This Week in Foul Balls (Week 1: March 29-April 7): Netting Fails (as predicted), Mom Gives Son Bloody Nose, My Podcast Guest Spot and More.

Admittedly, I thought the extended netting was going to put me out of business, the end of counting foul balls. The truth is, it’s actually been GREAT for business. In fact, it’s gotten me a great deal of attention…including a podcast guest spot. So FoulBallz is back and ready to take on the Nanny State.

That said, Week 1 of the 2018 MLB baseball season is over, and the foul ball fun keeps on going and going an going. Welcome back to this week’s version of “TWIFB Notes” (This Week in Foul Balls). In this weekly post, I look at the best and worst foul ball moments in Major League Baseball…and sometimes Minor League Baseball…and sometimes softball and high school baseball.

First, our running total of foul ball hits in the facial area, or what I call “Foul Ball Facials”, as they are reported ONLY on Twitter. This is the count after 22 weeks of play:

re: Twitter 2018 RUNNING TOTALS:: 30 total

  • 6 Just flat out hit
  • 7 Using phone
  • 1 PARENTAL NEGLIGENCE! (1 gave own son bloody nose!)
  • 0 DRUNK
  • 1 Ricochet
  • 13 going for ball!
  • 2 netting fails (, )

83% self-inflicted injuries

Compare to last season stats:

126 total

  • 61 Using phone
  • 8 DRUNK
  • 32 going for ball

93.6% Self-inflicted injuries

The Hall of Fame/Fun

I was hard pressed to find any great snags or cool things this first week of the 2018 MLB season. This is a first for me in all my seasons bringing you this weekly fun piece.

  • This is the only thing I can find that comes close to a great snag: I call him the anti-Winhart (see below): This reporter snags the foul coming at him at the March 31, 2018 game between the Detroit Tigers and the Pittsburgh Pirates, granted, it’s off that crappy net, but still:

  • Then there was my personal favorite story of the week. The event happened prior to the season, but I found out that Andy Zlotnick lost his lawsuit appeal asking to repeal The Baseball Rule. That’s Andy’s second epic fail. He’s going for the strike out. Seems like such a waste of money too. And the definition of crazy as credited to Einstein: Doing the same thing over and over expecting different results. Oh Andy.

The Hall of Shame/Lame

There were way too many horrible things that took place in the first week plus a few days. A LOT. More than any other season in fact:

  • You’d have to have been living under a rock to not have heard about Kels Winhart, Braves reporter, being hit hard by a foul ball. I’m actually surprised the pro-netting cult hasn’t called for netting around reporters too. The fact is, I honestly think she should sue MLB for creating a dangerous work environment.
  • Not exactly how I saw this going, but season ticket holders have filed a lawsuit against Manfred and the league. They assert MLB knowingly withheld dangers. This is absurd, of course, because the warnings are ALL OVER the place. It’s basically the same type of lawsuit Gayle Payne lost a couple years back. I floated between “Great” and “Horrible” on this and landed here. Season ticket holders know better than anyone the dangers. They bought the tickets there after all! I honestly do think this lawsuit is to make a point to Manfred. And a small part of me wants them to win.
  • And then this piece. It’s essentially praising parents who endanger their kids. Regardless of WHERE you’re seated, you simply don’t go for a ball when you’re hold your kid! You turn around, duck or otherwise make a move to shield your kid. Otherwise it’s willful child endangerment.
  • Then this guy trolled me. While he thought he was winning, I actually did. This conversation drew a great deal of traffic to the site, so I won! The fact is, Billy is like every other fake fan who thinks they know the truth about foul balls. I invite every single one of them to write for me. They ALL refuse and get belligerent like Bill did. Why? Because they LITERALLY have NO evidence, so it’s easier to simply belittle someone. Even when I asked Bill to present the facts he claimed to have in our discussion….well, this is the result of me trying to get the data he claimed to have. True immaturity….

Bill Thompson @BillCubbieBlue

6m6 minutes ago
More Bill Thompson Retweeted FoulBallz®
I didn’t start the day looking to cause a dude to have a total meltdown on the Twitter. But here we are, and I don’t mind where the day has taken me…

But no facts to support his claims. But at least he publicized the site and I made money off his pettiness. 😊

  • This is endangerment. This mom injures her own son because going for ball was so important to her (4/7/2018). Notice she says “went to [sic] hard” for the ball; this means she ignored her son’s safety. I’ll be reporting her next week to child welfare with the hope the son is removed from such a dangerous environment:
  1. Wiegman‏ @mdwiegman5h5 hours ago

@Brewers you guys took so good care of my little one. I went to hard for a foul ball and gave my son a bloody nose. He’s a man now. #mlb #foulball



Netting Fails

I’ve seen THREE 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 three fails is coming up later this week.

Honorable Mentions

There are a few honorable mentions. They’re fairly standard stuff really. The foul ball that knocks a fan off their chair or a beer out of their hands, an effort with a hat, and so on. But one mention here deals with a foolish Mariners fan who tried to catch a ball and toppled onto this head….I’m sure MLB is to blame for that too:

Fan knocked off his chair.

This is a slight alteration of the oft seen “Bye-Bye Beer” foul ball tropes, which happened on 4/4:

Then there was a @Mariners fan who fell on his head into right field trying to catch a foul ball. (4/4)