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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.

Padres, Mariners join list of teams to extend netting

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The Reds announced earlier that they plan to extend the protective netting at Great American Ball Park in time for Opening Day next season. You can add the Padres and Mariners to what will surely be a growing list.

A young fan was struck in the face by a foul ball at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday, which gave new life to the netting debate. Some fans and media types think Major League Baseball is not doing enough to protect fans. While Major League Baseball has issued guidelines for protective netting, it is ultimately up to the teams to decide just how much netting to use.

Zach Britton receives stem cell injection, likely done for the season

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Orioles closer Zach Britton is likely done for the remainder of the 2017 season after receiving a stem cell injection in his left knee, Peter Schmuck and Jon Meoli of the Baltimore Sun report. Britton has been battling knee problems for most of the season.

The Orioles are still technically in the AL Wild Card race, entering play Thursday 5.5 games behind the Twins for the second Wild Card slot. With only nine games remaining, however, the 73-80 Orioles are likely being realistic about their chances and not taking any unnecessary risks with Britton.

Britton, 29, put up a 2.89 ERA with 15 saves and a 29/18 K/BB ratio in 37 1/3 innings this season. He will be eligible for arbitration for the fourth and final time this offseason.