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No, Yasiel Puig should not have cost the Dodgers a home run

August 30, 2013|By Bill Shaikin
  • Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig catches a fly ball during the fourth inning of the Dodgers' victory over the Chicago Cubs, 4-0, on Wednesday.
Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig catches a fly ball during the fourth inning… (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles…)

The Dodgers have their issues with Yasiel Puig, but one theory making the Internet rounds Thursday was pure fiction. No, Puig should not have cost the Dodgers a home run.

When the Dodgers took the field for the fifth inning Wednesday, Dodgers Manager Don Mattingly had yanked Puig. The final play of the top of the fourth: a fly ball to Puig, who snatched the ball with his glove and flipped it into the right-field pavilion.

You can see the play toward the end of this video clip. The nonsensical theory was that the play should have been ruled a home run -- in the same way a ball glancing off a fielder's glove and over the fence counts as a home run -- thus sending Mattingly into a rage.

Puig never removes the ball from his glove, but it is clearly apparent from the video that he catches the ball for the third out, takes several steps and then flings the ball into the stands.

The situation is covered by Major League Baseball Rule 2.00, which includes this language: "In establishing the validity of the catch, the fielder shall hold the ball long enough to prove that he has complete control of the ball and that his release of the ball is voluntary and intentional." MLB officials confirmed that interpretation of the play.

We now return the Internet to another Puig-filled day.

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