Seemingly motivated by the April 27 incident in which home plate umpire Jeff Kellogg had to step in and tackle a fan on the field, the Orioles have beefed up security at Camden Yards by hiring private security guards, CSN Baltimore’s Rich Dubroff reports.
The guards will work in tandem with Baltimore City police officers in patrolling the lines before Orioles games and between innings.
“The club believes it is important to provide adequate support to discourage illegal fan behavior such as running onto the field as well as to quickly and effectively address any problems should they arise,” Orioles director of communications Greg Bader said in response.
The Orioles have had at least four people jump the fence and take the field during games this season. At least one, the Batman-wannabe from Opening Day, has been banned from the park for life.
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.