PHILADELPHIA (CBS)–The Philadelphia Phillies extended their nets at the beginning of the season. They’re also using a material that is less of a distraction. After last night’s foul ball incident at Yankee Stadium, the debate is once raised over safety and the game experience.
Citizens Bank Park is among a number of baseball stadiums where protective netting was extended to the edges of dugouts. If the same had been true at Yankee Stadium, an unsettling scene would likely have been avoided on Wednesday afternoon when a screaming 106 mph foul ball torpedoed into the crowd and into the face of a toddler.
“I can’t imagine in a million years if anything like that happened to my son,” Dennis Cunard of Williamstown said.
Dodgers were at the Bank for a little Thursday afternoon action with the Phils. Baseball fans have gone back and forth over the protective net.
Dennis and Julie Cunard, with their infant son, Connor, say it makes sense.
“I’d like to see all MLB teams extend it to the end of dugout,” Dennis Cunard said.
Nicole Radio from West Chester with her three sons says the benefits of netting outweigh any visibility complaints.
“You hope they can get netting and have safer procedures for the fans,” she said.
Yankees and Twins players paused for four minutes while staff attended to the young girl.
Some parents point out while the netting is a positive step, it just might be wiser to avoid the area.
“It’s just too risky, there’s too many things you have to pay attention to when you have a little one. It would be hard to do both: pay attention to the game and you’re little guy,” Julie Cunard said.
Pressure came from Phillies players last year, after Freddy Galvis struck a young girl in the face with a foul ball.
The Yankees released a statement saying: “The child who was struck with a batted ball today was given first aid at the ballpark and is receiving medical attention at an area hospital. The federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, known as HIPAA, prevents the team from giving more information. We will have no further comment at this time.”
Major League Baseball issued recommendations for protecting netting or screens in December 2015, encouraging teams to have it in place between the ends of the dugouts closest to home plate.
“It remains an ongoing discussion in the industry,” Commissioner Rob Manfred said at Safeco Field, before Wednesday night’s game between Seattle and Texas. “We gave some guidelines two years ago, and what we have done since then is that we have encouraged the individual clubs to engage in a localized process, look at their own stadiums — every stadium’s different — and to try to make a good decision about how far the netting should go in order to promote fan safety.”