CHICAGO (AP) — Two of the National League’s best teams faced off at Wrigley Field on Tuesday night, and a fan sitting in the front row stole the show.
Keith Hartley was holding his 7-month-old son when he made a great barehanded catch over the glove of Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, prompting a replay review with an impressive grab that was quickly passed around Twitter and other social media websites.
“That was outstanding,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. “You worry about the baby, of course. But he looked like he had it under control.”
With two out and none on in the second inning, Cubs right-hander Jason Hammel fouled off a pitch from Zack Greinke. Gonzalez chased the popup and reached over the rolled-up tarp while trying to make a play, but Hartley, of Chicago, grabbed the ball with his right hand while carrying Isaac in his left arm.
“I was just feeding him and I saw the ball coming our way and held on to him and made sure I protected him and I stood up and it kind of just fell in my hand,” Hartley said.
Dodgers manager Don Mattingly then came out of the dugout and argued for fan interference. While the play was being reviewed, the crowd roared as the sequence was shown again on ballpark’s new videoboards.
After a short delay, the call was reversed and Hammel was ruled out, ending the inning. Hammel said it was the play of the night, before switching gears and crediting second baseman Addison Russell for a leaping grab on a liner up the middle.
“It would have been more impressive if the baby would have caught it,” Gonzalez deadpanned.
Hartley said he wasn’t sure if he was going to be thrown out, and then referenced one of the most famous foul balls in baseball history. Steve Bartman was cursed by Cubs fans in 2003 after deflecting a foul popup away from Moises Alou with Chicago just five outs away from the World Series.
“I was hoping it wouldn’t be like a Bartman-type situation,” Hartley said. “Some of my friends texted me, ‘You’re the anti-Bartman.’ I said no, it’s kind of the same situation.
“Luckily the Cubs security talked to me and gave me a stern warning.”
The same thought occurred to Hammel. “Flashes of Bartman,” he said with a grin. “Not near the importance.”
Gonzalez said he was glad Hartley was allowed to stay at the game.
“That’s why we’ve got reviews,” he said after the Cubs’ 1-0 victory in 10 innings. “I don’t think fans should get ejected if they don’t go on the field. I think they’ve got every right to stick their hand out. I wouldn’t have wanted to see him get thrown out.”
AP freelance writer Matt Carlson contributed to this report.
Jay Cohen can be reached at http://www.twitter.com/jcohenap
ISTANBUL (AP) — Authorities in the Turkish city of Izmir say six migrants drowned in waters off the nearby Greek island of Kos.
The Izmir governorship said Wednesday that six coast guard vessels and a helicopter were involved in a rescue of migrants off a sinking ship early Tuesday.
Turkey’s coast guard says it rescued 70 migrants from the ship and that the migrants, among them a five-year-old girl, were rescued.
Video released by the coast guard shows terrified, gasping migrants being pulled from the sea as beams of light crisscross the dark water.
Thousands of migrants from across Asia and Africa routinely try to brave the seaways between Turkey and Greece in an attempt to get to Europe in flimsy vessels under cover of night.
NAGOYA, Japan (AP) — A solar-powered plane carrying no fuel has postponed its departure from central Japan for Hawaii due to worse than expected weather conditions.
Swiss pilot and project co-founder Bertrand Piccard said the weather window for the flight early Wednesday had closed. After analyzing conditions, the decision was made to take the plane back to its mobile hangar.
“It’s a bad moment. It’s really a bad moment. It was on the edge. We took the decision to go, but not everybody was enthusiastic. We had a conclusion that it’s not worth trying anymore,” said Piccard, who is taking turns flying the plane with his co-pilot Andre Borschberg.
Borschberg, who is to fly the Japan-Hawaii leg of the round-the-world journey, sat for hours in the cockpit waiting and then got back out.
“I trust they took a good decision. We discussed it on the radio. Despite the fact it’s very hard it’s the right way to go,” he said in an interview carried live on the Internet.
A live video feed showed the staff in the control center in Monaco engaged in intense discussions over the weather and possible strategies. The plane needed to take off before sunrise because otherwise it would become too hot and windy to either leave or return it to the inflatable mobile hangar at Nagoya’s Komaki airport.
Borschberg landed on June 1 while en route from the Chinese city of Nanjing to Honolulu. He was to fly the plane solo during the roughly five-day trip, taking short naps, doing yoga and meditating to endure the lack of sleep.
The airplane carries no fuel, so project engineers are using simulations to determine when it is safe to fly. The first Pacific leg is the riskiest because there is no place to land.
In the end, the project’s simulation team decided conditions on day four of the journey would likely be too cloudy for the plane’s batteries to recharge safely, Piccard said, expressing sympathy for Borschberg.
“He knows, like us, that it’s better to get out of the plane on the tarmac in Nagoya than on the third day with a parachute overhead,” Piccard said in an interview from Monaco. He is taking turns with Borschberg in flying the plane solo.
Borschberg has been waiting for a weather front stretching from Alaska to Taiwan to clear enough for him to resume the 8,175-kilometer (5,079-mile) journey across the western Pacific, the longest leg of the round-the-world journey which began in Abu Dhabi on March 9.
On the ground in Nagoya, the plane was slightly damaged when a cover was tousled by the wind, but it has been repaired and ready to go for days.
The Solar Impulse 2 is powered by more than 17,000 solar cells on its wings that recharge its batteries, enabling it to fly. But bad weather and nights are challenges because diverting around clouds takes extra energy, and the aircraft is not designed to withstand rain, turbulence and heavy winds.
The aircraft travels at about the same speeds as a vehicle. At night, it descends from its maximum altitude of 8,500 meters (27,900 feet) to 3,000 meters (9,850 feet) to minimize power consumption as it draws from its batteries.
In the morning, the plane resumes producing power, but it needs to have enough left-over power to ascend to the daytime altitude.
The Solar Impulse project is meant to demonstrate the potential of improved energy efficiency and clean power, though solar-powered air travel is not yet commercially practical, given the slow travel time, weather and weight constraints of the aircraft.
Kurtenbach reported from Tokyo.
Follow her on Twitter at twitter.com/ekurtenbach
WASHINGTON (AP) — Softening longstanding policy, the Obama administration will tell families of Americans held by terror groups that they can communicate with captors and even pay ransom without fear of prosecution. The shift comes as part of a broad review of U.S. hostage guidelines that will be released Wednesday.
President Barack Obama ordered the review last fall after the deaths of Americans held hostage by the Islamic State. The families of some of those killed complained about their dealings with the administration, saying they were threatened with criminal prosecution if they pursued paying ransom in exchange for their loved ones’ release.
Two U.S. officials familiar with the review said there will be no formal change to the law that explicitly makes it a crime to provide money or other material support to terror organizations, nor will Obama directly approve of families paying ransom. However, the administration will make clear that the Justice Department has never prosecuted anyone for paying ransom and that that will continue to be the case.
The review is also expected to make clear that the U.S. government can help facilitate communications with terrorists on behalf of families seeking the release of hostages. However, that assistance will still stop short of government ransoms or other concessions.
While the government has long turned a blind eye to family contacts with terrorists, officials acknowledge that the unspoken policy has been applied unevenly. The inconsistencies have been magnified in recent months with the kidnappings and killings of Americans by terror groups.
Four Americans have been killed by the Islamic State since last summer: journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff and aid workers Peter Kassig and Kayla Mueller. After the release of gruesome videos showing the beheadings of some hostages, Obama approved an airstrike campaign against the Islamic State in both Iraq and Syria.
The families’ anguish has been deepened by the fact that European governments routinely pay ransom for hostages and win their release. The U.S. says its prohibitions against the government and private individuals making any concessions to terrorist demands are aimed both at preventing more kidnappings and preventing more income for terror groups.
However, the Obama administration did negotiate with the Taliban last year to win the release of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who was captured after walking away from this post in Afghanistan. Five Guantanamo Bay detainees were exchanged as a condition of his release. White House officials say those negotiations were permissible because Obama sees a special responsibility to leave no American service member behind on the battlefield.
Elaine Weinstein, whose husband Warren Weinstein was accidentally killed by a U.S. drone strike in April while being held hostage by al-Qaida, argued Tuesday against the government making such distinctions between U.S. citizens.
“The people who take American citizens working abroad as hostages do not discriminate based on their job or employer, and neither should our government,” Weinstein said in a statement.
Even as the administration eases restrictions on families, officials said the ban on the U.S. government directly paying ransom or making other concessions to terrorists would remain.
“The president does continue to believe that it’s important for the United States of America to adhere to a no-concessions policy,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest said.
The policy clarification for families was first reported by Foreign Policy magazine. The officials familiar with the review confirmed the details Tuesday on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to do so publicly ahead of Wednesday’s release.
Obama planned to speak about the full review Wednesday after meeting with some of the families who participated in the process. The White House invited the families of 82 Americans held hostage since 2001 to participate in the review, and 24 agreed to do so.
The National Counterterrorism Center, which oversaw the review, also consulted with hostage experts from the U.S. and other countries.
As part of the review’s findings, Obama will announce the creation of a hostage recovery “fusion cell” that will coordinate the multiple government agencies involved in such issues. The new office aims to address family frustrations about getting contradictory information from different agencies by creating a single point of contact.
“We had no one accountable for Jim,” Diane Foley, the mother of James Foley, said earlier this year. The Foley family has also said the government uses its policy of not paying ransom or negotiating with terrorists to avoid answering families’ questions.
The administration is not acquiescing to the requests of some families to house the fusion cell in the White House’s National Security Council. Instead, the office will be at the FBI.
Rep. John Delaney, D-Md., who has worked closely with the Weinstein family, said the administration is considering putting a senior FBI official in charge of inter-agency hostage-recovery efforts. Delaney said he and the Weinsteins would rather have those efforts overseen by a higher-level government official with the authority to cut through bureaucracy.
Obama is also expected to announce the creation of a State Department special envoy post that will head the administration’s dealings with foreign governments on hostage matters.
Associated Press writers Bradley Klapper in Washington and David Dishneau in Hagerstown, Maryland, contributed to this report.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Netflix will execute a seven-for-one stock split next month in a widely anticipated move designed to make the Internet video service’s shares more affordable to a bigger pool of investors.
The split has been expected since Netflix stockholders voted two weeks ago to authorize the Los Gatos, California, company to substantially increase the number of its outstanding shares. Netflix Inc. hadn’t specified the size or timing of the split until Tuesday.
The split will award six additional shares for every share held by Netflix stockholders as of July 2.
When the split occurs July 14, the price of Netflix’s stock will drop sharply to account for the issuance of the additional shares. The company’s market value, which currently stands at about $41 billion, won’t be affected by the split.
Although many analysts deride splits as a gimmick, the maneuver often gets people more excited about a stock. Some investors like the idea of being able to buy more shares at a lower price following the split. Others view a stock selling a lower price as a better bargain, even though the company’s market value remains the same.
After the split, Netflix’s stock is likely to initially trade at one-seventh of its previous price. Based on Tuesday’s closing price of $681.19, Netflix’s stock would drop to slightly below $100 after the seven-for-one split.
The size of Netflix’s split mirrors one that iPhone maker Apple pulled off slightly more than a year ago when its stock was also trading above $600. Since its split, Apple’s stock has surged by 38 percent, outpacing a 9 percent gain in the Standard & Poor’s 500 index during the same stretch.
Netflix’s stock has been among the market’s top performer during the past two-and-half years, a period in which its video service has added 29 million subscribers worldwide while expanding into dozens of countries and winning awards for its original programming.
The shares have increased by more than sevenfold since the end of 2012. Meanwhile, the S&P 500 has climbed by nearly 50 percent.
NEW YORK (AP) — Nickelback is canceling its summer tour as lead singer Chad Kroeger has been diagnosed with an operable cyst on his voice box.
The band posted a statement and a video on its website Tuesday about canceling the rest of its 2015 No Fixed Address North American Tour.
Kroeger will have surgery in three weeks and will have to rest after, the band wrote in a statement. Ticket refunds will be available at the point of purchase.
Kroeger said he’s “definitely not thrilled with the prospect of being silent for many weeks to come when I could be out there playing for our fans.”
Nickelback plans to hit the road in Europe this fall. Their hits include “How You Remind Me” and “Photograph.”