Dewayne Wise made one of the most amazing catches in the recent MLB history, preserving a perfect game for Mark Buehrle in 2009. On Tuesday night in the Bronx, the outfielder may have accomplished something even more unlikely. He managed to record an out without ever catching the ball.
During the top of the seventh inning at Yankee Stadium, Cleveland's Jack Hannahan lofted a fly ball to foul territory down the third base line. Wise chased it down and leaped into the stands, attempting to make a highlight reel catch. He didn't. As Wise flipped over the wall, he managed to get leather on the ball but could not make the catch. The crowd went crazy all the same, not realizing that a fan was holding the ball. Count umpire Mike DiMuro (and announcer Michael Kay) among those who didn't notice that Wise didn't actually have the ball.
DiMuro called Hannahan out and never asked to see the ball as Wise trotted to the dugout with his mitt closed.
"What was I supposed to do run back to left field?" he told the Associated Press. "I saw him looking at my glove so I just got up, put my head down and ran off the field."
Perhaps Wise was paying tribute to his captain Derek Jeter, who was celebrating his 38th birthday. In a game against the Tampa Bay Rays in 2010, Jeter appeared to get hit elbow by Chad Qualls' pitch. But the replay clearly showed that the ball hit the bottom of the bat and Jeter fooled the umpire.
Jeter admitted after the game that he had not been hit. Wise, too, didn't play coy when prodded about his gamesmanship.
Though DiMuro later ejected Cleveland's Jack Hannahan for arguing the call between innings, he acknowledged his mistake after the game to reporters. The incident is just another in a long list of blunders that pressure the league to expand instant replay.