MLB “actively studying” fan safety; Phillies plan to expand netting at Citizens Bank Park

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Over the past year-plus, multiple high-profile players and agents have come out in favor of expanding the use of protective netting at Major League Baseball stadiums. Currently nets only cover the sections surrounding home plate, and there’s a push to have it extend farther up both foul lines.

This issue was shot down by the owners in the last two collective bargaining agreements — 2007 and 2012 — but there seems to be a bigger groundswell of support for the extension of netting right now than at any time in recent memory. And the people in the commissioner’s office have been listening …

“We are actively studying and evaluating a number of issues related to fan safety, including bat safety, netting, etc., at the league level,” MLB spokesman Pat Courtney told FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal.

In that Rosenthal piece is an announcement that the Phillies intend to extend the netting at Citizens Bank Park. But it might not happen this year because they don’t want to do it and then have MLB come out with a new, different, suddenly-official set of parameters. Major League Baseball, meanwhile, has to examine the different codes in all of the cities and counties where its teams play.

Look for something more concrete on this over the offseason.

Good on everybody involved in wanting to get ahead of a potential tragedy.

Shawn Tolleson retires from baseball

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Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News reports that reliever Shawn Tolleson is retiring from baseball. The right-hander experienced a setback in his recovery from Tommy John surgery last week.

Tolleson, who turns 31 years old on Saturday, last pitched in the majors in 2016. He had two very good years out of the bullpen for the Rangers in 2014-15, posting an aggregate 2.88 ERA with 145 strikeouts and 45 walks across 144 innings.

Tolleson signed a one-year deal with the Rays in January 2017 before undergoing Tommy John surgery several months later. The Rangers inked him to a minor league contract in December 2017, but he wasn’t able to work his way back.