According to Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, the organization is vying to become the first team to install extended protective netting at the ballpark, but is currently waiting for MLB to finalize regulations regarding the netting.
Once baseball does reach a conclusion, the Phillies will commence their efforts to keep fans safe from foul balls and flying bats. Commissioner Rob Manfred spoke at Citizens Bank Park Thursday and discussed a possible timetable for the extended netting.
“We are examining all of the relevant information,” Manfred said. “Our goal to is to put the commissioner’s office in a position where we can make a complete recommendation to ownership in November and give people an opportunity to be ready to make changes for next year if, in fact, we decide that changes are necessary.”
Baseball will likely not come to a conclusion by the end of the 2015 season, but extended protective netting could be implemented in ballparks around the league as soon as next season.
According to Rosenthal, MLB must thoroughly examine the laws and codes in the cities and counties where its teams play before deciding on a uniform set of rules.
During Thursday night’s extra-inning loss to the New York Mets, a woman was struck in the forehead by a Freddy Galvis foul ball. She was evaluated by the park’s medical staff, but did not need to be sent to the hospital. Her seat was just to the right of where the netting ends.
There have been numerous incidents with fans suffering injuries from foul balls and airborne bats this season, including a June 5 incident where a woman at Boston’s Fenway Park was struck in the face with a shattered bat and suffered life-threatening injuries.
While there are worries about the extended netting negatively affecting the fan experience, the priority for MLB and the Phillies is to assure fans that they are safe when they take their seat at the ballpark.