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If you’re watching the Cubs and Brewers, you know that the Brewers are currently up 1-0, and it’s because of Jake Arrieta’s one mistake:

Far more impressive than Mark Reynolds’ monster blast was the catch by the gentleman in the bleachers. Not only does he time his stretch well, but he nearly topples over the railing to make the grab (no, he wouldn’t have fallen all the way to Waveland if he’d gone over, but it’s still a dangerous fall). That’s a great catch for anyone.

Well done, sir.

After the catch, the fan does what many folks in the bleachers do, which is to throw the ball back – or, more accurately, to throw a fake, old ball back after pulling a switch-a-roo.

I am unabashedly in favor of throwing opponent homers back at Wrigley (unless there is a kid nearby to whom you want to give the ball), because, to me, the memory of catching and then throwing back a ball is WAY more valuable than actually having the ball.

In theory, throwing back a fake allows you to have the best of both worlds – the memory and the ball – but it just feels wrong to me (not any kind of serious wrong, but just a small wrong). It seems like it defeats the purpose of throwing the ball back in the first place. I mean, it’s not like you’re fooling anyone with the switch. So why do it? Either proudly keep the ball (because, hey, you caught it) or throw it back (because, hey, eff that team).

On the other hand, I can totally understand why someone would want to keep that ball, because having a real, live MLB ball that you caught at a game is awesome. And I understand that it’s your only chance to throw a baseball – even a fake on – on the field at Wrigley. I guess I can’t blame anyone who does it, even if it’s not for me.

Thoughts on the subject of catching homers and throwing ‘em back? On throwing back fakes? On never having been within 15 rows of a homer in the first place?

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