Screengrab via @UselessJStats/MLB.com
In the top of the seventh inning in Baltimore on Wednesday night, the Blue Jays scored what was then a very welcome insurance run — and did so in one of the most fun ways a team can do a thing like that: by having the fat catcher score from first on a double.
Michael Saunders — who would later add some insurance of his own with one of his patented low leverage offensive displays — sure seemed to like it:
Navarro’s first-to-home was the greatest thing Saunders has ever seen. pic.twitter.com/1moz5kvpUT
— Ian Hunter (@BlueJayHunter) September 1, 2016
But it very nearly didn’t happen, and if it hadn’t, it certainly could have cost the Jays.
And why did it very nearly not happen? Because of those fans up there — Jays fans! — who very nearly interfered with the ball in play, which I’m pretty sure would have have ended with Navarro being sent back to third.
After all, MLB’s rulebook states, in rule 6.01 (e) that in the event of a spectator reaching into the playing field and interfering with the ball, the ball is considered dead and “batter and runners shall be placed where in the umpire’s judgment they would have been had the interference not occurred.”
You think the umpire really would have awarded Navarro home plate on that play??? Navarro??? Maybe I’m wrong, but I’m pretty sure if so, you’re missing precisely what made the play so ridiculously awesome.
I get it. Getting a real, live, game-used baseball is a hell of a souvenir. It’s kind of amazing to have in your home an object that was actually touched by some of your baseball heroes. I have one I caught that came off the bat off Alex Rios after being thrown to him by Bronson Arroyo, so obviously you don’t need to tell me how special actually getting a ball is! *COUGH*
But, uh, here’s the thing: Don’t touch balls in play, for fuck sakes!
Shit, even if you think Navarro would have been given the plate there, you can just go ahead and let the players decide the outcome of a play, OK champ? Stop grabbing at your team’s balls!!!
* * *
Hey, since I’m here, how about that game! The Orioles season is in trouble — they don’t have a Yoan Moncada to call up, to go along with an already filthy collection of amazing youth, like certain other scary-as-fuck AL East teams I can think of — and Aaron Sanchez looked alright, despite his ten day layoff in Dunedin. (I would have preferred a bit more swing-and-miss, but who could quibble?)
So… yeah… that was great! Another series win for the Jays. And though it seems all too common to come out of a series with a tough team thinking the Jays probably should have swept it, they’re still getting shit done. Maybe not as spectacularly as the gear they were in this time last year, but right now it looks like it’s going to add up up to a postseason berth all the same.
What a world!
(It will soon be a world with the latest Birds All Day podcast, too — I swear!)