Minor-league baseball can be … different. The atmosphere is typically more fun and relaxed. The teams in the minors don’t take themselves too seriously. There are opportunities for some schtick you wouldn’t see in the majors.
But we assure you this strikeout was no joke.
With two outs in the top of the eighth inning during Friday’s game, Hartford Yard Goats batter Josh Fuentes recorded one of the strangest strikeouts we’ve ever seen. He whiffed at a ball as it was rolling on the infield grass.
— Cut4 (@Cut4) May 27, 2017
Uh … what?
While it’s bizarre, it’s not tough to figure out what happened here. The pitcher, Cory Burns, slipped during his windup, sending the pitch straight into the ground. As it was rolling on the infield grass, Fuentes decided it would be funny to take a mock swing at it.
He was the only one who thought it was humorous. The umpire actually called Fuentes out due to the swing. It was a one-run game, so the play had some pretty severe consequences. The Yard Goats wound up losing 5-4.
So, where do you stand on this one? Technically, the umpire made the right call by declaring the play a swing and a strikeout. But it’s also pretty clear that Fuentes was jokingly taking his hack. Does intent matter?
According to the rule book, no. At least, we can’t find any mention of intent mattering during a swing. In that sense, it was the right call, but we can’t help but think it feels wrong.
That’s the minor leagues for you. Honestly, what did you expect. In a game featuring teams called the Yard Goats and the Rumble Ponies, strange things are bound to happen.
(BLS H/N: Deadspin)
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