Why Won't MLB Put Enough Protective Netting Around Baseball Fields?
Do they need any more proof? How many more kids, families and others have to get injured before Major League Baseball does what they should have done decades ago??
First off, it appears the little girl injured Wednesday night at Houston's Minute Maid Park at the Chicago Cubs/Houston Astros game is going to be ok. That's the most important thing.
In case you haven't seen it, during the 4th inning of the game, Cubs OF Albert Almora lined a Wade Miley pitch foul, just past the 3rd base dugout--the ball hitting a very small child at the game with her family.
The child was taken from the field immediately and rushed to a nearby hospital.
I should note--for those of you who don't think athletes have hearts, Almora's reaction was equally painful to watch--he was devastated by what happened. It's heartbreaking to watch and I don't want to dwell on it because it speaks volumes about Almora the man who was visibly shaken.
It should also be noted like most Major League Parks, Minute Maid does have netting behind the plate, running to the edge of each dugout. What's unfortunate about this: It took years of injuries before MLB felt compelled to urge teams to do that much.
For years--the excuse has been "It hampers the view of fans", which if you've ever been to a baseball game in your life, it's utter bullshit. Go to a Professional Baseball game in Japan or Korea, the netting runs from the Left field fence to the Right field fence. Nobody complains.
Major League Baseball claims there are fans who complain the netting obstructs their view. I again call Bullshit. In this day and age---there will always be a few people who will complain about whatever issue you ask them about. Mostly via Social Media, but complain they will.
And to be perfectly honest---the complaints of a few should not matter. Not when it comes to safety. You can sit there and say fans should be paying attention, not be on their phones with their heads turned away from the action. That folks is a totally separate issue.
When a baseball comes flying at you at 90 or 100 miles per hour, even if you are watching it happen you have mere seconds to react. The closer to the play, the less time. A baseball hit at that speed gives you maybe 2 seconds. There are very few people who will react that quickly, never mind a young child.
The argument it will eliminate players leaping into the front row of seats to make plays, so what? Do you really care if that happens?
Listen, baseball is a game steeped in tradition and Major League Baseball has been incredibly slow to react to the growth and enhanced speed and power of the game. It's a game that still adheres to a ridiculous tradition of not showing up opponents or celebrating in excess during a game. It has a slew of "Old School" rules that will get a player beaned and often start fights for no particular reason other than the players think they are supposed to do it.
Same thing with protection. Back in the day---yeah, stadiums were not as elaborate as they currently are. They didn't feature the high tech and close to the field of play seating most do now. You can sit there and argue why should the game have to react to a handful of people who should know better.
Well, at this point--someone is going to get killed. Oh, wait, that happened too. In 2018 a Los Angeles Dodgers fan got hit in the head with a foul ball, had a brain hemorrhage and died.
I really, really hope the attention the injury Wednesday night is the final straw---the incident that gets MLB to do the right thing. But I have my doubts. If they didn't do anything after a fan died, why should we believe they'll do something after this?
I rest my case....