The first rule of a baseball fan is to pay attention to the game especially if you are sitting near the infield.
You watch every pitch. You watch every play.
Fans never know when the next hit will be directed at them. One fan did not pay close enough attention and was struck by a batted ball from Anthony Gose and taken to the Detroit Receiving Hospital during the Tigers 2-0 loss to the Texas Rangers Friday night. Afterwards Tiger players called for Major League Baseball to put up netting or protection for fans.
I love sitting close to the action. I love unobstructed views of the game behind or close to the dugout. It adds to the game. I do not want a net or piece of plastic in the way. Fans must pay attention.
I get the netting behind home plate. Balls are redirected so quickly that you don’t have time to react even if fans are paying attention. It is a necessary evil. I do not believe the protection needs to be extended down the base lines.
“It’s something that needs to be addressed immediately,” Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander told reporters after the game. It almost seems like something happens once a game. I think baseball needs to make an adjustment in a hurry.”
We’ve been playing this way for more than 100 years. Yes, there are going to be near misses and fans are going to be struck by the ball. But if you are paying attention and hold your hands up serious accidents will be rare. I’ve sat in seats near home plate and I am always alert and ready to pounce if a ball comes near me or family or fans near me.
Keep things the way they are.