Starting in 2015, the Phillies made strides to expand protective netting at Citizens Bank Park. In August, this past season, Phillies shortstop Freddy Galvis lined a foul ball into the stands that struck and injured a young girl. After that game, he pleaded for the Phillies to expand protective netting so that it protects fans behind the dugouts. The next day, another foul ball went into the stands around the same area and struck another fan. Galvis threw his hands up in disgust.
Galvis may now be getting what he’s been asking for. MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki reports that the Phillies will be extending protective netting to the far ends of both dugouts. The netting will be eight feet high.
The netting issue has created debate that has even involved the likes of Stephen King, who wrote in the Boston Globe last April why he very much dislikes the netting at Fenway Park. But seeing as it’s become a litigious issue, Major League Baseball and its individual teams seem to be taking the issue more seriously than they did just a couple of years ago, which is good to see. And while some fans don’t like the idea, the players seem to be for it.
Fellow second basemen Javier Baez of the Cubs and D.J. LeMahieu of the Rockies got into a disagreement in the top of the third inning of Sunday’s game at Coors Field over sign-stealing.
LeMahieu reached on a fielder’s choice ground out, then advanced to second base on Charlie Blackmon‘s single. While Nolan Arenado and Trevor Story were batting, Baez was concerned that LeMahieu was relaying the Cubs’ signs to his teammates. Baez decided to stand in front of LeMahieu to block any information he might have been giving to Arenado and Story. LeMahieu got irritated and the two jawed at each other for a bit. Umpires Vic Carapazza and Greg Gibson had to intervene to tell Baez to knock it off.
There has always been a back-and-forth with alleged sign-stealing. As long as teams aren’t using technology to steal signs, it’s fair game for players to relay information to their teammates about the opposing team’s signs. Last year, MLB determined the Red Sox went against the rules and used technology — an Apple watch in this case — to steal signs from the Yankees. Other teams in the past have been accused of using binoculars from the bullpen to steal signs. In this particular case with Baez and LeMahieu, there was no foul play going on, just Baez trying to make the Rockies cede what he perceived to be their slight competitive advantage.
The Cubs went on to beat the Rockies 9-7 on Sunday.