The Chicago White Sox announced Tuesday what they are going to do at their stadium They will be the first of 30 MLB teams to make the move, but certainly not the last.
Two recent events seem to have hastened the expansion. The first event, and the one that immediately turned to national attention to MLB policy on protective netting, happened during a Cubs-Astros game in late May. A small child was hit by a foul liner off the bat of Albert Almora Jr., and immediately rushed from the stands to the hospital. The game temporarily came to screeching halt, and Almora was visibly devastated. Players around the league have since renewed calls for expanded protective netting at all MLB stadiums, something commissioner Rob Manfred described as unlikely to happen this season.
The second event came just eight days ago, and at a White Sox home game. A foul ball ripped by dinger-smashing colossus Eloy Jimenez sent a fan sitting along the line in left to the hospital. The ball easily soared beyond the existing netting and struck the woman in the face, a few rows up from the field. She was reportedly "alert and communicative," but that 's very scary all the same, especially so soon after the incident in Houston. Batters are punishing the ball like never before — the longer MLB goes without enhancing its protections of fans, the likelier we are to see another fan because of a foul ball.
According to the Chicago Sun-Times, the White Sox are committed to making changes this summer, and will announce specifics at a later date. The Texas Rangers announced in late May that they will be able to reach out to the team described as "the crank, where the bowl turns and sort of parallel," which is short of the foul poles. Almora and Jimenez both applauded the move by the White Sox:
MLB rules currently sent that protective netting must extend to the end of the dugouts. Expect that to change as proactive teams make the moves on their own and players continue to push for league-wide expansion.
. (tagsToTranslate) protective netting (t) Foul Balls (t) Chicago White Sox (t) rob manfred (t) Baseball (t) Deadspin