Troy Caldwell, the Astros fan ruled to have interfered with Mookie Betts in the first inning Wednesday, had a lot more riding on the final result than the other residents of Section 152.
“As long as the Astros come back and win this, we’ll be alright,” Caldwell told MassLive during Game 4 of the ALCS. “Otherwise I’ll need security to escort me out of this place so I don’t get attacked.”
Caldwell is a Houston native who currently lives in Atlanta and flew home for the game. In the bottom of the first, umpire Joe West called spectator interference after Caldwell made contact with Betts on Jose Altuve’s fly ball deep to right. He received a warning from stadium security, not an ejection.
“I don’t understand even what happened,” said Caldwell, per the Boston Globe. “I was over the line and the ball hit — I had my hands out, you can see it. I got like 800 pictures that already came to me — but I’m over the line and I put my hand out and the ball hit my hand. I never touched his glove. I don’t understand why it wasn’t a home run.”
The reporters asked Caldwell for his thoughts on West.
“I don’t think it’s appropriate for the papers,” he responded. “That’s about the worst call I’ve ever seen. That ball was gone, no matter what. My hand wasn’t over the yellow. My hand was right here and it hit my hand so it was a home run, no matter what.”
After a lengthy review, the umpires stuck with the original decision. The runner on base returned to first, Altuve went to the dugout, and the potential two-run home run was wiped off the board. The Red Sox held on to their early 2-0 lead — to the dismay of much of Minute Maid Park, especially one Astros fan in the front-row.
“I promise you I didn’t do anything wrong,” Caldwell said.