Home Sports Yankees’ Juan Soto called out, Aaron Boone ejected on another bizarre infield fly interference play

Yankees’ Juan Soto called out, Aaron Boone ejected on another bizarre infield fly interference play

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Juan Soto of the New York Yankees takes off his gloves after a walk during the eighth inning of a baseball game against the San Diego Padres, Saturday, May 25, 2024, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

At one point in the first inning against the Los Angeles Angels, the New York Yankees had the bases loaded, no outs, and one manager. Two batters later, they had no runs, three outs and no manager.

The crux of that transition was a truly strange play involving Juan Soto.

With the Yankees threatening multiple runs against Tyler Anderson at Angel Stadium, designated hitter Giancarlo Stanton hit a fly ball that was declared out by the infield fly rule before it even landed. However, he landed and Angels shortstop Zach Neto tried to catch him.

Standing next to second base, Neto followed the ball and took an abrupt step back, right toward Soto as the All-Star slugger reached for second base. Neto fell and failed to catch the ball.

Soto was called for interference, prompting a furious Yankees manager, Aaron Boone, to come out to plead his player’s case. His reward was an expulsion.

The result of the high pop was a double play. The next Yankee batter, Alex Verdugo, grounded out to end the threat.

In case you’re not well versed in the infield fly section of the MLB rule book, it explicitly states that infield flies are live balls. That means to the umpires that Soto was still interfering with a fielder who was trying to make a play on a batted ball even though the batter was already out.

Oddly enough, this is only the second time a runner has been called for interference on an infield fly rule, as the Chicago White Sox felt the pain on a game-ending play on Thursday. In that case, however, Vaughn was lightly grazed by Baltimore Orioles shortstop Gunnar Henderson, who still caught the ball with ease.

The White Sox also objected to the decision and reportedly vindicated themselves the next day when MLB told them that the umpires should not have made the decision. Due to the different context and forcefulness of the contact, the Yankees may not see a similar note.

The good news for the Yankees is that the missed opportunity did not prevent them from winning 2-1, mainly thanks to starting pitcher Luis Gil’s eight innings of one run with two hits allowed, two walks and nine strikeouts.

Even better, New Yorkers had something even wilder to talk about Wednesday night.

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