If you did not hear about what happened on Wednesday night, during the Cubs v. Astros game, Albert Almora Jr. hit a line-drive foul into the stands in the top of the 4th inning. That ball would within seconds strike a young 4-year-old girl and have her rushed up the stairs of the ballpark and immediately transported to receive medical attention.
I have several thoughts on the sequence of events that went down two nights ago:
First and foremost, Albert Almora Jr. now has every single ounce of respect I can give to a human being. His compassion and discernment for what happened was top-notch, refreshing to see, and emotionally wrecking on the highest of levels as well. Being able to break down and show your deep and personal emotions in front of tens of thousands of fans—on top of the hundreds of thousands more watching on TV takes courage. Almora Jr. did not have to go over to the stands and ask the security guard if the child was okay, he did not have to outwardly show how distraught he was, and yet he did both of those things. Not out of attention or gallantry, he did it cause he is a caring and compassionate father that understands the role of being a dad and the terror that ensues when your kid is in danger.
Secondly, Major League Baseball needs to take action about what happened. Like, now.
This is not the first case of this happening by any means. I realize that the MLB recently extended the nets out in an effort to increase the protection of fans sitting near the foul-lines. That’s great. However, I think that all 30 major league parks should extend their netting down the entirety of the foul-line with what has happened to this little girl. Rangers manager Chris Woodward shared a little bit of his thoughts on the subject (see tweet below) and it appears that the under construction, Globe Life Field, is going to get their act in gear and extend the netting down about 275 feet up left and right field.
As happy as this makes me that my team is going to take action, it still leaves 29 others to follow suit and doesn’t provide a solution for right now. There are still fans at risk from foul balls as close as halfway to first base and there seriously needs to be something done sooner than later with each ballpark.
This topic has been talked about a lot recently and so I’m not going to go any more into detail and repeat what sports media has been chirping the last 36 hours. All I want to say, is that this should not be an issue that is resolved at the end of the season. This needs to be a unanimous agreement across all 30 teams to fix the netting hopefully before the All-Star Game this July.
I don’t care what you think, baseballs hit in the MLB come off the bat at a speed that can absolutely harm any person in its path. I have no issue looking through a net if at means we don’t have to take any more children to the damn emergency room.