Jim Caple of ESPN.com on throwing back home runs, specifically Pujols’s third:
It’s ridiculous. As ESPN analyst and former outfielder Chris Singleton says, from the moment the gates open, fans beg the players to give them a baseball. Many fight for batting practice balls in the stands. They push and shove and crowd and scrap and claw and bite and generally embarrass themselves for a mere foul ball from the likes of Nick Punto. And then someone like Pujols hits a home run and they throw it back? That’s insane.
I hate when fans throw the balls back. It’s a stupid tradition, not just when the ball is historic like Pujols’ third of the night, but even one hit my Nick Punto. You can make some kid’s day by giving it to him/her. Claiming that throwing a ball on the field, and potentially hitting your own team is idiotic.
It’s also worth pointing out that teams don’t like this either. If you throw a ball back at US Cellular Field, where the White Sox play, you will be kicked out. Guaranteed.