In a briefly worded decision handed down on Friday, baseball commissioner Bud Selig has ruled fan interference on eight balls that former San Francisco Giants slugger Barry Bonds hit out of Pac Bell/SBC/AT&T/Whatever Park and into McCovey Cove beyond the right field bleachers.
The judgement changes those eight home runs to ground rule doubles and, temporarily at least, re-establishes Hank Aaron as the all-time home run king with 755 long balls to Bonds' new total of 754.
"It is clear upon reviewing video that something impeded the flight of the balls. Judging by how fast they flew off of Barry's bat, they should have gone much further into the cove," Selig wrote in his statement to the press.
"The only possibility from a scientific point of view is that fans somehow managed to reach high over the fence into the field of play and tip the balls. I guess they had to be pretty tall fans, on the order of 70 or 80 feet or so. Giant fans, as it were. But there's no other logical explanation.
"The bitter irony is that these should clearly have been home runs, and they should have traveled even further than they did. But rules are rules."