Put Up The Damn Netting

"The definition of insanity is repeating the same action over and over again, but expecting a different response.?

No one is quite sure where that quote came from, but there's a pretty good chance it didn't originate from the offices of Major League Baseball.

 

For at least third time this season, a fan was taken to the hospital after getting struck by a foul ball,

This time, the two unlucky individuals were Francisco Lindor and the three-year-old child who was directly in the path of the Tribe shortstop's line drive foul ball. After the game, Lindor reignited a debate when he spoke to the media about the need to put protective netting from foul pole to foul pole.

Because for reasons passing understanding, the idea of protecting fans from devastating injury has become a debatable point.

Major League Baseball, along with most teams individually, has been reluctant to install protective netting in it's parks. Most sane people would ask why, in an era where the fan experience is almost more important in some markets than the actual on-field product, would MLB would balk at the chance to prevent possible lethal injury? It's the same reason for any hair-brained decision in sports.

Money.

Fans who have season tickets, the bread and butter for every team's attendance revenue, aren't really warming to the idea of netting throughout foul territory because it would make it tougher to watch the game. (Forgetting the fact it's pretty hard to watch a game with a skull fracture.)

That's right! The fine folks at Major League Baseball are deeply concerned about your fan experience, unless you irritate the season ticket holders.

This is latest instance of Major League Baseball getting in the way of it's self. It's not a secret that baseball has been struggling to get younger fans, and acquiescing to a group of baby boomers at the expense of it's younger fans isn't going to help out their demographics. Most people who have the time and means to enjoy season tickets can remember where they were when President Kennedy was assassinated, and all three fans hurt this year were under the age of 18.

On the surface, the idea of catering to fans who have more money to spend seems completely logical and a great way to make money and insure a profitable season, but baseball shouldn't be concerned with just this season. It needs to be concerned for years and decades to come. Kids won't want to go to games when they see people their age leaving ballparks on a stretcher, and parents won't be inclined to take them.

The lifeblood of this game will always be the baseball crazy ten year old that lives and dies with every game their team plays. If we take them away, and just let the adults handle things, the end of baseball will be inevitable.

Balls are flying off the bat faster than ever. There are more distractions than ever at Major League ballparks. Every professional league on earth is already doing it. Kids are getting hurt. People are dying.

Put up the damn netting.

Listen to Rob on Newsradio WTAM 1100 Saturday after the Indians game.

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