DROPPING THE BALL II
A ball that just wasn?t meant to be caught
When James Loney, the first baseman of the Tampa Bay Rays, ran over to the short blue wall in foul territory in pursuit of a foul ball, few people realized that the events that immediately followed would perfectly encapsulate a game of blunders and near misses with the glove on this July 18th day game at Rogers Centre.
Loney looked to have a beat on the ball, but, as he kept getting closer to the wall, he grew increasingly skittish of the fans that waited for him as he camped underneath the foul pop up. He reached out to snare it at the precise instant that the fans tried to do the exact same. The ball went into and then out of Loney?s glove and kept going deeper into the seats right into the unsure hands of a fan who proceeded to commit a misplay of his own. The play was not scored an error, quite possibly because a fan might have interfered with the first baseman, but was one that should have nonetheless been put away.
Loney?s bobble was a microcosm for a day chock-full of botched catches and dropped balls. We have visual evidence below, of a string of plays where ball found turf when it should have likely found leather instead.