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Ichiro impostor almost costs Dustin Ackley a triple

Aug 3, 2011, 10:30 AM EST

Fake Ichiro.bmp

The headline kind of says it all.  Go to MLB.com for the video and the full explanation.

To answer your immediate question, a fan grabbing a ball is not an automatic double. It’s often treated like that, but it’s an umpire’s judgement call as to what would have happened absent the interference, and I think the umps got this right.

People: they’re baseballs. You can buy one for, like, four bucks.  If you try hard enough you can even get Dustin Ackley or whoever to autograph it for you when he appears at the Home Depot or something.

  1. Chris Fiorentino - Aug 3, 2011 at 10:34 AM

    In one instance, a guy doesn’t really do much interfere with a FOUL ball that probably would not have been caught anyway, gets ragged on by the hometown player, home team proceeds to lose game and series, and that guy gets death threats to the point where he has to move and change his name.

    In another instance, a guy really does interfere with a FAIR ball, doesn’t even get ejected from the game, and it’s just laughed about afterward.

    Bartman vs Ichiro impostor. It’s all a matter of timing I guess.

    • Jonny 5 - Aug 3, 2011 at 10:39 AM

      Mr. Ichiro impersonator was escorted out actually, I think I saw that…

    • Jonny 5 - Aug 3, 2011 at 10:45 AM

      Sorry, I read it. He was taken away temporary for “a talking to” and allowed to return to his seat.

      • kopy - Aug 3, 2011 at 10:59 AM

        I wonder if his clout as being a slightly famous fan kept him from being ejected. The article and comments from the players/managers alludes to the fact that people have heard of this Ichiro Impostor before. I bet a regular John Doe in that seat would’ve been gone.

      • Jonny 5 - Aug 3, 2011 at 11:10 AM

        You’re probably right.

      • frightwig - Aug 3, 2011 at 12:54 PM

        If they let him stay in the park, I don’t think he was allowed to return to his front-row seat. In the top of the 8th, Ichiro made a running catch right in front of where Fake Ichiro had been sitting, but his #1 Fan was not there anymore.

  2. halladaysbiceps - Aug 3, 2011 at 10:41 AM

    I just watched the video. You would think that a fan that goes through the trouble of wearing a full official uniform (along with a baseball bat) would actually understand the game of baseball and realize that the ball was in play.

    • dlevalley - Aug 3, 2011 at 11:26 AM

      You forget that this is a Mariner’s fan we’re talking about. Knowledge of baseball rules is in no way a foregone conclusion…

      • marinersnate - Aug 3, 2011 at 1:05 PM

        Serveral replies comtemplated.

        None would pass Craig’s rules for posting on this board.

        Therefore, no reply is being submitted.

        But you have yourself a “wonderful” day.

  3. Earl Westlake - Aug 3, 2011 at 10:43 AM

    What the hell is this fan thinking? Does he not realize the M’s are in a serious race for the #1 overall pick in the 2012 draft!!!

    • CJ - Aug 3, 2011 at 10:49 AM

      Maybe that’s why he touched the ball, in an attempt to get the ground rule double as opposed to a triple.

      Smart man, that Ichiro wannabe.

    • cmutimmah - Aug 3, 2011 at 10:49 AM

      That’s why he was trying to grab it and keep Ackley at 2B…

    • Ari Collins - Aug 3, 2011 at 11:57 AM

      Sadly, the Ms can’t “beat” the Astros for first overall. They look like they’re 11.5 games “back.”

  4. dwishinsky - Aug 3, 2011 at 10:59 AM

    Quite the contrary Craig, I think #fakeichiro assured Ackley of a triple. The ball was in a place where Ryan Sweeney with a good arm could’ve easily held him to just a double. M’s fans owe #fakeichiro a debt of gratitude – perhaps why ultimately he was allowed to stay

  5. seanmk - Aug 3, 2011 at 11:00 AM

    what was very funny was that everyone BUT him was not trying to get the ball and he had to reach out. the guy next to him even hit his arm and next him screamed at him(also wearing an ackley jersey). hurting the mariners. GJ fake ichiro. what a low baseball IQ(racism in baseball reference)!

  6. APBA Guy - Aug 3, 2011 at 11:15 AM

    A better picture would have been a split screen of real/fake Ichiro. It’s a decent impersonation.

    • FC - Aug 3, 2011 at 11:28 AM

      With the real Ichiro yelling his head off!

    • jdillydawg - Aug 3, 2011 at 12:41 PM

      MLB Network had a side by side this morning. Could hardly tell the difference, it was pretty funny. My kid thought the real Ichiro was the imposter.

      The guy was out in front of the stadium before the game and most people thought it was really Ichiro at first. Until you think about why Ichiro would be in full uniform in front of the ticket office an hour before the game…but hey, that’s another story…

  7. FC - Aug 3, 2011 at 11:28 AM

    I once saw a winter ball game where a kid jumped to the field to grab a ball he thought was foul, then realized it was fair when the OF came charging to him, and he just flipped the ball towards him. The OF in then tosses the ball back to the kid thinking it was dead ball or ground rule double at this point… I think it ended up an inside the park home-run and lots of protesting and game delay by the fielding Manager with the umps.

  8. stepsinsc - Aug 3, 2011 at 11:31 AM

    How about this. If you’re an adult with a glove at a game, you’re not allowed entrance to the park unless you throw your glove into the trash (like the rest of us have to do our tailgate beers). Viola. Problem solved.

    • stepsinsc - Aug 3, 2011 at 11:33 AM

      Whoops. That was supposed to be “voila.” Not the violin’s bastard cousin.

      • kinggeorge96 - Aug 3, 2011 at 11:53 AM

        See, I was thinking Frank Viola when I saw that…. to each his own…

      • sportsdrenched - Aug 3, 2011 at 11:59 AM

        If a Viola is a bastard cousin. Is a Cello the fat cousin?

      • stepsinsc - Aug 3, 2011 at 12:02 PM

        Mongaloid cousin, I would assume.

    • kellyb9 - Aug 3, 2011 at 12:22 PM

      I believe there is an unwritten rule about bringing a glove to the game.. it’s cool if you are under 10, you are otherwise expected to barehand any foul balls like the rest of us.

  9. ditto65 - Aug 3, 2011 at 11:31 AM

    The first base ump displayed some impressive athleticism. Wouldhave needed an ambulance if Cowboy was stationed there.

  10. cur68 - Aug 3, 2011 at 11:36 AM

    *Facepalm* for fake Ichiro but credit the M’s fans: all they did was laugh not hound the guy for the remainder of the game and his life. Some of their ushers might be clueless but the fans seem to have their perspective turned on.

    Anytime you have to reach that far onto the field for a ball, fair or foul, maybe you should just let that go, eh fake-Ichy?

    • IdahoMariner - Aug 3, 2011 at 12:15 PM

      I agree — glad they just laughed at him and told him what he did wrong — and, he immediately looked abashed. Bartman didn’t deserve all the crap he got.

  11. clydeserra - Aug 3, 2011 at 1:36 PM

    I think he should have stayed at second. The video shows him stopping there. My understanding on player interference is you only get the next base if you continue to go to it, which ackley did not here,

    I disagree with that rule mind you, the runner should not have to risk going forward and be thrown out with the HOPE that the umpire agrees with the interference assessment, but it is what the rule currently is,

    • Senor Cardgage - Aug 3, 2011 at 5:18 PM

      He probably only stopped because the umpire was already calling interference. Notice how he’s running full-speed, screeches to a stop, and only then looks back.

      • clydeserra - Aug 3, 2011 at 6:13 PM

        I buy that.

  12. Senor Cardgage - Aug 3, 2011 at 6:00 PM

    People: they’re baseballs. You can buy one for, like, four bucks.

    Four bucks? Ha! A new Major League baseball is more like twenty-two bucks (sixteen each if you buy a dozen), and if you want an actual game-used baseball, an unsigned ball from a run-of-the-mill game is about forty bucks.

    Even then, paying for a ball is way different from earning one by catching it yourself during a game. I would not treasure a ball I bought. I would greatly treasure one I caught. I’m not unique in that regard, and I don’t think catching a ball is a dream only little kids have.

    None of this is to say you should ever interfere with a ball in play—obviously you shouldn’t—but let’s not pretend that a game-used ball is just a baseball.

  13. genuinejake - Aug 3, 2011 at 9:36 PM

    The headline of this post is insanely racist. If a white guy wearing an Ackley jersey picked up the ball, there’s no way the headline would be “Fake Ackley costs Ackley a triple.”

    Think a bit before you showcase your racism.

    • nategearhart - Aug 4, 2011 at 1:04 AM

      The guy is an Ichiro impersonator. Ergo, “Fake Ichiro”. Dork.

    • cur68 - Aug 4, 2011 at 3:23 AM

      ‘jake: Fake Ichiro IS Fake Ichiro. He comes to games AS Ichiro, dig? He’s a Michael Jackson Impersonator only pretending to be Ichiro…I don’t know how many different ways to out this, but the guy is, literally, “Fake Ichiro”.

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