A homer by Royals’ Salvador Perez revealed a gap in the Kauffman Stadium ground rules

·2 min read
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If told there was a quirky play due to the ground rules in a Royals-Red Sox game, a fan couldn’t help thinking it happened at Fenway Park.

But, nope, this took place Thursday at Kauffman Stadium when catcher Salvador Perez hit a home run in the seventh inning of the Royals’ 7-3 win.

Off Perez’s bat, the ball appeared to be shot out of a cannon, traveling at 110 mph with a launch angle of just 20 degrees. The umpires ruled it a home run and it was reviewed by the crew chief, who said the call stood.

Here is a great look at exactly where the ball hit.

Hours before Friday’s game, Royals manager Mike Matheny and Senior Vice President/Assistant General Manager Scott Sharp went to look at where that ball hit.

Turns out, that’s not padding. It’s metal.

“I was out there looking at it again today. It’s very unclear. I hadn’t even thought about it, I barely even knew it was there,” Matheny said before Friday’s game. “So we met out there today and kind of talked through the different things of what could potentially happen, and it gets confusing for sure.

“We go through those meetings at home plate (before each game) it’s kind of the same stuff every time. I have a feeling it’s going to be a different message. This needs to be clarified a little bit.”

Head groundskeeper Trevor Vance was with Sharp and Matheny viewing where the ball hit. It impacted above the padding on the wall but below the foul pole.

That would seem to indicate it shouldn’t have been a home run.

Here’s the thing: A ball that hits that particular spot is not actually in the ground rules for Kauffman Stadium.

“Scott Sharp was out there. He’s in communication with not just replay but also just the commissioner’s office,” Matheny said. “Let’s get this tightened up just so we can properly explain it. It’s amazing.”

Sharp, who is in his 16th season with the Royals, had never seen a ball land hit that spot. Ditto for Bally Sports Kansas City’s Joel Goldberg who came to KC in 2008.

Something to tuck away for future reference: there is a similar triangular shape of metal below the right-field foul pole.

“That was different, for sure,” Matheny said of Perez’s homer. “The odds of hitting that spot are obviously very low.”

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