Fan rips home run ball from sister-in-law’s hand, throws it back on the field


In at least one respect, Game 5 was like the last year in current events: so much crazy stuff happened in such a short period of time that it was hard to focus on any one thing.

Indeed, if a game included just one monster comeback, one huge, tide-turning home run or one crazy pitcher meltdown, we’d be talking about it all day today. When all of those things happen multiple times, it creates a sort of paralysis, preventing you from deeply discussing any one instance.

The same goes for weird, offshoot stories too. A YouTube star rushed the field in star-spangled biker shorts with the words “villains never die” written on his chest, but most of us just yawned at that. Why? Because there was a fan drama that was far more interesting.

Yasiel Puig hit a homer into the left field stands in the wild ninth inning. A woman caught it, but the man sitting two seats to her right ripped the ball from her hand and angrily threw it back on the field. Watch, and pay special attention to the dude’s face. He seems positively deranged:

It turns out it wasn’t quite as malicious as it appears there, as the Houston Chronicle reports that the man and the woman are in-laws — the guy in between them is her husband and his brother — and that the woman seems to be OK with it in hindsight, with two of them laughing about it later. She said she planned to throw the ball back too, as is tradition in some parks, Minute Maid Park included.

Still, the whole thing was more than a little messed up.

For one thing, can we talk about how dumb the “throw-the-ball-back” tradition is, at least in this instance? It’s her ball once she catches it and she can do what she wants with it, but this ball would be worth some money! It was already a historic game that became even more historic as it wore on. It was hit by a player who, whatever happens with his career going forward, will always be memorable. The home run broke a record for the most home runs hit in a single World Series so that ball had historic value in and of itself. Like I said, it’s the fan’s call, but, dude, I don’t know how you make that call.

The comment from the dude who threw it sort of bugs me too, because while it may be a fan’s call to throw the ball back, it wasn’t his call:

“I just would have liked to have been able to throw it back myself,” Sarah said.

Kirk said he didn’t have the patience to wait on Sarah, especially with his Astros in the process of blowing a three-run lead.

“It’s bad karma to keep it,” Kirk said. “You’ve got to throw it back. I was just making sure she did.”

If that guy was my brother and he talked like that about my wife, he’d be on his damn own for Thanksgiving this year. Guy sounds like a jackass.

Oh well. Just a side note to five hours of crazy.


Report: Diamondbacks acquire Steven Souza from Rays in part of three-team deal

Tampa Bay Rays

Update (6:35 PM ET): This is a three-team deal also involving the Diamondbacks, per Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic. The Diamondbacks will receive outfielder Steven Souza from the Rays and second baseman Brandon Drury will head to the Yankees. Lefty reliever Anthony Banda will go to the Rays, Piecoro adds. The Diamondbacks will also receive prospect Taylor Widener from the Yankees, per Joel Sherman of the New York Post.’s Steve Gilbert adds that the Rays will get two players to be named later from the D-Backs.

Souza, 28, is earning $3.55 million in his first of three years of arbitration eligibility, so the Rays are presumably saving money in moving him. Last season, Souza hit a productive .239/.351/.459 with 30 home runs, 78 RBI, 78 runs scored, and 16 stolen bases in 617 plate appearances. Souza’s arrival almost certainly pushes Yasmany Tomas out of a starting gig.

Drury, 25, has played a handful of positions in his brief major league career. Last year, he played second base in Arizona, batting .267/.317/.447 with 13 home runs and 63 RBI in 480 PA.

Banda, 24, made his major league debut last season, posting an ugly 5.96 ERA with a 25/10 K/BB ratio in 25 2/3 innings. The peripherals suggest he pitched better than his ERA indicated.

Widener, 23, was selected by the Yankees in the 12th round of the 2016 draft. This past season with High-A Tampa, he pitched 119 1/3 innings and posted a 3.39 ERA with a 129/50 K/BB ratio. MLB Pipeline rated Widener as the 14th-best prospect in the Yankees’ system.


Robert Murray of FanRag Sports reports that the Rays will acquire second base prospect Nick Solak from the Yankees. The Yankees’ return is presently not known.

Solak, 23, was selected by the Yankees in the second round of the 2016 draft. He spent last season between High-A Tampa and Double-A Trenton, hitting a combined .297/.384/.452 with 12 home runs, 53 RBI, 72 runs scored, and 14 stolen bases.

MLB Pipeline ranked Solak as the eighth-best prospect in the Yankees’ system and the fifth-best second base prospect in baseball, praising him for his ability to hit line drives as well as his speed.