Originally posted on FOX Sports  |  Last updated 10/8/13
Settle down all you Jeffrey Maier comparison-makers. Victor Martinez's game-tying home run in Detroit's 8-6 victory over Oakland was a homer, just as the umpires ruled after a replay review. Watch Tuesday's controversial play from Game 4 of the ALDS: Your browser does not support iframes. But you have to wonder if the fan holding his beer towel over the fence was a distraction to A's right fielder Josh Reddick. H/T: GIFD Sports The A's were looking to close out the series with a win and were leading the Tigers 4-3 at the time. That's when Martinez led off the bottom half of the seventh with the long drive to right field and "it" happened. Reddick lept nearly into the seats, but had the ball snatched away by a pair of beer-swilling Tigers fans. Now the umps were on the spot. And they stood by the original home run call. Predictably, Twitter lit up with takes from all angles: FOX Sports Live panelist and former World Series champion Gabe Kapler weighed in. That's an HR, trajectory would not allow Red to get there. -- gabe kapler (@gabekapler) October 8, 2013 This from FOX Sports.com contributor and Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Brandon McCarthy. welp, this is a lose/lose for the umpires -- Brandon McCarthy (@BMcCarthy32) October 8, 2013 After the dust settled, the Tigers added three runs in the eighth and held off an A's rally in the top of the ninth to claim the 8-6 win and force Thursday's deciding Game 5 in Oakland. "It looked ... from Reddick's reaction he could have caught it," Oakland A's manager Bob Melvin told reporters after the game. "But the explanation was it was over the line ... even though a fan touched it." After the game, Reddick said he was sure he was going to catch the ball. "I have no doubt I was going to catch that ball. When I looked at the replay, that's what I thought," Reddick told reporters. "It's totally frustrating that a fan can influence the game." "I just hope Victor Martinez pays him (the fan) some money for it." Crew chief Gary Darling was the right field umpire. "It was clear he was not going to catch the ball, so it was clearly going to be a home run," Darling told The Associated Press. "There wasn't any other evidence on replay to turn it another way." In FOX Sports.com's opinion, the two fans should have been ejected and scolded for reaching over the rail, but we doubt that was the case. One of the fans, season-ticket holder John Bendzinski, talked to an AP reporter after the incident. "Dude, I was getting that ball no matter what!" Bendzinski shouted to the AP reporter. "I'm not supposed to reach over, but I didn't. I was right on the line. ... "I was relieved (that the home run wasn't reversed). These guys were all going after the ball and I cleared them all out. It was unbelievable, baby!" And if you're not sure what the Maier comparison meant. Here's a quick recap and video. It was Game 1 of the 1996 ALCS between the Orioles and Yankees. With the O's leading by a run in the eighth inning, Derek Jeter hit a drive to right field, which Baltimore outfielder Tony Tarasco had a bead on. Well, Maier, 11 at the time, reached over the fence and the rest is history. Baltimore manager Davey Johnson was ejected for arguing the call, the Yankees went on to beat their AL East rivals 4-1 in the series and New York would follow by defeating the Atlanta Braves in the World Series. Your browser does not support iframes. What's your take?
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