Congratulations, baseball fans, you are now a little bit safer and you have MLB to thank for it.
Over the off-season, MLB “encouraged” teams to extend the netting in parks for fan protection. Some teams already had netting running down to the dugouts — I’m proud to say Comerica Park was one of the places that already had this safety measure — but others used more limited coverage. That has changed now, as clubs have moved to be compliant with the new unwritten MLB park regulation. Three of the teams have even extended their netting to the far side of the dugout instead of to the near side like the rest. The result is that all major league parks have become safer for it, and we’ve received proof of this already this season.
On April 9th, Buster Posey lost control of his bat at the plate and it went flying…into the netting. Here’s the video:
As you can see, the netting stopped the bat, which fell onto the dirt instead of going into the stands. No one was injured because of the slip and the game proceeded without further incident. It’s like human beings can recognize a safety issue, come up with a rule to help prevent further injuries, implement the measure, and successfully resolve the problem. Huh.
So, now you can sit close to the action and participate in “Tweet Your Seat” and watch the Kiss Cam or check pitch speeds on the scoreboard without the unchecked danger of getting hit with a wild pitch or broken bat. And, you don’t even have to make sure you’re sitting next to the guy in the picture above to be safer at a game.
Some people aren’t happy with this policy. Stephen King wants them to install bulletproof guards at parks instead, but I am content with the netting. It works, and we have proof.
You’re welcome, America.