Frank Robinson, who managed the Nationals for their first two seasons in Washington, will throw out the ceremonial first pitch at Nationals Park’s first ever playoff game.
Robinson has declined the team’s previous offers to be honored in various ways, but Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post reports that the 77-year-old Hall of Famer finally accepted this time around.
Because the ALDS and NLDS begin with the lower seed hosting two home games Robinson’s first pitch will come in Game 3, although the exact date and time isn’t known yet. It’ll either be Tuesday or Wednesday of next week.
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.