Brewers shortstop Alex Gonzalez had his ACL surgery this morning. In a surprise, the doctor announced afterward that it “was the least successful surgery ever. Really, I messed up. It’s a hot mess in that knee, and he would have been far better off with an amputation than the havoc I wreaked in that thing.”
Just kidding. It was successful. All surgeries are successful. No one ever says differently.
But it’s a serious injury, so Gonzalez is still toast for the season. And maybe forever? He’s 35 and can’t really hit anymore. His glove is still solid, but if he wants a job next year he’s going to have to show that he hasn’t lost any mobility due to the surgery.
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.