SEATTLE — Matt Chapman made amends with a fan sitting along the third-base line Sunday after getting bent out of shape that the fan interfered with his pursuit of a foul ball.
The episode happened during the bottom of the seventh, with the A’s third baseman not hiding his frustration that the fan went for the ball as Chapman was reaching over trying to catch it in foul territory in a 10-2 loss to the Mariners. It all turned out well in the end, with Chapman eventually making a point of going back over to the fan after the inning and handing him a ball to keep as a souvenoir. The fan, decked out in a gold A’s jersey and backwards A’s hat, was one of the few Oakland fans sitting in that section among a sea of Mariners fans at Safeco Field.
“He was an A’s fan after all. I don’t want to lose a fan,” Chapman said after the game, stressing that the fan had every right to try for the ball since it was in foul territory.
The rookie has shown a propensity to race full-bore after any foul ball that might be within the realm of possibility to catch. He reached into the stands with an extended a back-handed attempt on this particular pop-up in the seventh. The fan went for it at the same time and neither caught it.
Chapman stared at the fan and kept eye contact for a second as he continued to turn and walk back toward his position. Afterward, he was apologetic, saying that that was just another incident contributing to the frustration of an 0-6 road trip.
“Obviously I was a little frustrated,” Chapman said. “I kind of snapped a little bit, but then I gave him the ball and realized obviously it’s not his fault. I was just out there competing and obviously you get emotional sometimes.”
Chapman said he could tell from the look on the fan’s face that he felt bad too.
“We both kind of said sorry. He doesn’t need to get stared down by me.”