Watch: MLB fan with decoy ball kicked out for interference
There was a pretty funny moment during Wednesday’s matchup between the Texas Rangers and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tampa’s Tropicana Field.
Well, it probably wasn’t funny for Renato Nunez, the Rangers rookie who lost out on his first home run of the season due to fan interference.
With one out in the top of the fifth inning, Nunez hit a deep drive to right-center field off Rays starter Jake Faria.
At the last second, a fan decked out in Rays attire leaned over the outfield railing and caught the line drive.
Nunez assumed it was a home run and started rounding the bases. It would have been his first dinger of the year and the second of his young career.
But the umpires said the fan interfered with the play, and thus ruled it was a ground-rule double rather than a home run.
Nunez wound up being stranded on base, so essentially, the ruling took a run off the board for the Rangers.
However, the fan’s glove dropped below the fence after he caught the ball, leading to some to wonder if it might have been a home run had he not interfered.
Replays seemed to be inconclusive, meaning Nunez may never know if the call was the right one.
Meanwhile, before being escorted from the premises, the fan kept the ball he caught and threw a different, decoy ball, out onto the field.
That’s not the way it works, guy. You’re supposed to throw the actual home run ball back.
Nunez didn’t get his first home run of the year, but the Rangers are high on him, with one American League scout even going to so far as to compare him to Nelson Cruz. It probably won’t be long before he hits his next homer.
The Rays ended up winning the game 4-2 to improve to 5-13, while the Rangers dropped to 7-13.
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