Should baseball protect fans with nets?
Here's an awful story and, when you think about it, it's a wonder it doesn't happen more often. A 3-year-old girl was hit by a line drive during Los Angeles Dodgers batting practice Tuesday night. She was knocked unconscious and suffered a fractured skull which will require surgery. A Dodgers' spokesperson said the girl's injuries are not life-threatening, but it isn't known if she will have any long-term effects from the injury. The ball was hit by Dodgers catcher Russell Martin, who was so upset that he has offered to pay for the girl's medical expenses.
Martin told MLB.com, "As soon as it hit, I heard the sound. I knew it wasn't a good sound and then I saw him grab her. It didn't look like she was moving so that was scary. ... I mean, I've hit somebody before but not where they had to be rushed to the hospital.''
With as hard as major-league players hit foul-ball liners these days (plus, the diminishing foul territory space in the new ballparks), you wonder if MLB would ever consider doing what the NHL did by putting a net up in front of the fans most susceptible to being hit, in addition, that is, to the net behind home plate. Such a measure is doubtful, but it should be noted that the complaints over decreased vision when the NHL put nets behind the goals have mostly disappeared.
Meantime, a young boy sitting in centerfield of Sunday's Cardinals-Reds game was hit in the chest with an Albert Pujols' home run. The kid turned out to be fine, and got a signed Pujols bat for his effort.
Pujols told reporters. "I was watching my video, and I saw him crying. I felt that that's not the way you want a kid to remember, getting hit by the ball. So I tried to send a bat over. It wasn't to try to get attention or anything. ... I think if it would have hit an adult, it wouldn't have hurt as much, but when you hurt a little boy like that, that's an experience you don't want that kid to have.''