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Cubs fan nearly causes Bartman-like incident for Yankees’ Alfonso Soriano (GIFs)

Despite a Chicago Cubs fan’s best — or worst — efforts, New York Yankees outfielder Alfonso Soriano somehow managed to snag a foul popup during the sixth inning in the second game of Wednesday’s doubleheader after chasing it down near where the left field line and the seats almost meet in Yankee Stadium.

What makes Soriano’s play even more interesting — especially when considering the allegiances of said fan who nearly interfered with the catch, along with the fact that Soriano spent a fair share of his MLB career in Cubs uniform in between his two stints with the Bronx Bombers — is that the entire play had an eerily Steve Bartman-esque quality to it, right down to the location, albeit not the ballpark, of where the incident occurred.

Of course, Bartman is the much maligned Cubs fan who interfered with Cubs outfielder Mois├ęs Alou’s attempt to track down a foul popup during Game 6 of the 2003 NLCS against the Florida Marlins. Had Alou made the catch, the Cubs would have been only four outs away from the World Series.

Instead, the Marlins put up an eight-spot in the eighth and went on to the win the series. Bartman had to be escorted out of the stadium by security and was placed under police protection for a short period of time. The vitriolic backlash directed at Bartman prompted the overly castigated Cubs fan to essentially go into hiding, and has not been heard from to this day.

Here’s another look at the play.

Weird stuff, man. And here’s Soriano’s semi-playful interaction with the Cubs fan, who happened to be wearing a Ron Santo Cubs jersey.

Good stuff. Disaster averted, albeit a much, much less significant of a disaster than the one Bartman “caused.” Not to mention in this case, the Cubs fan’s actions in this tale would have helped his team, not harmed it.

And the Cubs needed all the help they could get on Wednesday, as the team managed to get shut out in both games, losing 2-0 and 3-0. Sheesh.

[CSN Chicago]