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City Councilman Introduces Bill To Force the Mets and Yankees to Extend Protective Netting

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Back in 2015, in the wake of some high profile instances of batted balls and broken bats injuring fans in the stands, Major League Baseball issued some recommendations — not requirements, mere recommendations — to clubs to extend protective netting. Most have done so to some degree and others are planning on doing so. The lack of a requirement has caused this effort to proceed in fits and starts, however.

In New York, someone is trying to impose some uniformity. A city councilman. From the Daily News:

Maybe it will take the action of City Councilman Rafael Espinal, who is introducing a bill into legislature that would make it law for all ballparks in New York City, minor league as well as major, to extend protective netting all the way to each foul pole.

Espinal, who explains his reasoning in a column in the Daily News, is in a position to exert influence merely by introducing the bill into legislature.

His column is here.

Espinal says he’d prefer to not legislate the matter but, rather, hope his bill prods them to act. Given that he’s calling for netting to go all the way to the foul poles, which is far farther than any other team does with its nets, I suspect it will.

Ultimately, I think Major League Baseball passively recommending, as opposed to requiring, clubs to extend netting was a pretty weak move. It was inevitable that, eventually, it would invite this sort of thing.

The Mariners and Cardinals make a minor trade

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The Seattle Mariners and the St. Louis Cardinals have made a minor trade. Seattle has acquired lefty Marco Gonzales from the Cardinals in exchange for outfielder Tyler O’Neill.

Gonzales, the Cardinals’ first round pick out of Gonzaga back in 2013, is in his first season back from Tommy John surgery. It’s been a good season, in which he has posted a 2.78 ERA and 64/17 K/BB ratio over 74.1 innings across two minor league levels. He’s pitched one game for St. Louis this year and got shelled, but we’ll leave that go.

O’Neill is a third rounder from 2013. He has hit .269/.344/.505 in five minor league seasons. He’s holding his own in Triple-A this year, smacking 19 homers in 93 games.

Topps has eliminated Chief Wahoo from both new and throwback card designs

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I’ve been out of the baseball card game for a good long time, but despite this — maybe because of this — I enjoy the posts from SABR’s Baseball Card Committee. A lot of that is old time stuff that old men like me enjoy — check out the airbrushing on the “Traded” cards! — but they talk about new cards too. Definitely worth your time if cards are now or have ever been your bag.

Today there’s an interesting post, pointing out something most of us wouldn’t have otherwise noted: Topps has dropped Chief Wahoo from Indians card designs. They’re doing it for the old Braves “screaming Indian” logo as well, though the Braves no longer use that themselves.

They’re not airbrushing these logos out of photos of players — that would be Orwellian even for my extreme Wahoo-hating tastes — but in card designs which have team logos, Topps is using the block-C logo, not Wahoo, and the Braves “A” logo in place of the old logo. This includes throwback issues like the Heritage sets which put modern players on card designs from the 1950s-1960s and on simple retro designs like their 1987 variations. Any cards which once featured Wahoo on the border or on the back now features the block-C.

As you may or may not know, Topps is now the official card producer for Major League Baseball. As such, I take their doing this as a sign that MLB is continuing the slow process of de-Chiefing in whatever areas it has ultimate say.

Now if only the Indians themselves would get on board.