The New York Yankees fell to the Tampa Bay Rays by a score of 8-2 on Friday night in the Bronx (box score), and with the loss they dropped to 5-8 on the season and slipped to last place in the AL East. In the eighth inning, with the outcome increasingly apparent and the 10,202 in attendance increasingly frustrated, some fans halted play by throwing baseballs onto the field while the Yankees were batting. Here's a look:
Play stoppage because of an excess of baseballs... No really, Yankees fans started throwing baseballs on the field.— Bally Sports Sun: Rays (@BallyRays) April 17, 2021
We don't get it either!
Watch @RaysBaseball on Bally Sports Sun & stream it here: https://t.co/Mk8FfLbJty #RaysUp pic.twitter.com/fHHy7FIZs8
As you can hear in this video from the press box shot by Lindsey Adler of The Athletic, the Yankee Stadium public address announcer is warning fans not to throw anything onto the field of play:
According to the AP, about a half-dozen baseballs were thrown on the field, which resulted in a delay of about 2 minutes, 15 seconds while Clint Frazier was at the plate. "That was the first time that I think I've experienced that," Frazier said post-game. "You never want it to come to that, obviously. Hopefully moving forward we play well enough to where that does not happen again."
"I have not (seen that before)," Yankees manager Aaron Boone said afterward. "You hate to see it, is what I would say to that. Unfortunately a handful of people end up doing it and it looks bad for everyone, and it's unfortunate that it happened."
It's not certain whether the fans brought the balls in with them or retrieved them during batting practice or obtained them by some other means.
The Yankees made three errors on the night and lost to the Rays for the 16th time in their last 21 head-to-head matchups -- a span that includes the Rays' triumph in last year's ALDS. No doubt, the frustrations of Yankee fans are real and keenly felt, but that hardly excuses putting players and umpires at risk by doing this sort of thing.