What happens when an outfielder loses track of the number of outs

Earlier today, in (I think) the sixth inning of the Astros-Rockies baseball game, Houston outfielder Jason Lane caught a fly ball for out number two. Unfortunately, he thought it was out number three and causually tossed the ball into the stands as a souvenier for a fan. Man, the look on his face when he turned around and slowly realized that he’d miscounted the outs… :confused: :eek: :smack: One run would have scored anyway on the sac fly, but Lane’s brain fart did allow another run to score to lessen the Astros’ lead to 4-2. And it opened the door for the Rockies to pull ahead. The Astros ended up winning anyway, but man… I’ve never seen a pro baseball player make such a purely mental (rather than physical) easy mistake like that.

That’s one of the few times I’ve heard someone booed by his team’s own fans and thought that he deserved it instead of thinking that the fans were just being classless. :smiley:

Note to self: When I become a professional ballplayer, remember to glance at the scoreboard during the boring parts.

That’s the majority of the game. :stuck_out_tongue:


It happens more often than you realize. IIRC, Trot Nixon or Larry Walker (perhaps both, at different times in their career) did the same thing, then had to go back and get it from the kid he handed it to. I think the kid eventually got the ball back, as well as some assorted swag.

Manny “how Manny outs?” Ramirez did the same thing after catching out #2 last year or the year before. I lose track when it comes to Manny. I just chalk it up to “Manny being Manny” and that good ganja from the Dominican Republic. :smiley:

Benny Agbayani did it in a clutch spot once for the Mets.

I think criticizing fans for booing is classless.

Yeah, I remember seeing the film clips of that–it was funny because it was pointless; once the ball goes into the stands, it’s dead and it doesn’t do any good to get it back!

It can happen to anybody. Last week White Sox second baseman Tadahito Iguchi, who like most Japanese players is well drilled and ordinarily very precise in the fundamental aspects of the game, failed to relay for a possible double play and started jogging off the field after completing a force out at second for the second out of the inning.

Wouldn’t it be a dead ball and two bases to all runners, like when the ball is thrown out of play?

It would be, and was.

It is, but when the ballplayer realizes what he just did and sees the runners still going, the first thought is generally mild panic and to get the ball back and throw it in to prevent further advances. He tends not to remember that it’s dead.

I was at that game. Where we were sitting, part of the LF foul ground was out of view. When people started running like idiots on a routine fly, I said “I hope he didn’t do a Larry Walker…” of course, he did…

(Benny, you want to imitate him, you shoulda tried the batting .360 part…)

I dunno if Nixon did it too. I know Walker did

Nixon threw it into the stands, but he didn’t try to get it back. I remember it was #25 on the ESPN countdown of most embarassing moments. Walker was on the list, too, but much higher.