AP Photo/Colin E. Braley

Protective netting at Nationals Park played the hero once again

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Two weeks ago, the protective netting at Nationals Park made a difference when part of Kelly Johnson‘s broken bat rocketed towards the crowd. The netting, though, got in the way and protected fans from potential harm.

The netting at Nationals Park played the hero once again on Wednesday night. Cesar Hernandez broke his bat swinging at a Gio Gonzalez fastball. A majority of the bat went flying towards the fans on the third base side, but it got stuck in the netting. One can clearly see just how dangerous it could have been, as one end appeared rather sharp.

Here’s the link to the video on MLB.com. Some fans, including Stephen King, have been outspoken opponents of the enhanced safety, but it’s made a difference thus far and the players seem to like it.

Major League Baseball issued netting recommendations to all 30 teams during the offseason.

Donaldson ejected for kicking dirt on plate after home run

David Banks-USA TODAY Sports
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Minnesota’s Josh Donaldson managed to get ejected while hitting a home run.

Donaldson barked at plate umpire Dan Bellino for the second time in the sixth inning of a 4-3 loss to the Chicago White Sox on Thursday.

With the score 2-2, Bellino called a strike when the 2015 AL MVP checked his swing on a 2-0 pitch from Reynaldo Lopez.

Manager Rocco Baldelli came out to speak with Bellino, and Donaldson homered down the left-field line on the next offering. After rounding the bases, Donaldson kicked dirt at home plate as he crossed it.

Bellino ejected him immediately, and Donaldson, realizing he had missed home plate, returned to the plate to touch it and then argued as he kicked more dirt on it.

Donaldson also had argued with Bellino on a 1-1 breaking ball in the first inning that appeared to be high but was called a strike, leading to a strikeout.

“We need Josh on the field, out there playing, and at third base,” Baldelli said. “That’s when we’re at our best. And so that’s really the end of it. I think we can move past it at his point, and go from here.”