The Player of the Week awards were announced this afternoon. The winners: Paul Konerko of the White Sox and Jay Bruce of the Reds.
Konerko went 10-for-23 with three doubles, three home runs — including his 400th career bomb — and drove in four. He’s having another quietly great Paul Konerko year thus far, hitting .383/.444/.679. Someday we’re all gonna look back at the past 15 years or so and wonder why in the hell people didn’t talk about him more than we did.
In the NL, it was Jay Bruce, who went 10-for-21, hit four homers — in consecutive games — drove in ten and got on base at a .542 clip, leading the suddenly frisky Reds to a 4-2 record.
I should also add that I have this feeling that one day we’ll look back at Jay Bruce’s career a lot like Paul Konerko’s.
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.