Tigers center fielder JaCoby Jones, right fielder Tyler Collins, and second baseman Ian Kinsler watched a couple easy of fly balls drop between them in the first three innings of Wednesday’s 8-7 loss against Tampa Bay:
After the game, Brad Ausmus explained to MLive.com that a sneaky Rays fan took advantage of the relatively empty dome’s echo-y acoustics for a well-timed taunt.
“Unfortunately, the source of confusion was coming from the stands,” said Tigers manager Brad Ausmus. “Someone in the stands was yelling, ‘I got it!’ That’s why Kinsler went out acting like he had it and then he heard someone say, ‘I got it!’ so he backed off.
“We had to change our signals. It was the Rays’ fans causing confusion.”
Even though it cost his team an out and some dignity, Ausmus offered the very correct take that, actually, this kind of interference is just fine. “It’s fair game, if you’re a fan,” he said. “I’m not the blaming fan or anything. He’s within his rights to do that.”
But Ausmus did get in a subtle dig at the Rays, who drew a paid attendance of 12,281: “Most of the time when you have a decent-sized crowd, it’s all kind of white noise.”