In the wake of last Friday’s incident at Fenway Park, fan safety is naturally on the minds of a lot of people right now. Commissioner Rob Manfred spoke about the issue prior to tonight’s First-Year Player Draft and told Tim Britton of the Providence Journal that MLB will re-evaluate where they stand.
“Obviously the first and most important thing to say is we’re all concerned about the long-term well-being of the woman that was injured. That’s the most important issue,” Manfred said before Monday night’s First-Year Player Draft in Secaucus. “From Major League Baseball’s perspective, when you have an incident like this, you have to go back and re-evaluate where you are on all of your safety issues. Trust me, we will do that — just like we are on a variety of issues right now at the beginning of my tenure. It’s important not to lose sight of the fact that we have taken important steps in this area. Bat safety is much improved from where it was a few years ago. We spent a lot of time, effort and money to make sure that our bats are safer and we have lessened these incidents.”
According to a report from FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal over the weekend, players requested additional protective netting during negotiations for the last two collective bargaining agreements in 2007 and 2012. However, their proposal — which included extending netting down the foul lines and even to the foul poles — was rejected by owners. Asked specifically about the possibility of additional netting in MLB stadiums, Manfred said “there’s a variety of issues we’re going to take a fresh look at.”