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Was Francisco Cervelli’s home run really a home run?

Sep 7, 2011, 8:25 AM EDT

Cervelli Homer.bmp

To the right is a screen capture of the Francisco Cervelli‘s home run from the seventh inning of last night’s this morning’s Orioles-Yankees game clearing the fence. Or not clearing it. Here’s the video.

After watching the video a couple of times and seeing how the fans don’t really bring their arms back toward them before the ball falls down to the warning track, it seems to me that the ball wasn’t going to clear the fence, and was thus interfered with and shouldn’t have been called a homer.  But remember: the call on the field was a home run, so to overturn it, the video evidence had to be conclusive. I’m not sure I trust the video angles shown here to be conclusive in that regard, so I can’t get too riled up over the call being upheld. It’s a close call.

Still: if we have replay for home run calls, and if those calls include the question of fan interference and whether the ball clears the fence, why don’t we have cameras shooting down the fence line?  Or do we and that angle is just not available for TV?

And speaking of angle, how about left fielder Matt Angle’s positioning “under” that ball?  At least there was something to laugh at in this soaking wet, much-delayed game.

  1. Jonny 5 - Sep 7, 2011 at 8:34 AM

    I say all ball parks install electric wires similar to what’s used for livestock fences so anytime someone reaches over the fence it’s zaps them. I think that ball drops for a hit if that person doesn’t interfere. Since they’re Yankee fans, I guess they were just happy to help the cause anyway.

  2. halladaysbiceps - Sep 7, 2011 at 8:36 AM

    After watching the video multiple times myself, it’s definetly not 100% conclusive either way. To me the bigger issue is these idiots that can’t keep their damn hands inside the stands. Something needs to be done about this. It’s worse over the last couple of years than it’s ever been. Mayby ejections are not enough. Maybe hefty fines by the ballclubs or multi-year bans from foing to see a game are the route to go.

    • phukyouk - Sep 7, 2011 at 9:28 AM

      i think if they just take the next guy that does that to the middle of the field and shoot him in the head right there… noone will ever do it again. oh.. not allowed? FINE! how about they just fu*king put a rows worth of space between the wall and the seats?

      • halladaysbiceps - Sep 7, 2011 at 9:34 AM

        A tad severe, perhaps. But I like the eliminating of the front seats idea. The only reason they won’t do that is because of the loss of ticket income due to fewer seats. But in a place like Miami, that wouldn’t be a problem at all.

  3. kopy - Sep 7, 2011 at 8:43 AM

    I think that ball definitely drops in for a hit (double?) if those fans don’t lean over into the field of play. I hope they’re happy with themselves. Has this always gone on, or is this a side-effect of more casual fans being turned onto the game that don’t know what they’re doing at the park?

    • Panda Claus - Sep 7, 2011 at 8:45 AM

      Hey maybe they’ll hold a parade for this knucklehead too like they did for Jeffrey Maier 15 years ago.

      Really liking Jonny 5’s electric fence idea. The first one needs to go up in the Bronx.

    • kellyb9 - Sep 7, 2011 at 9:14 AM

      I’m not sure why this seems to all be happening at the same time, but I would venture to guess that if you stuck around for 4 1/2 hours in the freezing rain to watch this game, you’re probably not a casual fan. In which case, you should know better than to reach out onto the field of play.

      • kopy - Sep 7, 2011 at 9:24 AM

        If they keep having this issue they should put up plexi-glass. It’s been done before and it’s allowed amazing catches to actually happen:
        I’m tired of seeing fans interfere with balls in play, whether on home runs or snatching up grounders down the line. I don’t want glass along the walls. I think it’s dumb, but unless people learn…

      • nolanwiffle - Sep 7, 2011 at 9:49 AM

        I’d nearly forgotten what a horrible venue that place was to play a baseball game. Thanks for the reminder.

      • kopy - Sep 7, 2011 at 9:52 AM

        Only horrible if you’re trying to beat the Twins.

      • nolanwiffle - Sep 7, 2011 at 10:39 AM

        Nothing against the Twins. I enjoyed watching that team. But the Metrodome….not so much. A concrete playing surface, hockey boards in center, and a giant Hefty bag in right. Not too aestetically pleasing.

  4. sdelmonte - Sep 7, 2011 at 8:45 AM

    Well, the next batter also homered, so you could just say it was destiny (or Yankee power, or Oriole exhaustion) that Cervelli would score.

    I think we should just give those fans credit for being there at that hour in that weather.

    • kellyb9 - Sep 7, 2011 at 9:20 AM

      I doubt we should give them too much credit. Going to a Yankees game is an expensive adventure from what I recall. I can’t imagine justifying leaving that game when you have so much invested.

      All the aside, all the good will they earned by sticking around is quickly taken away by not knowing the rules of the game.

      • bigharold - Sep 7, 2011 at 11:16 AM

        It was raining and the game started over 4 hours late. They should get some credit.

        The last time Yankee stadium looked that empty during a game it was a Tuesday late in 1990 with the Yankees on their way to about a 65 win year.

  5. bleedgreen - Sep 7, 2011 at 8:55 AM

    And while the call may have been wrong, the difference between this and the Phillies game was that this was called a home run, and thus was illegible for review.

    • halladaysbiceps - Sep 7, 2011 at 9:00 AM

      Correct me if I’m wrong, but any disputed homerun is eligible for review. In the Phillies incident, it was initially ruled a double on the field. I don’t think this is a good comparison.

      • bleedgreen - Sep 7, 2011 at 2:09 PM

        I typo’d. I meant ELLIGIBLE for review. They were ‘legally’ allowed to review this. My bad. WHeres the effing edit button?

  6. Francisco (FC) - Sep 7, 2011 at 9:08 AM

    Craig was snoring softly in his chair when he woke up with a start. “What? Where? Who?”. He reached for his specs which had fallen of his face and noticed his pipe on the floor on top of his Phanatic rug. He looked at his 70″ LED screen and checked the time… 4:44am… time to write today’s ATH… but blast he fell asleep while watching the Orioles – Yankees game! Stupid rain delays…

    “Damn you Aquaman!!!! Damn you to hell!!!” he declared righteously. Morning silliness completed, he pressed a button on his chair and all of the lastest MLB highlights began playing on his screen simultaneously…so much to write about… Hey the Cervelli Homerun…was it a homerun?

    “Computer!”, he intoned. “Freeze frame at time code 131230 on screen 5.” The small screen was frozen and immediately enlarged to encompass the whole LED frame. Craig raised his pipe to his mouth. Soft Vangelis music started playing in the background. He stood up and stepped closer to his screen.

    “Enhance 34 to 46”, he said. The Screen complied by enlarging a particular screen section of the still shot.

    “Pull back”. The screen obediently stared zooming back in small increments…

    “Wait a minute … go right”. The screen now started panning.

    “Stop”. The screen froze, awaiting further command.

    “Enhance 57, 19”, the screen enlarged an even smaller grid on the screen where the fans and the wall were shown.

    “Track 45 left…Stop!”. It still wasn’t a great angle.

    “Enhance 15 to 23”, the screen dutifully enlarged that particular section which now had just about the best angle he could obtain on the wall, the ball and the interfering fans.

    “Gimme a hard-copy right there”. a slot in the wall printed out a photograph of the enhanced section. Craig plucked it and stared intently…

    • Craig Calcaterra - Sep 7, 2011 at 9:11 AM

      That sounds so much cooler than me using “print screen” and then pasting the photo into MS Paint and then cropping it.

      • Francisco (FC) - Sep 7, 2011 at 9:17 AM

        Imagine what your Autobiography would read like if you let me co-write it.

    • halladaysbiceps - Sep 7, 2011 at 9:15 AM

      FC, from what you decribe, it sounds like Craig has his own Bat Cave setup like his hero, Batman.

      Speaking about the Bat Cave, I’m sure Craig also thinks it’s better than Superman’s Fortress of Solitude.

    • pkers - Sep 7, 2011 at 9:19 AM

      But was he dreaming of unicorns? WAS CRAIG DREAMING OF UNICORNS!?!?!

      • phukyouk - Sep 7, 2011 at 9:32 AM

        craig strikes me more of a tiger… and we all know what tigers dream of when they take thier little tiger snooze

      • Jonny 5 - Sep 7, 2011 at 10:56 AM

        Frosted Flakes?

    • nolanwiffle - Sep 7, 2011 at 9:37 AM

      What of the half-written letter on the end table that Craig was penning to his Italian nephew, Marco, seeking inappropriate pictures of his friend’s girlfriend? Did the fountain pen roll from the table, thus staining the Phanatic rug? ……..

  7. Chris Fiorentino - Sep 7, 2011 at 10:48 AM

    The biggest difference here was that the umps got together immediately and decided to review the play. Unlike Sunday, when they called a double, were confident it was a double, and only decided to review it AFTER Jack McKeon argued it was interference. Sunday’s call ended up being right, but unlike all the people who are trying to say the replay was rightly used, it totally was NOT!!

    And Fat Joe West still must go.

    • halladaysbiceps - Sep 7, 2011 at 11:03 AM

      Chris, read the ATH thread. I got a bet going with Mr. Brave El Bravo. Are you in?

  8. Jonny 5 - Sep 7, 2011 at 11:31 AM

    I L-O-V-E this take on interference.

  9. marshmallowsnake - Sep 7, 2011 at 12:05 PM

    What is it with Yankee fans and their need to be cheaters when sitting in the outfield bleachers?

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