Kevin Millwood is thinking about retirement

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Kevin Millwood pitched decently for the Mariners this this season before a sore shoulder put an early end to things this month, but the impending free agent told Greg Johns of MLB.com yesterday that he’s not sure whether he wants to come back for another season.

“I’m going to go home and just relax and play with my kids and see what happens, see how I feel and see what pops into my head,” Millwood said Friday. “I don’t have any definite plans right now on next year, but I’m sure at some point in the offseason it’ll hit me on what I want to do.”

“I knew I wanted to play this year,” he said. “But like I said, now I’m just trying to figure out physically if I can do it. I still definitely believe I can get people out, but whether it’s time to stay home and spend more time with my kids or try it again, I don’t know the answer to that yet.”

Millwood signed a minor league deal with the Mariners last offseason and made the team out of spring training. The 37-year-old right-hander ended up posting a 4.25 ERA and 107/56 K/BB ratio over 161 innings in 28 starts. And he wasn’t just a Safeco Field creation either, as his ERA was only slightly higher on the road (4.35) than it was at home (4.15). Still, it’s unlikely any team will give him much of a guarantee at this point, so he’s understandably thinking about whether it’s worth trying to put his body through another season.

Millwood has a 169-152 record and a 4.11 ERA over 16 major league seasons. While he has averaged an unspectacular 6.9 K/9 for his career, he ranks 59th all-time with 2,083 strikeouts. He is the active leader in strikeouts among right-handed pitchers.

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.