During the game between the Kansas City Royals and the Cleveland Indians Saturday evening, a fan was hit by a foul ball down the third base line at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City. The protective netting extends halfway between home plate and the foul poles along first base and third base. However, the ball was hit past the dugout on the third base side so that the netting was not able to protect the fan. The fan was checked by medical personnel on the scene and was not seriously injured. This is the second time in two weeks that a fan was hit by a foul ball in Kansas City.
Instead of sending a mandate for every baseball team to extend the netting immediately from home plate to the foul poles on both sides, Major League Baseball (MLB) decided that every team should determine how they would deal with the situation. However, this failure to command that every team extends the netting at every ballpark can now open up every team to litigation due to precedent.
Last Monday, the Chicago White Sox became the first team and the only team to extend the netting down to both foul poles. Since the White Sox extended the netting days before the incident at Kauffman Stadium, the Royals are now negligent in preventing the fan from being hit by the foul ball Saturday night. There is no excuse for the other 29 MLB teams not having extended netting when the White Sox have already extended the netting.
Plus, the new netting is needed to protect fans from players that are unhinged. In Sunday’s game between the Royals and the Indians to close out the weekend series, Indians starting pitcher Trevor Bauer goes ballistic after blowing a 5-3 lead in the bottom of the fifth inning at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City. Instead of giving the ball to the manager, he throws the ball from the pitcher’s mound all the way into the center field stands. Extending the netting would protect the fans from players like Trevor Bauer.