Another Case For Nets

I wrote a piece last year about the idea of putting up more extensive netting in MLB parks. MLB suggested some more nets this year, but ballparks are still leaving fans dangerously exposed. HBO Real Sports did a great feature on this last night. I can’t link to the whole story, but here is a preview. If you can watch it, I urge you to do so.  The clip gives you a taste of just how much danger you are in sitting behind a dugout.

One of the interesting things the story covers is the lengths that the Japanese baseball leagues go to to ensure fan safety. Every ballpark has nets down to the foul pole. They play announcements throughout the game to remind fans to watch out for foul balls. They have ushers in every section who blow whistles when a foul is hit towards that section.  All that, and they have the nets!

The really horrible part of the story is the various injuries that it documents. It shows the horrific story of a Yankee fan who got smacked by a liner in 2011. It details how the nurses at Beth Israel Hospital, just down the road from Fenway, talk about how they hate home games because they know it means they will be busy. And it estimates that there are 1,700 foul ball injuries a year.

MLB protects itself with the disclaimer on the back of the ticket. Wouldn’t it be nice if they protected us?