In 2015, commissioner Rob Manfred recommended that MLB teams extend their safety nets to protect fans from foul balls and flying bats. Over the past 5 years, talks about added netting has been a high profile issue. Fans deserve safety when they go to the ballpark. There are two sides to this argument, some fans believe the extra netting would be distracting and would obstruct their view. The other side says that safety of the fans should come before the viewing of the game. I wish this wasn’t a problem, because I personally would rather not have extra netting, I pay attention to the games when I go. But there are some fans who don’t watch every pitch and can’t see when a foul ball comes their way. And even when they are watching, it’s tough to catch a ball coming close to 100 mph for an adult, never mind a kid.
On Wednesday night, Albert Almora Jr. hit a foul ball that struck a young girl in Houston. Almora was clearly shaken up after the incident happened. He was almost in tears, with his hands on his head. Really the only reaction someone could have to injuring a child. Cubs manager Joe Maddon said, “Of course, it’s an awful moment, but it’s a game and this is out of your control and you just have to understand that part of it.” Young fans enjoy coming to baseball games, and they usually can’t sit and watch a full nine inning game. The nets would be implemented mostly for these fans.
The safety of the fans should come first. Without fans, the league would be drastically different, there would be significantly less revenue. Fans deserve to watch a baseball game safely and without the fear of getting hit by a foul ball or bat. The nets won’t wrap around the entire field, so fans will have the option to watch the game without netting in front of them. And there have been nets behind home plate since the early 1900’s, fans still pay good money to sit behind that net. I don’t think this extra netting will be a problem.