A woman was struck by an Eloy Jiménez foul ball during Monday’s game in Chicago between the Nationals and White Sox. According to Daryl Van Schouwen of the Chicago Sun-Times, the woman was able to leave the stadium under her own power and was taken to a hospital for observation.
This incident occurs just two weeks after a child was injured by a foul ball in Houston during a game between the Cubs and Astros. Outfielder Albert Almora, who hit the foul ball, was visibly upset. He and teammate Kris Bryant called for more protective netting around the ballpark.
Last week, commissioner Rob Manfred said he doesn’t expect teams to extend netting during the season, the Associated Press reported. He said, “It’s very difficult given how far the clubs have gone with the netting to make changes during the year, because they really are structural issues. But, because safety is so important, I’m sure that conversation will begin and continue into the offseason.”
In the meantime, the league will continue to promote exit velocity and utilize all kinds of distractions at the stadium as players hit baseballs harder than they ever have before, and fans are left defenseless. All stadiums in Japan have protective netting all the way down the foul lines and fans don’t even notice it. The most expensive seats at all MLB parks are already behind netting. The players want more netting. Seems like a pretty simple fix, really.
The Atlanta Braves announced this morning that they have promoted general manager Alex Anthopoulos to President, Baseball Operations and General Manager and have extended his contract through 2024. They have likewise extended the contracts of manager Brian Snitker and his coaching staff through the 2021 season.
Anthopoulos’ promotion will not likely change his duties very much, as it’s become increasingly common for top baseball operations executives to be given the title of “president” as opposed to “GM.” Part of this is some expansion of the role of said executives. Some of it is simple title inflation. Some of it is to prevent other teams from being able to interview and potentially poach top executives without permission under the guise of promotion.
Anthopoulos was hired following the 2017 season, replacing former GM John Coppolella, who resigned and was subsequently permanently banned from baseball following his involvement in a scandal in which he breached rules in connection with signings of international players and obstructed Major League Baseball’s investigation into it all. Before that Antopoulos served as the Blue Jays’ GM for seven years.
Snitker took over as interim manager when the Braves fired Fredi Gonzalez in the middle of the 2016 season. He and Coppolella did not get along and there were strong suggestions that he would never lose the interim tag, but he has been on far steadier ground since Anthopoulos took over. Winning helps, of course, and under the leadership of Anthopoulos and Snitker, the Braves have won the last two NL East titles, going 187-137 in the past two seasons.