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Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Attention Baseball: put up more netsTyler Kepner is impressed with the safety measures at Turner Field:
Turner Field is the second ballpark the Yankees have seen this season with protective netting that extends beyond the norm. Every stadium has a tall screen behind the plate to protect the fans from hard-hit foul balls. Here in Atlanta, the Braves also have a shorter screen, maybe eight feet off the ground, running in front of the seats behind the on-deck circles on either side of the plate . . . Such safety measures make sense, and should be in place at every ballpark.
Kepner cites the death of Mike Coolbaugh as a cautionary tale, and notes how quickly baseball would act if the unthinkable happened and a fan was killed by a foul ball. Such a thing is not unthinkable in my hometown of Columbus, Ohio, however. That's because a thirteen year-old girl was killed by an errant puck during a Columbus Blue Jackets hockey game seven years ago. That incident led to the implementation of mandatory netting at either end of the rink in every arena. Before the incident there were all kinds of arguments against putting up such nets. Afterward, those arguments lost all currency.
The same applies to baseball. I'm sure people can construct all kinds of arguments as to why they shouldn't extend protective netting down the lines. But in light of how big, strong, fast and, above all else, close Major League batters are to the fans these days, none of those arguments are enough to overcome the sheer logic and prudence which dictates putting up some nets.
Posted by Craig Calcaterra at 11:28am
I live in Japan and watch about a hundred games a season in ballparks that have tall, rigid wire fences all the way around the field.
It sucked at first, but I got used to it. It’s just part of the game. It really doesn’t affect my enjoyment of the game after three seasons.
What get obnoxious, though, are the ushers armed with whistles and the “Please be careful of foul balls” announcement that follows each and every foul ball hit into the stands.
It’s the American in me that doesn’t like being told what to do or told what to fear. I have to say that fences are hardly as obtrusive as the announcements and whistles and that parks in the States would do well to put them up.
Posted 06/24 at 10:46 PM
Jack Marshall said...
See Craig? It’s not just the nets to the dugouts! The fences are coming! The fences are coming!
Posted 06/24 at 11:16 PM
Brandon Isleib said...
I’m listening to Kaplan’s Torts MP3 review for the bar exam at the moment. Seems fitting.
Posted 06/25 at 12:48 AM
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