We keep being told that this netting is safe. That it will protect fans and not at all interfere with game enjoyment. That it will …yada yada yada. The fact is, Major League Baseball and Minor League Baseball haven’t told you the whole truth. Netting fails often.
The truth is: Netting fails….OFTEN. It also gives fans a false sense of security, or false safety. And in the first week of the 2018 season, we’ve already seen FOUR instances reported on Twitter that show how VERY fallible and dangerous the netting can be. None have been as bad as the Tampa Bay Rays extended netting fail in 2016 when a ball sailed through a gap in the netting a hit a fan in the chest. But it’s just a matter of time before it does happen.
I’ve seen FOUR net fails this first week. The netting, which is supposed to protect fans from the hardest hit balls and from bats, and that is supposed to be sealed tightly so no balls can get through in any way, simply did not work. We’ve seen these fails for the last two seasons too. I predicted something like this in this piece on MLB netting issues.
The major problem with netting is it gives fans a false sense of security. This opens MLB to lost lawsuits. ANY of the people involved would probably win a lawsuit because of the presumed safety. I hope they make a point one time. Then maybe we can get back to some semblance of sanity. The piece on these four fails is coming up later this week.
CHICAGO WHITE SOX NETTING FAIL #1
The first instance is a Chicago White Sox netting issue. In this instance, the netting, which has repeatedly been sold to fans as a guaranteed bat stopper failed. FAILED to stop a bat. Here’s the tweet that brought this issue to my attention. ———————–>
Thankfully, no fans were injured. But that doesn’t mean the next fan won’t be. If it happened once, it WILL happen again. And when it does, Manfred just signed the death warrant for Major League Baseball and the American Pastime. Baseball will be gone.
CHICAGO WHITE SOX NETTING FAIL #2
In another instances, again at a White Sox game, I discovered this gem about a batboy threading the ball through the netting to hand to some fans the ball. The batboy actually gave it to them.
As the tweeter reports, there is an opening at the south end of the visitors dugout.
DETROIT TIGERS NETTING FAIL
In Detroit, Al Avila decided he was going to really overreact and install crappy netting down to the foul poles. One morning as I went through the foul ball related tweets from the day before, I ran across a tweet from the dad and his son almost seen in the picture. The father had tweeted “Netting failed”. Of course that piqued my interest, as it turns out the netting wasn’t high enough to protect the boy. By SHEER luck, the ball grazed the young man seen here on his dad’s shoulders. And yet netting is supposed to be safe. The ball came OVER the netting, grazing the boy.
Think about that for a minute…or a second. Had there been NO netting, the father here would have been able to react. He would have seen the ball heading toward his son, and had time to fully react to protect him. However, as I’ve stated MANY times in carious places, the netting offered a false sense of safety, so the father and son were shocked into not being able to react as the ball flew over the nets and grazed this young man’s head.
HOUSTON ASTROS NETTING FAIL
Then there was the Houston Astros fail. This one was off a ricochet…here’s the craziest part though: The fan hit was sitting in the Slaughter Pen! The area that has been covered by netting for over decades.
“This Astros fan was hit in the face by a foul ball that ricocheted off a brick wall. He didn’t get the ball, shook it off and two pitches later, ran down a foul ball hit in the seat next to him! Redemption! pic.twitter.com/8W4Vt3YAr6