The incident in which a toddler who was hit by the baseball in Yankee Stadium late in the season seems to have been the watershed moment with respect to protective netting. Since then, multiple clubs which had, to that point, declined to extend netting per Major League Baseball’s recommendations, have chosen to do so. The latest: the Milwaukee Brewers.
The Brewers announced today that they plan to extend the protective netting on the field level at Miller Park. It will now run to the outer edge of each dugout. Major League Baseball’s current requirement is that it extend to the inside of the dugout, with recommendations to go farther.
The Brewers join the Yankees, Padres, Mariners and Reds among clubs which have announced an extension of netting since the Yankee Stadium incident.
Tom Schuba of the Chicago Sun-Times reports that Athletics outfielder Dustin Fowler has filed suit against the White Sox for negligence. Fowler sustained a season-ending injury during a collision at Guaranteed Rate Field last June and is also bringing the lawsuit against the Illinois Sports Facilities Authority agency, as neither party took measures to secure the ballpark’s unpadded electrical box that exacerbated his injuries.
The 22-year-old outfielder was just two outs into his major league debut with the Yankees when the incident occurred. Fowler tracked a Jose Abreu foul ball down the first base line and flipped over the short railing. He was noticeably limping after colliding with a knee-high electrical box at the wall and collapsed to the ground within seconds before being carted off the field.
The official diagnosis: a ruptured patellar tendon and season-ending surgery on his right knee. Per Schuba’s report, which can be read here in full, Fowler has claimed “‘severe and permanent’ external and internal injuries, as well as mental pain and anguish” following the collision.
No specific demands have been publicized yet. Fowler is said to be seeking money from both the White Sox and the Sports Facilities Authority, likely enough to cover the “large sums” he spent on medical care for the surgery and related treatments.