The Astros are installing a gigantic new video board

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Coming soon to Minute Maid Park: kiss cams in even larger, higher-definition!

The new primary video board will be located in right field and will
measure 54 feet high and 124 feet wide, making it the second-largest
board of its kind in the Major Leagues. The Astros current video board
is 26 feet high and 45 feet wide.

Click through to Maury’s post to see the size comparison between the new board and the old. It’s pretty shocking, actually.

But, as these things tend to go, size isn’t all that important — it’s what you do with it that matters. Advertisements and kiss cams and awkward public service announcements by players aren’t really any more useful just because they’re big. Indeed, I’ve yet to go to a ballpark where the video screens are really optimized.

More replays — not just of good plays by the home team — would be helpful.  I’d actually love to see a team use the board for the center field camera shot we’re accustomed to seeing on TV so I can follow the balls and strikes better when I’m not blessed with great seats.

Red Sox to extend protective netting at Fenway Park in 2018

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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.