the fan’s shirt, looked at the Reds logo and walked away disgusted in the fan.
Turns out, Votto was beyond wrong on this one. The fan didn’t interfere at all. Votto just made a bad play. The replay shows how it was all Votto. Something must have happened in the dugout, because not long after this, Votto apologized to the fan and even gave him a ball with a written apology on it.
Announcers and media personnel kept saying there was fan interference. The fact is, it wasn’t. The fan never made any motion toward Votto; he simply stood up.
There’s hope for him yet.
OBLIVIOUS BRAVES FAN SAVED BY SON
I can’t locate a video of this anywhere. But check out the tweet by FOX Sports Southeast. There’s a clip on Twitter too. The young man reaches out with his empty hand (he had two gloves in the other) and snags a foul ball headed straight for his mother’s head.
The mom? She has her head buried in her phone. Yet another fan with their head in their phone, oblivious to what’s going on around them.
I certainly hope she awarded him appropriately.
Two ball-persons made headlines for their amazing grabs last week. The first is this Braves ballboy who made this great stretch on a foul ball:
The other was even better. Dodgers ballgirl Emily flashed some major glove skills last week:
Note that the fan is said to have been ON HIS PHONE. Another fan not paying attention to the game during play, buried in their phone, while sitting in a danger zone. Thankfully, Emily has a quick glove. This foul ball was clocked at 108.7 MPH. Had the fan been hit in the head as a result of his own negligence, he could have been the second foul ball fatality in MLB. And he would have contributed to his death by being on the phone.
Apparently it was hard to tell if Emily is actually a girl too:
Oh Vin. We love you, man. We all love you.
UMP EJECTS FAN
While not foul ball related, it is foul territory related and a very rare event, so I included it here. Umpire Bob Davidson was having a rough night.
HUNTER PENCE, DEJA VU AND A FOULBALL FACIAL
I feel for Hunter Pence. I think all baseball fans do. Especially after last week’s shocking foul ball injury.
Hunter Pence nailed himself in the face 8/6 with his own foul ball during the Giants – Nationals game. He overcut a pitch, It bounced off the ground and right into his face. The images speak for themselves. Notice you can see the marks from the ball stitches? Pence demanded to stay in the game. And he did.
This had to be Déjà vu for Pence. He did nearly the exact same thing 5 years earlier in July 2011 during a Pirates – Astros game:
OUCH. He might want to work on his swing some, or at least lay off the low pitches. That’s worth a #FoulBallFacial tweet if ever that was a reason.