For as long as foul balls have been flying into the stands, people have been fighting for foul balls. Usually it’s a pretty tame affair, with multiple people reaching for it but one person asserting their claim rather quickly. While there are serious scrums over historic home run balls, foul balls simply don’t lend themselves to acrimony.
Which explains the look of utter disbelief on the face of the young man in the Frank Thomas shirt in the video below. He scrambled after a foul ball and picked it up only to have the woman in the video take it from him. Or, really, just sort of demand it and take it from him before he could fully process what was going on. Watch:
We can’t see behind the seat so maybe she had her hand on it and he snatched it away from her first, but the body language doesn’t really track that. When she takes it, I get the sense that the dude was sort of reverting to deference to elders out of muscle memory or something and then realized, “hey, she just friggin’ took it.”
As you can see at the end of the video, a White Sox official came out and gave him another ball, so I guess it all turned out OK. Still: it’s just a ball folks.
Kemp, 33, had a down year with the Braves in 2017, hitting a career-low -0.5 fWAR in 115 games with the club. At the plate, he slashed a modest .276/.318/.463 with 19 home runs and a .781 OPS through 467 plate appearances, but was hampered by a nagging left hamstring strain through most of the season. This will be his 10th campaign with the Dodgers.
Whether or not Kemp can rebound during his second stint in Los Angeles is almost beside the point, however. The deal is effectively a salary dump to end all salary dumps. Offloading multiple one-year contracts for McCarthy, Kazmir and Gonzalez should bring the Dodgers back under the $197 million luxury tax threshold and position them to make a run at some of the big fish in next year’s free agent pool. It’s also worth noting that they may not keep Kemp around for long — per Ken Gurnick of MLB.com, the club appears as likely to flip the veteran outfielder as they are to use him. As for the Braves, they not only rid themselves of the $43 million due Kemp through 2020, but added some rotation and infield depth with McCarthy and Culberson and can now give top prospect Ronald Acuna a legitimate tryout in left field.