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FROM THE CHEAP SEATS – Netting or Not?

The debate is on. After two kids have been hit with foul balls beyond the netting at Major League games this year, is Major League Baseball going to do anything about it?

If you remember, before the 2018 season, all teams extended their netting to the far ends of the dugouts. I’m sure that has helped prevent injuries this year, but is it enough? You see, Major League Baseball has an out when it comes to these instances.  Check your ticket the next time you attend a game and you’ll see the statement which reads something along the lines of enter at your own risk.

Should Major League Baseball be responsible for fans being hit by foul balls while attending games? Or does the responsibility fall on the fans themselves? I’m kind of mixed on this.

We all know that you should pay attention when you’re at a ball game. I mean, it’s the safe thing to do. But let’s be realistic. Times have changed and people are spending more time socializing and looking at their phones now more than ever before. To say that people should be taught to pay attention is kind of a moot point. People shouldn’t drive and mess with their phones but keep an eye out and you’ll see it ALL the time. I used to believe that most car accidents happen because someone takes an unnecessary risk. Not anymore. A lot of accidents happen now because people are looking down instead of straight ahead. Back to the field, I can’t count all the times I’ve been at a game and I’ve seen adults with infant babies in the 2nd or 3rd rows without netting. That’s an accident waiting to happen. People don’t understand that baseballs coming off a bat are traveling up to 100 mph.

With that said, I believe that people should pay attention to where they’re sitting at a ball game. No netting in front of you, you better know what’s happening on the field of play. Sitting behind the net, do what you want, watch the game, read a book, sleep, it doesn’t matter. You’ll be safe from any flying projectiles. Each person should use their own judgement.

But the question still remains, should teams extend the netting all the way down the lines to the foul poles? It seems as though everyone has a different take on this subject but I think what it’s going to take is a team standing up and saying, “Hey, we’re doing this. We’re committed to making the game safe for everyone involved.” It’s going to take one team stepping out and making the change. I mean, what difference does it really make? Are you going to tell me that you can’t enjoy a game looking through netting?

I believe that within two years all teams will have netting that extends to the foul poles. I just wonder how many more kids will be hit by baseballs before that happens.

– Rob Mooney, Metro Voice sports writer


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