The Red Sox started kind of late last night. The first pitch was at 8:39. I was watching from the start and, partly due to some rough diabetes numbers, I saw the whole game. Four and a half hours or so. It was long, it was stressful, it was painful, but my team won.
But should they have won?
I’m not convinced. I think we benefited from a screw up. A colossal screw up by right field line umpire Joe West. Altuve hit a bomb to right field. Mookie lined up at the wall, jumped about 100 feet into the air (exaggerating, just a little), and…
His glove hit a fan and closed. The ball hit the outside of the glove and a fan’s hand or two, and dropped onto the field. West made the call, out by fan interference, the play was reviewed by the replay officials and allowed to stand due to lack of a view that was sufficient to overturn it. Altuve is out, the base runner was sent back to the original base. Houston was denied a two run home run and then proceeded to lose the game by two runs.
So the question is, did Mookie reach into the stands or did the fans reach into the field of play. If Mookie reached into the stands then it’s a home run. If the fans reached into play, then it’s an out. The problem is that I, like the replay officials, can’t tell which case actually happened. There is one fan clearly reaching over the wall, but that guy didn’t touch anything or anyone. Everyone else, including Betts, seems to be right on the line.
The next question I have is a personal one, for just me. Am I being a homer or not? I really hope not. I honestly can’t tell, but is the reason I can’t tell because I am a Red Sox fan and my brain is mushing things up to make sure I can’t tell? Argh! I don’t know!
The Red Sox now have a three games to one lead in the best of seven series. A win tonight puts the Sox into the World Series and sends the Astros home for the Winter. If Houston turns it around and wins the series, this play will be an after thought. If Boston holds on and wins… Astros fans are going to hang onto this one for generations. 50 years from now, grandparents are going to tell their grandkids how the Astros got screwed out of an American League Championship. Granted, an Altuve home run in the second inning does not guarantee the Astros would have won. Assuming Betts makes the catch without the interference is probably a safe bet, due to Mookie’s general awesomeness, but you can’t actually bank on it. A Houston win in game four would have tied the series at two games each, but it’s not guarantee that the Astros would go on to win the series.
So basically, the play does not actually decide anything, but it doesn’t matter. If Houston loses, this will go down in their history as the screwing that cost them another World Series ring. That is literally the only thing you can bank on here.
So… did they get the call right? Here’s an MLB video from youtube with all the coverage. You decide.