WATCH: Controversial fan interference on possible Baez home run
Hometown: Bayamon, Puerto Rico,
(Arlington County Day HS)
Years Played: 2016 - 2018
SAN DIEGO — A controversial call took place on a possible home run by Chicago Cubs second baseman Javier Baez in the second inning of the Cubs' series opener against the San Diego Padres. Baez nearly hit a home run just inside the right-field foul pole to lead off the second inning.
However, an eager young man donning Padres regalia reached out over the wall and nearly caught the baseball. While the ball did bounce off his hands and into the field of play, the fan tried to avoid interfering by jerking his outstretched arms back over the partition. But he was a moment too late.
Unfortunately for the Cubs, the umpires ruled that the fan interference did not rob Baez of a home run. In their eyes, the ball was certain to hit off the top of the wall. However, replay indicates that the trajectory of the hit was very difficult to project before the interference occurred.
Baez received a ground-rule double because of the interference but was perplexed as to why he was not given a home run, motioning toward the umpires with the home-run signal while sporting a quizzical look on his face. Since a possible home run was in question, an umpire-instigated video review of the play commenced, but the call stood as a double.
While some umpires probably likely would have given Baez and the Cubs the benefit of the doubt on the play, since it involved interference by a fan in a road game. However, the umpires at Petco Park stuck to their guns. For what it is worth, Baez came around to score on an RBI single from left fielder Ian Happ later in the inning, but he was quite possibly robbed of his 19th home run.