I was almost ready to put one tentative foot on board The Common Man’s Mallparks-aren’t-so-bad-when-you-get-right-down-to-it bandwagon, but then I went and read David Fleming’s remembrance and revisiting of old Tiger Stadium which apparently coincided with a minor dust storm here in my den if my current eye irritation is any judge.
I’ll go this far: yes, it is way easier to take young kids to the mallparks. But easy ain’t everything. When I was a kid, the cigar-and-beer smells of Tiger Stadium made me acutely aware that I was in a grownup place. And I loved nothing more than being in what I thought were grownup places in those days.
But no matter which side you fall on — assuming you have to take a side; we do too much of that I think — both TCM’s and Fleming’s stories are good reads.
The Reds announced earlier that they plan to extend the protective netting at Great American Ball Park in time for Opening Day next season. You can add the Padres and Mariners to what will surely be a growing list.
A young fan was struck in the face by a foul ball at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday, which gave new life to the netting debate. Some fans and media types think Major League Baseball is not doing enough to protect fans. While Major League Baseball has issued guidelines for protective netting, it is ultimately up to the teams to decide just how much netting to use.
Orioles closer Zach Britton is likely done for the remainder of the 2017 season after receiving a stem cell injection in his left knee, Peter Schmuck and Jon Meoli of the Baltimore Sun report. Britton has been battling knee problems for most of the season.
The Orioles are still technically in the AL Wild Card race, entering play Thursday 5.5 games behind the Twins for the second Wild Card slot. With only nine games remaining, however, the 73-80 Orioles are likely being realistic about their chances and not taking any unnecessary risks with Britton.
Britton, 29, put up a 2.89 ERA with 15 saves and a 29/18 K/BB ratio in 37 1/3 innings this season. He will be eligible for arbitration for the fourth and final time this offseason.