Mets’ player Todd Frazier was in Hollywood, so perhaps he wanted to impress a bigshot agent with his stellar acting skills. The Mets third baseman fooled almost everyone when he appeared to fall into the stands at Dodger Stadium and return with a ball. He even convinced umpire Mark Wegner that he’d caught Alex Verdugo’s pop-up fly ball, reports the New York Post.
“Basically I caught the ball going in the stands and as I came down the ball came out,” he said. “After seeing the replay there was another ball there and the first ball I saw I picked up and raised my hand up and [Wegner] called him out. It was just one of those things where I thought real quick, I had a split-second, and if there wasn’t a ball there I didn’t have a shot to get him out.”
Frazier revealed one reason why his acting may have been so impressive — he himself believed he’d caught the ball at first! When he reached inside his glove, however, he discovered a rubber ball. Apparently, this bonus ball was in the stands when Frazier had gone in. He says he did actually catch the ball, but it came out of his glove when he went down into the stands. He saw the rubber ball and grabbed it thinking it was the game ball.
It fooled the umpire, who called Verdugo out. Frazier does not feel any remorse for his trickery.
“It was one of those things where I think any third baseman or any player trying to win would do it,” Frazier said. It might seem cold, but it is also fairly difficult to think of a player who would tell an umpire they made the wrong call when that call is in their team’s favor. Frazier really couldn’t win in that situation.
He did say he wished he had thrown the ball in to the pitcher, Jacob de Grom, or the Mets dugout to see how his teammates would have reacted. It may have been amusing to see the major-league pitcher look in confusion at a rubber ball, or see the Mets diving out of the way of what would be revealed to be a toy.
In the end, Frazier went with the other option at his disposal, and threw the ball back in the crowd. It’s unclear where the real game ball ended up, but hopefully a lucky fan grabbed it.