Wednesday, June 26, 2013

That Play

Regarding Drew's controversial triple at Fenway last night...

Here's a pic I took and posted here (from this gallery) back in 2008:

And here's a diagram using the same pic. Explanation below. Click to enlarge.

Drew's ball landed in the Death Zone and bounced up and left and back onto the field without hitting anything.

To the right, where I wrote "DROP-OFF" is where the wall drops back down to the cross-aisle in front of the bleacher seats. (Note the guy taking a picture.) Any ball that clears my yellow line will land behind the wall for a homer, and any ball that hits my yellow line flush on top of the wall will bounce over it into the seats.

To the left is a netting that goes along the top of the fence leaving open a section of wall-top (roughly) the same width as the wall-top to the right. Any ball that clears my yellow line will hit the net for a homer, and any ball that hits my yellow line flush on top of the wall will bounce into the net for a homer.

As you can see, that little red area is the only place a ball can hit beyond the top of the fence (shaded yellow) and still come back, as the surface is flush with the top of the wall. If this surface was truly level, a ball hitting it would continue over the wall for an obvious home run, barring a miraculous level of backspin or an isolated weather phenomenon the likes of which has never been recorded by humans. But the surface isn't level, it's old and rotting (even in this 5-year old picture), and Drew's ball doinked off it and went back to the field (actually more of a left turn but the fence goes out a little allowing the ball to land on the field-side of the fence).

So while the umps made the right call keeping it as a triple (even with replay showing the ball hitting beyond the imaginary yellow line, there's no ground(s) rule saying that should be called a homer), I think in the future a ball hitting that spot will be a home run, because they'll either cut down that section of the surface, put a ledge there, or extend the netting to the right. Or at the very least paint the top of the wall red or yellow, and flatten it out (duh), so that on replay the umps can see whether it cleared or not. But that shouldn't even come into play since I can't see a ball bouncing like that ever again, especially if they make any of these changes.


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Location: Rhode Island, United States