MLB Foul Ball Week in Review (August 22-28): Ballboys, Netting Issues and Freddie Freeman’s Fall

Major League Baseball ended the week of August 22-28, 2016 with over nearly 144 Foul Ball Facials (#FoulBallFacials) in 141 games. These are only those fans hit in the head area at Major League Baseball games as self-reported on Twitter. That equates to one fan per day of play. It seems like a lot, and it is, but it could be fewer since nearly 50% of these tweets indicate the fan wasn’t paying attention.

But that’s not the only thing going on with foul balls this week. Here’s the rundown of the best and worst foul ball and fan-related actions from the past week:

 

MESSING WITH THE BALLBOY

Ballboys and ballgirls have been a staple of foul ball plays for seasons. Some have lightning quick reflexes. Some may be surprised to learn that ballgirls have faster gloves than ballboys. Here’s a perfect example of how ballboys aren’t always the best at doing their job. This young man botched what should have been a reasonably routine play.

The Tampa Bay Rays bullpen decided to take over his job since he wasn’t able to perform his protective duties.

 

On the other hand, and to be fair, not all ballboys miss routine foul balls. This ballboy for the Toronto Blue Jays had no issues with being calm and making a good, solid snag.

NO MOVING NEEDED

Speaking of easy plays on foul balls, this Cincinnati Reds fan didn’t even have to move. The caveat is it was an easy play. The ball went up and over the netting. Therefore, the trajectory was easy to track and the speed was minimal. However, had it hit him in the head, I’m sure there would have been a huge stink over fan safety and netting. It’s also surprising why no other fans reached over him as he sat in his chair waiting for it to drop into his hands. Regardless, it’s good he didn’t blow the easy snag.

BALLSY MOVE

I’m really not sure what compelled me to include this gem in the list, but it is a highlight of a lowlight last week all the same. I really don’t think I need to expound on anything. This was at a Tampa Bay Rays game. When you see the video, you’ll understand why the danger to players by foul balls shows why players are so ballsy. He’s gonna need some extra protection.

FREDDIE FREEMAN SCARE

I’ve posted about players sacrificing their bodies before. They’ll lay out for line drives, leap into the stands and even fall as they reach over railings and fall into camera wells. Most of the time they are uninjured or barely bruised, but every once in a while there’s a cringe-worthy play. Freddie Freeman last week is that play.

 


I’m not sure how he didn’t pop out his lower back landing on the seats like that. #TakeOneForTheTeam

MORE EVIDENCE NETTING IS DANGEROUS

There’s a major debate about netting. This Twitter exchange sums up some of my protests over netting quite well. 

netting potential fail

Let the words “he slipped it through the one place in the netting a foul ball could possibly fit. On the right where the nets are connected.” In other words, extended netting is imperfect in all parks because there are holes large enough to allow a ball through when they are supposed to be protecting fans. This simply gives fans a false sense of security, and opens MLB and MiLB open to guaranteed losses from lawsuits.

Become a “fouler”: [twitter-follow screen_name=’foulballz’ show_screen_name=’yes’]

 

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