On Sunday, the Yankees responded to the pressure put on them after a little girl was hit in the face by a vicious line drive during a game a few weeks ago. The team issued a press release to announce the expansion of the protective netting that surrounds the field in foul territory. According to the statement, the team “will expand the protective netting during the upcoming off season at both Yankee Stadium and George M. Steinbrenner Field.”
The statement went on to say, “While the current protective netting meets the recommended guidelines established by Major League Baseball, the additional protective netting we are planning to install for the 2018 season will exceed the current guidelines established by the Office of he Commissioner of Major League Baseball.”
Wow! Thank goodness this statement came out during this practice game (regular season finale with nothing on the line) at Yankee Stadium on the final day of the regular season. At least I have something to write about in a game where players seemed to be going through the motions, although both managers gave a good effort by each challenging a call.
About the installation of additional netting, (not to be crass or inconsiderate) if fans paid more attention to the game instead of their cell phones or eating $13 steak sandwiches and trying not to spill a drop of a $12 beer, they may be able to see a ball coming at them and either catch it or duck. It seems like everyone is using their cell phones during games in this new baseball era. Baseball encourages fans to use the stadium internet to follow the game.
Constant unnecessary noise and flashing lights all add to the distractions at a major league ballpark today. Many people are not watching the game. And how about all those fans buying the expensive seats behind the dugout never getting a ball when the inning ends now. Maybe a net over the entire field? How about a “T” ball that has built in softness. Oh wait, that will kill the analytics and all those exit velocities and 465 foot bombs. As far as comments from fans, my friend Brian JR just texted me “I guess we won’t see another Jeter face plant into the stands anymore.”
Today I saw numerous baseballs fly into the seats, fans love it. Pay attention and stop changing the game. I understand the addition of more netting will prevent people from getting hurt and have come to understand that the people attending games today are different than they were 20 years ago. I understand that it has become necessary to provide a safe environment for them. But can we please try to leave something about this game that is somewhat familiar?