With two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning in a 2-2 ballgame during Tuesday night’s American League Wild Card game between the Orioles and Blue Jays, pinch-hitter Melvin Upton, Jr. appeared to hit an uninteresting inning-ending fly out to left field. Hyun Soo Kim camped under the ball and as the ball was secured in his glove, some small item appeared to land on the turf nearby. As slow motion replay would confirm shortly thereafter, a fan threw a beer can at Kim, attempting to interfere with his ability to make the catch.
Center fielder Adam Jones was livid. Standing next to Kim, he pointed and shouted at the fans (or perhaps the culprit specifically) for their behavior. Security at the Rogers Centre immediately made their way to the seats in left field to determine who threw the can. Meanwhile, Orioles manager Buck Showalter came out to discuss the issue with the umpires. Had Kim not made the catch, one wonders if Upton would have been called out anyway due to fan interference (rule 3.16).
A Cubs fan at Wrigley Field threw a cup of beer at Phillies center fielder Shane Victorino back in 2009. These incidents happen every so often. While it’s easy to castigate the entire Blue Jays fan base for this, every fan base has some percentage of petulant fans.
It’s unfortunate that this happened because Tuesday’s AL Wild Card game has been a good one. As of this writing, it’s still a 2-2 ballgame.