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 THROUGH the netting within the first week of the season, but fans are still getting seriously hurt. The reason is one we need to explore further, but before we do here are some of the foul ball highlights for the time being from the week of May 30-June 5:
RUNNING TOTAL OF FOUL BALL FACIALS
After 62 days of games, the official Twitter reported total for MLB games of fans hit in the face area by a foul ball was at 59. 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 55 and in the 2014 season there were 56. So what’s the point of netting if it’s really not doing anything? The angles haven’t been cut down to save those most in danger (family seating areas and tempered “hockey” glass would help more and be less expensive).
This past week the self-reported facial area injuries dropped to under one per day.
INDIANS FOULED OFF
An interesting piece came to my attention last week. The article on Scout.com discusses how the Indians are close to hitting the most foul balls in Major League Baseball. When you look at the players, it’s no wonder they are second in the league for fouls hit. Most of the guys are seasoned veterans who don’t have shabby averages. Getting some Indian tickets to watch the show might be fun. It’s a skill, FYI.
RESPECT THE FOUL BALL & CHILL PLAYERS
Poor Astros 3B Luis Valbuena. The guy was just chilling on the far end of the dugout steps during a day off when fellow Astro, Tyler White, had the audacity to go after a foul ball, which thankfully for Valbuena hit a bar about two feet from where he was chilling, and bounced away from him.
PLAYERS & UMPS BEWARE!
It’s not easy being a catcher. Especially a male catcher. Last week Orioles catcher Caleb Joseph caught a foul ball to the … um … his nether regions.
Talking about having balls! Despite needing to go on the DL AND had to undergo surgery for his testicular injury, Joseph showed how much balls he has and remained in the game. He might look into some new MLB gear too.
FAN SNAGS, CELEBRATIONS & DUMB PLAYS
I gotta say, in four seasons of running FoulBallz.com, I’ve yet to see a fan foul ball play like this. I’ve seen plenty of parents endangering their kids to snag a ball, lots and lots of hats and injuries and glove catches. And we also see a plethora of beverage catches, particularly foul balls going into beers. But this is a pretty unique one.
Then there was this Rangers fan with his net. To be honest, it’s not that big of a deal. I’ve seen a few of these. The nets tend to be a bit smaller, but the idea is the same. People went nuts over this though. Cut4 went so far as to ask the question if this will disrupt the foul ball industry. No. It’s been done. It’s not at all uncommon. Still, it’s fun to watch.
Here’s another beer focused foul ball snag. It’s fairly rare when a beer or other beverage isn’t lost while going for a foul ball, but this Red Sox fan was able to pull off that feat.
Well now. How about this interesting game of ricocheting ping pong at the Brewers-Phillies game. Perhaps “Foul Ball Hot Potato” is more accurate?
Who of the appropriate age can forget Mr. Bartman? Ugh. The Cubs really can’t catch a break, can they? Well, we had another fan who wasn’t paying attention. Granted, this wasn’t a MUST win situation to advance in the off-season, but it’s still just dumb. At a White Sox-Mets game Melky Cabrera went for a foul ball and instead got interfered with. I get the excitement of the moment, but fans, PLEASE PAY ATTENTION!