We are now well into the 2016 MLB season. It’s been an interesting one for sure when it comes to foul balls. Not only did a fan get smoked with a foul ball going THROUGH the netting within the first week of the season, but fans are still getting seriously hurt, perhaps because they aren’t paying attention. It may be the extended netting is giving many fans a false sense of security.
Here are the other highlights from the week of May 8-14:
RUNNING TOTAL OF FOUL BALL FACIALS
After 43 days of games, the official Twitter reported total for MLB games of fans hit in the face area by a foul ball was at 43. This is ONLY those #FoulBallFacials self-reported on Twitter. If I were to search Instagram and other social media sites, I’m guessing that total may be double.
My unofficial records for the last two seasons show the number of facials has not changed at all since the netting went up. In 2015 by this time there were 42 and in the 2014 season there were 39. So what’s the point of netting if it’s really not doing anything?
Red Sox Netting Behind Home Plate Faulty?
There were a number of Twitter reports stating the netting behind home plate in Fenway was leaking foul balls. According to three FOULers, fouls were dropping through the upper netting and falling on fans.
Again, we see a problem with the netting this season. Balls dropping from 50-100 feet can still do some decent damage if the ball hits a person just the wrong way.
The netting issue has only succeeded to opening teams and Manfred to more lawsuits because of faulty equipment. I still advocate for the tempered “hockey” glass I recommended to Manfred last season.
See the One about the Twins’ Ball Boy?:
This young man made an incredible snag that potentially saved a young fan from serious injury.
Check it out.
We Now Have a VERY Loose Definition of “Hero”:
I don’t understand why parents who endanger their kids at ball games are held up as some shining example of great parenthood. Did you see this Marlins fan who made a backhanded snag on Mother’s Day?
Then there’s this Phillies fan(atic) whose kid started screaming because he was so scared about his father’s disregard for his safety.
Are these good examples of parenting?
Like I say: Pay attention!
My mantra of “Pay attention!” extends to ball players too I guess.
On May 9, the Blue Jays’ Michael Saunders went for a foul ball and over ran it. The ball, however, didn’t land on the ground; it nailed the poor guy in the head, literally adding injury to embarrassment.
Booing a Foul Ball?
Yup. That happened. And for VERY good reason. During the 9th inning of the Tigers-Nationals game on May 11, former Tiger’s ace Max Scherzer was on fire. He was close to entering into yet another elite pitching group: The most strike outs in a game without giving up any walks. He needed 20 to do it.
On May 11, 2016, Scherzer did it, but it was almost not going to happen. With 19 punch outs tallied (Number 19 was versus Miguel Cabrera), a personal best by two for Scherzer, Justin Upton skied a shallow foul ball “just out of reach” of first baseman Ryan Zimmerman, falling into a camera well. Upton struck out for #20 on the next pitch, but Zimmerman could have reached far and probably gotten the foul. As soon as Zimmerman got to the railing, you could hear fans booing, as if calling Zimmerman off the possible snag.
We all wanted to see Max hit 21, but McCann grounded out to third.