A fan at Angels Stadium in Anaheim was ejected on Friday night after reaching over the wall and touching New York Mets outfielder Curtis Granderson. The incident happened in the eighth inning of a tied game, immediately after Granderson secured a fly ball by the right field foul pole. The wall around the foul pole is much lower at Angels Stadium than most other ballparks, so it didn't require a whole lot of effort on the fan's part.
Though it didn't appear to be much, Granderson was clearly startled by the contact and immediately turned around to get a visual on the fan. After running a long distance to make the catch in that part of the park, the last thing you expect to feel is a pat on the back, so it's understandable that he was confused and concerned initially. Once he made eye contact with the fan, a few words were exchanged with the fan seemingly regretting or apologizing for his actions.
Regardless, stadium security quickly escorted the fan out of the ballpark and the game continued without delay.
“What and why?," Granderson said was his first reaction. "I know where I am on the field so I got a general idea that it’s a person in the area but to what extent and how it’s going to be, I’m not too sure. Once I turned I was able to see where I was at and able to address the situation. Made my comment and I was able to go out and play after that.”
— xBigNick (@xMetsmatician) April 12, 2014
This will go down as the second notable incident involving a player and a fan this season. St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Matt Adams lightly shoved a Reds fan in Cincinnati after pursuing a foul ball down the right field line. The difference being that Adams reached into the stands, but in that case no punishment was announced because it was deemed to be a harmless incident overall.
It seemed the incident in Anaheim was just as harmless, but once you let one fan get away with reaching over to touch a player, several copycats will follow, so the quick actions of security sent a good message.
”Say whatever you want to say, boo, cheer, clap, cheer for your team, cheer for the other team, but just don’t physically touch the players,” Granderson added.
Granderson is known throughout the game as one of the more fan friendly players. But let's be honest, just about every player is to some degree. Some just have more patience than others, so in the case of this fan in Anaheim, he picked a good guy to mess with.
If it was Adam Jones of the Baltimore Orioles, it may have been a different story. Although his taser suggestion doesn't seem to be flying with MLB.
As for what the fan missed after leaving the ballpark, the Angels finally earned a 5-4 victory in 11 innings after Hank Conger was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded.
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