As Jerry Manuel continues to wonder what he’ll be doing next spring, Andy Martino of the Daily News reports that Jeff Wilpon — who, every time I think of him and his father, I think of these guys — went to a Brooklyn Cyclones game last night and met with Wally Backman in private.
Martino says Wilpon denies that they were talking about the Mets managerial job. Perhaps Backman sold Wilpon something on Craigslist, and this was merely the pickup. Who knows?
Whatever the case, I’d guess that the Mets’ job will be the biggest topic of the early offseason, though. To review, a lot of people who know the Mets think that Bob Melvin is the Wilpon’s favorite. A lot of people still think Bobby V. is the man. Backman has his backers.
Personally I think they should go with a managerial platoon with Backman handling home games and Tim Teufel taking the road games, but no one ever listens to my ideas.
The Red Sox are the latest team to extend the protective netting at their ballpark this winter. According to a statement by club president Sam Kennedy, the exact dimensions of the netting have yet to be determined, but it will likely stretch “all the way to Field Box 79, down the left field line and then all the way down to almost Canvas Alley in the Field Box 9 area.”
Fenway Park received additional protective netting prior to the 2016 season, when the netting behind home plate was lengthened to the home and visitor dugouts. Per Kennedy’s statement, the current expansion should cover everything but the outfield corners, making it nearly impossible for a line drive foul to reach fans in the lower boxes.
After a toddler sustained serious injuries from a 105-MPH foul ball to the face at Yankee Stadium last September, over half of all MLB teams decided to take more extreme preventative measures in advance of the 2018 season. The Brewers, Cardinals, Braves, Astros, Royals, Pirates, Rangers, Padres, Nationals, Mariners, Phillies, Mets, Reds, Blue Jays, Giants, Yankees, Twins and Indians are among the organizations to address the issue over the last several years, while others have yet to take significant action.