Elvis Andrus lost an inside-the-park homer in the most frustrating way

If Major League Baseball umpires were looking for renewed support from the players and the league on Saturday, their mission was far from accomplished. Not only did their white wristband protest over “escalating verbal attacks” from players seem to fall on apathetic ears, they blew their fair share of calls too.

That included a pretty big one in Texas that left Elvis Andrus out of breath and Rangers fans all ticked off.

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With the Rangers holding a comfortable 10-run lead in the sixth inning, Andrus dumped a ball into the right-field corner and then circled the bases for what he believed to be, and what the umpires initially ruled to be an inside-the-park home run. The problem was, and this is a pretty big problem when you’ve just run 360 feet at full speed, the ball was a foot, maybe two feet foul.

White Sox right fielder Avisail Garcia knew it. That’s why he didn’t immediately chase after the ball as it hugged the wall and rolled several feet away. It should have been obvious to first base umpire James Hoye too. Replays showed he was in good tracking position as he moved down the line.

Granted, it gets pretty tricky the further you go down the line because there’s much less space, but Hoye’s view looked clear. He just missed it, and as a result Andrus’ round trip was nothing more than a thrilling and exhausting inside-the-park foul ball, fireworks included.

Elvis Andrus takes his first step towards an inside-the-park homer that wouldn’t count. (MLB.TV)

For Andrus, that meant he had to collect himself after circling the bases and launching into a pretty serious celebration. To his credit, he managed to do that, lining out to Garcia in right field on a ball that was actually hit much harder than the overturned homer.

For the fans, it meant an opportunity to boo the umpires, and they didn’t hold back.


That beat writers weren’t shy about taking some jabs either.



The important thing is that they ultimately got the call correct. And it’s not like the Rangers needed the run anyway. They racked up a season high in runs and hits in the 17-7 victory against the White Sox. Still, that’s one of those missed calls that will put a significant dent in whatever confidence players and fans have left in the umpires.

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Mark Townsend is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at bigleaguestew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!