More MLB Teams Planning To Extend Safety Netting; Yankees Remain Tight-Lipped
The Tigers "plan to extend the safety netting at Comerica Park" before the start of the '18 season, according to Evan Woodbery of MLIVE.com. Currently the netting "protects the area behind home plate but does not extend over the dugouts." The Tigers said that their ballpark operations department is "currently developing a plan," and details "will be announced at a later date." In the past, proposals to extend the netting have been "met with objections from some season ticket holders, who worried about a compromised view" (MLIVE.com, 9/26). In Baltimore, Peter Schmuck writes it seems "highly likely" that the Orioles will extend the netting beyond the dugouts at Camden Yards before '18. Orioles team physician Bill Goldiner yesterday said that those plans are "being made and that the nets almost certainly will be going up sometime after the end of the regular season." Goldiner: "Conversations have been going on for at least a couple of months, actually before the All-Star break" (Baltimore SUN, 9/27). In L.A., Bill Shaikin reports the Dodgers are "likely to modify the protective netting at Dodger Stadium" for '18. Dodgers President & CEO Stan Kasten: "We will be doing something" (L.A. TIMES, 9/27). The AP reported the Giants also "plan to expand the protective netting behind home plate going into next year." Giants Exec VP/Communications & Senior Advisor to the CEO Staci Slaughter said the club is "in the process of figuring out the engineering aspects." The Mariners, Reds and Padres announced last week that they would "expand netting" for '18 after a young girl was injured by a foul ball at Yankee Stadium (AP, 9/26).
STAYING TIGHT-LIPPED: In N.Y., Wallace Matthews noted the Yankees have "not commented -- nor done anything to change the dimensions of the screens now in place" at Yankee Stadium. Yankees President Randy Levine on Monday said, "I'm not going to talk about the netting." Matthews noted whether the Yankees are "hearing from more fans in the aftermath" of last week's incident is "not known, since the Yankees have yet to address the issue" (N.Y. TIMES, 9/26). Also in N.Y., Dan Martin noted the Yankees "sent out a letter to season ticket holders last month saying they were considering installing additional netting by next year, but were still consulting with architects and engineers about the best way to do so" (N.Y. POST, 9/26).
WHAT'S THE HOLDUP? In Baltimore, Eduardo Encina wrote though the topic of possibly expanding the safety netting at ballparks has "several times moved to the forefront," the discussion has "not yet resulted in creating standards across all ballparks." MLB has "struggled to enact a universal policy when it comes to protective netting, leaving the decision in the hands of the clubs themselves, mostly because ballparks have different dimensions and distances from home plate to the stands." Orioles manager Buck Showalter: "Why wouldn't it be standard everywhere? Why wouldn't it be standard lengths, standard safety features, standard warning tracks, standard fence structures? Why not?" (Baltimore SUN, 9/26).