After a young girl was struck by a line drive yesterday, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said the league will look to increase netting in stadiums.
After a young girl was struck by a line drive during Wednesday's Yankees-Twins game, commissioner Rob Manfred said the league will redouble efforts to increase netting in MLB stadiums.
"The events at yesterday's game involving a young girl were extremely upsetting for everyone in our game," Manfred told ESPN's Bob Ley. "Over the past few seasons MLB has worked with our clubs to expand the amount of netting in our ballparks. In light of yesterday's event, we will redouble our efforts on this important issue."
The incident Manfred is referring too happened when a foul ball off the bat of Todd Frazier struck a little girl sitting in the stands down the left field line. Play was stopped for about four minutes, and Frazier was visibly distraught as he watched the girl receive first aid. Cameras showed Matt Holliday, who was on base, fighting back tears.
The girl was taken to nearby New York-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center for treatment. Her grandfather spoke with reporters there briefly, telling them that the girl was doing alright.
After the game, Twins second baseman Brian Dozier said the league either needs to add more netting or ban children from sitting in harm's way.
"Either, one, you don't bring kids down there, or No. 2, every stadium needs to have nets," Dozier said. "That's it. I don't care about the damn view of a fan or what. It's all about safety.
"I still have a knot in my stomach."
Yankees slugger Aaron Judge was succinct with his call for additional netting: "We need it."
Netting has been a topic of discussion in league circles for years. In 2015, the league issues a recommendation that every team install, maintain or extend nettings or screens in front of field-level seats between the dugouts to 70 feet within home plate.
"Major League Baseball prides itself on providing fans in our ballparks with unparalleled proximity and access to our players and the game taking place on the field," Manfred said in a statement when the recommendation was issued. "At the same time, it is important that fans have the option to sit behind protective netting or in other areas of the ballpark where foul balls and bats are less likely to enter. This recommendation attempts to balance the need for an adequate number of seating options with our desire to preserve the interactive pre-game and in-game fan experience that often centers around the dugouts, where fans can catch foul balls, see their favorite players up close and, if they are lucky, catch a tossed ball or other souvenir."
Before the season, the Yankees were seriously considering extending the existing netting at Yankee Stadium but have not commented on the status of those considerations, reports ESPN's Andrew Marchand.