The Cincinnati Reds are taking measures to protect their fans come 2018, putting up extra netting around the infield seats.
After watching what happened on Wednesday afternoon at Yankee Stadium, Major League Baseball needs to address the issue of foul balls hurtling at great speeds into the infield seats. Luckily, it appears the toddler who was hit by Todd Frazier’s line drive will be alright, although she was forced to make a hospital visit.
The Cincinnati Reds are not waiting for MLB to make a ruling on what has to be done. The team is being proactive and installing nets that extend to the end of the dugouts at Great American Ballpark for the start of the 2018 season.
Cincinnati is making the right move here, and hopefully more will follow in the team’s way. Many teams won’t admit it, but the thought process is that with nets, those expensive seats are suddenly not as valuable. In a day and age where balls are being hit harder than ever before, and people have their faces buried in their phones, more protection is necessary.
Additionally, the seats will retain their value. The National Hockey League suffered a tragedy in 2002 when a 13-year-old girl was killed by a puck flying into the stands at Columbus. The league decided to put nets up around the end boards, protecting any patrons who sat behind the goals. The result has been fine, with the netting so fine that it doesn’t impede the view of the game.
One would think the same thing would happen if MLB decided to go unilateral on netting in the infield.