Jeanmar Gomez and the Indians play the suspension/appeal system like a fiddle

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To see how pointless five-game suspensions are for starting pitchers and how silly the entire appeal process can be, look no further than Indians right-hander Jeanmar Gomez.

Yesterday he was given a five-game suspension for plunking Mike Moustakas over the weekend. Gomez has appealed, but plans to drop the appeal and serve the suspension as soon as he’s done making his next scheduled start Saturday.

In other words, he’s basically just delaying the suspension long enough to a) take his upcoming normal turn in the rotation interrupted and then b) make it so that having to sit out five games doesn’t inconvenience him beyond pushing back his next start by one extra day.

And the end result is essentially just allowing Gomez to dictate when he serves the suspension and how he can minimize the impact on his normal routine. Helluva system.

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.