Yankees bullpen oversight leads to bizarre ground-rule double

Mark TownsendYahoo Sports Contributor
Yahoo Sports

The New York Yankees bullpen has closed the door on a lot of opponents this season. Unfortunately, the Yankees bullpen must have forgotten to close its own door at the beginning of Saturday’s game against the New York Mets, and the oversight may have cost the team a scoring chance.

Just three pitches into the game, Yankees leadoff man Aaron Hicks poked a ball into the right field gap that took two bounces and then disappeared through the open door.

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Hicks was credited with a most unusual ground-rule double on the play. With his speed — he already has two inside-the-park home runs this season — and the possibility of a misplay, it’s at least plausible the snafu cost Hicks a chance for three bases.

That would loom large later in the inning when the Yankees left Hicks stranded on the bases. But it was rendered irrelevant in the eighth inning when Aaron Judge cracked the deciding homer in the Yankees 4-3 win.

Apparently the bullpen door was left open after Yankees starting pitcher Domingo German completed his pregame warmup. Some fans are debating who’s really to blame for the mistake. Some believe it’s the Yankees responsibility to pull the door shut. Others are pointing at Citi Field stadium personnel for the oversight.

We get it. It would be a total Mets thing to do. But it feels like this might be more on the Yankees. If you’re the last one through the door, you should close it behind you.

Aaron Hicks of the Yankees was credited with a strange ground-rule thanks to someone leaving the bullpen door open. (MLB.TV)
Aaron Hicks of the Yankees was credited with a strange ground-rule thanks to someone leaving the bullpen door open. (MLB.TV)

Regardless, what’s truly amazing here is that Hicks actually hit a ball that went right through the door. What are the odds of that happening?

We’re sure teams leaving the bullpen door open isn’t all that unusual. Especially now with practically every team’s bullpen located beyond the outfield fence. It’s a mistake that’s bound to happen with so many moving parts. However, we have to imagine it’s usually discovered pretty quickly. If not by someone in the bullpen, then by an umpire or another player.

There’s a small window of opportunity, in addition to a small amount of space to hit the ball through. Yet it all came together for Hicks. What a truly bizarre moment.

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