Yer Outta Here!

This week, the San Francisco Giants have been involved in two plays in which fans were ejected from the stadium.

Last Tuesday, the Giants were playing in Colorado. In the sixth inning, Trevor Brown, their catcher, hit a home run*. The Rockies’ fan who caught the ball promptly threw it back onto the field.

* Brown may have wanted that ball. The home run was the second of his career, and it was also his second major league hit. He had another home run two innings later. That made him the first Giant since 1991 to have his first three hits of the season be home runs–and as far as I can tell, he’s the first Giant to start his career with three home runs.

Some ballparks allow that. In Chicago, for example, it’s not only allowed, it’s expected. Heaven forbid a loyal Cub fan should be contaminated by a home run ball from an opponent. Coors Field, however, does not. The fan and his two step-sons were escorted out.

Fast-forward to last night. Giants at home against Arizona.

Brandon Crawford sliced a ball to left field. It bounced a couple of feet inside the line, then rolled through the bullpen and up to the wall. Several fans reached over the wall, and one grabbed the ball.

Interference with a live ball is grounds for ejection in every park. The TV cameras not only caught the fan’s look of horror as he realized his mistake, but also the reaction of the woman sitting next to him. First she buried her face in her hands, her body language declaring, “I’ve never met this guy, and I hope I never do.” As he gathers his belongings, she pulls the hood of her sweatshirt over her face before following him out of the stadium.

Can you imagine the conversation they must have had on the way home? Is spectator interference a divorce-worthy offense? On the other hand, the ejection spared them the sight of the Giants blowing a 7-6 lead with two outs in the ninth inning and losing the game in the eleventh. Maybe she’ll forgive him if he buys her a ticket to tonight’s game, drives her to the park, and then stays outside, listening to the game on the radio…

In all seriousness, though, give the guy credit for class. He didn’t protest his ejection–he actually started packing up before Security arrived–and it doesn’t seem like he’s tried to capitalize on his notoriety. I haven’t found any news stories that identify him or suggest that he hung around to talk to reporters. It’ll be interesting to see who, if anyone, is in those seats tonight. Given the location, it’s entirely possible that the couple has season tickets.

Events played out somewhat differently in Colorado. The fan who threw the ball back onto the field, one Brandon Sanchez, hasn’t been shy about speaking to the press.

In fairness to Mr. Sanchez, let it be noted that he was acting from ignorance. The family arrived in the second inning*, so they missed the public address system announcement of the rule. Still, as the saying has it, ignorance of the law is no excuse. But apparently it’s worth rewarding.

* I’ve been saying for years that arriving late and leaving early destroys one’s enjoyment of the game. A shame the Sanchez family had to prove it.

The team invited them back, and they’re considering going to a game this week. Seems like a strange enforcement policy by the Rockies, but it does seem like the family has learned their lesson.

Hopefully, they’ll arrive before the game starts this time. If they show up in time for batting practice, they might even get a ball hit by one of the Rockies.

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