It’s past time to extend protective netting (Column)



June 5, 2019 - 10:01 AM

Before the start of the 2018 season, major-league baseball instructed its 30 teams to have protective netting installed that would at a minimum extend from the backstop to the end of each dugout.

All teams did that, and some did even more, adding a section or two of protection farther down the first and third base lines. The reasons were obvious. Fans were being injured by foul balls at a greater rate than ever before. The baseball officials who made the decision said that players are bigger and stronger than in the past _ even though performance-enhancing drugs have been (wink-wink) “eliminated” _ and baseballs are entering the stands at the highest velocities in history.

They failed to add another salient point, which is that no one watches the damn game anymore. If you find yourself at a boring movie and decide to check your Twitter mentions or scroll through Facebook to see what those wacky Russians are up to this time, there is very little chance the creepy neighbor with the chain saw will leap from the screen and give you a haircut while your attention is elsewhere. At a baseball game, the stakes are a little higher.

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