A fan was ejected after he reached his hand out into the field of play to touch Mets outfielder Curtis Granderson during a game last night at Angel Stadium in Anaheim.
During the eighth inning, Granderson caught a fly ball in the right field corner and was about to throw the ball back into the infield before he felt a hand on his shoulder. Clearly startled, he had a brief confrontation with the fan before play resumed. You can watch the video here.
Granderson told Marc Carig of New York Newsday that he had a simple message for the fan:
“He touched me,” Granderson said. “Then I turned around and he’s like, ‘I didn’t mean to.’ I said, ‘Hey, just don’t touch me.’ So that was it. Say whatever you want to say, boo, cheer, clap, cheer for your team, cheer for the other team. But just don’t physically touch players.”
This is what happens when people forget that baseball players are actual human beings who, much like you and me, don’t like having their personal space violated. Fortunately this didn’t escalate into a more serious situation.
Fellow second basemen Javier Baez of the Cubs and D.J. LeMahieu of the Rockies got into a disagreement in the top of the third inning of Sunday’s game at Coors Field over sign-stealing.
LeMahieu reached on a fielder’s choice ground out, then advanced to second base on Charlie Blackmon‘s single. While Nolan Arenado and Trevor Story were batting, Baez was concerned that LeMahieu was relaying the Cubs’ signs to his teammates. Baez decided to stand in front of LeMahieu to block any information he might have been giving to Arenado and Story. LeMahieu got irritated and the two jawed at each other for a bit. Umpires Vic Carapazza and Greg Gibson had to intervene to tell Baez to knock it off.
There has always been a back-and-forth with alleged sign-stealing. As long as teams aren’t using technology to steal signs, it’s fair game for players to relay information to their teammates about the opposing team’s signs. Last year, MLB determined the Red Sox went against the rules and used technology — an Apple watch in this case — to steal signs from the Yankees. Other teams in the past have been accused of using binoculars from the bullpen to steal signs. In this particular case with Baez and LeMahieu, there was no foul play going on, just Baez trying to make the Rockies cede what he perceived to be their slight competitive advantage.
The Cubs went on to beat the Rockies 9-7 on Sunday.