Here we go again, ANOTHER fan injured (this time a small child) by a foul ball.

This has been something that has always peeved me about baseball. People being injured by flying balls and bats. It’s not a “new” problem. If you’ve read my blog for a while, you’ll know that this is a cause I’ve championed for ages. I’ll post links to my previous blogs below.

Photo courtesy of David Phillip/AP

In case you haven’t heard, last night a 4 year old little girl was hit by the a foul ball hit by Albert Almora Jr. it must have been terrible as the players all reacted in horror. As a fan, I know this sound.

I was at a game in Lakewood, New Jersey when an “airmailed” throw from third sailed into the crowdabove the first base dugout and pegged a toddler square in the back. He was standing directly in front of his mother. There was nothing she could have done to protect him. It made this sick, thump as you could hear the air knocked out of the child’s lungs. He did not cry.

That was even scarier, the lack of crying. There was dead silence and for a brief second I thought he had been killed. Then he made this high pitched squealing breath and started to cry. It was terrifying. Luckily, there was a pediatrician sitting in the next section who immediately attended the child.

The player was horrified at the damage he had caused.

It’s been almost 13 years since that game, August 19, 2006 and yes, I remember the date. When is the safety of the patrons going to rate spending a few thousand dollars for poles and net?

It’s not just horrifying to the injured person, their family and the adjacent fans but looking at Almora’s reaction and subsequent sobbing on the shoulder of a security guard when he was told she’d be ok shows how traumatizing it is for the players that bat the ball.

In the NHL, one little girl, Brittani Cecil was killed by a deflected puck in March, by the beginning of the next season, all NHL facilities had protective netting. That’s all it took, one accident. With the myriad of incidents and serious injuries with MLB, why have they not acted?

This article in the Washington Post outlines some of the most egregious injuries and deaths in baseball history. The key part of the article is as follows:

it has come to be known as the “Baseball Rule.” As long as teams offer some protected areas, fans sitting outside that zone do so at their own risk — a warning still printed on the back of every MLB ticket today.

It’s not an idle warning. A review by Bloomberg in 2014 found that 1,750 fans per year are injured by foul balls. Many of the injuries have been harrowing. In 2017, Sports Illustrated’s Gabriel Baumgaertner recounted some recent cases: a woman in Dodger Stadium whose jaw was broken in two places by a flying bat in 2008; a fan at Fenway Park who spent a week in serious condition at a hospital in 2015 after a thrown bat hit his head; a screaming line drive at Wrigley Field that same year that left a fan carted out on a stretcher. Per ESPN, only two fans before Goldbloom had ever died due to head trauma caused by a baseball at an MLB game: a 32-year-old named Clarence Stagemyer, who died in 1943 after being hit by an errant throw to first at Washington’s Griffith Stadium; and Alan Fish, a 14-year-old who died in 1970 after a foul ball at Dodger Stadium hit him in the head.

Linda Goldbloom, Alan Fish and Clarence Stagemyer have all died from batted balls. How many others have been seriously injured by balls and bats?

How many people have to die or be seriously injured before MLB will do something? MLB promotes their in park ballpark apps…further distraction from play on the field-one more thing that could lead to someone getting hurt? Players are bigger and stronger, the technology in the equipment allows them to hit balls harder and faster. MLB is even promoting “EXIT VELOCITY” and “LAUNCH ANGLE”, two more ways to encourage harder hitting.

The Japanese League has added netting from home to foul poles. They take fan safety seriously.

The new netting is very thin and it in no way interferes with the experience. They installed it at Spectrum Field last season so I can speak from experience.

Are people so worried about not being able to get a foul ball that they are willing to risk serious injury? Would you take that chance with your family? As it stands now, MLB thinks it’s a risk you are willing take.

Previous Blogs:

Another Fan Killed by Foul Ball at Dodger Stadium

Another Serious Injury to a Fan-This Time at the World Series

Enough is Enough! More Netting is Needed at Baseball Stadiums! Freddie Galvis is Right!

Fan Injured By Bat Hit Into the Stands

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Odubel Herrera Leaves Practice With “Slight Left Hamstring Strain”-Picture

I was making my rounds today and was watching the infielders practice running the bases. First time, I took video, second, stills.

It was during the second time around the bases when I noticed Odubel Herrera pull up short and tender as he came into third. I have that still picture below:

Odubel Herrera pulls up short after injuring his left hamstring

He walked around gingerly for a moment but as I focused in on the others who were running home, I realized he hadn’t continued on and “disappeared.”

During the afternoon presser, Kapler referred to it as a “slight left hamstring strain”. Herrera had reportedly been bothered by it earlier and and had an MRI that showed no damage.

With the injury, this could leave an opening for either Roman Quinn or Mickey Moniak as Moniak was added to the 40 man roster this season. Moniak has been hitting well as camp opened.

Another Serious Injury to a Fan-This Time at the World Series 

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you’ll know I’m an advocate for additional netting at baseball stadiums. I advocated this even before the little girl was severely injured by Freddie Galvis this season at Citizens Bank Park. You can read my earlier post HERE.

What you didn’t see was a fan who was knocked UNCONSCIOUS during Game 7 of the World Series! It wasn’t covered on TV! Why? Because MLB doesn’t want to admit it can be life altering to attend a game. 

Photo of Fan injured at game 7 of the World Series. (Photo courtesy of Grant Cordone Twitter video)

The New York Times ran an article outlining not only the injurysustained during   Game 7 but also how an elderly woman was hit in the cheek fracturing the bone and destroying her eye. The woman is now permanently disabled and unable to leave her home due to her impaired and limited vision. You can read the NYT article HERE.

How many people have to get injured, disfigured or even DIE, yes people have been killed at baseball games, before fans are protected? Is getting a free baseball so great that it outweighs the danger?

In 1970, a Manny Mota foul hit young Alan Fish at Dodgers Stadium…three days later Alan Fish was dead. Manny Mota has to live the rest of this life knowing he killed a kid. Still, MLB does nothing.

When a young girl was killed at an NHL game, the NHL acted swiftly and within a few months ALL arenas were required to have protective netting. 

Baseball argues that fans are warned of possible injury from objects leaving the playing surface…but are fans who sit over the dugout warned that they are sitting in the “Danger Zone”? Does it say on your ticket  that you could be at risk of serious injury? Do they make sure that fans are nimble enough to move out of the way of a 100mph line drive foul?

People come to games and think they are safe, and most are, but I can guarantee you that those who have been injured or have seen some of these injuries will be sitting behind the net-if they can afford it as the only “safe” seats are behind home.

May be the answer is movable netting, similar to the netting used to proctect fans in the end zone from extra points at football games. With those, you still have the intimacy but without the danger. 

Even as a photographer, I’d rather sit behind netting. With a decent camera, you can compensate for the netting. Even still, I want to be safe. I was hit by a puck at an AHL game I understand how painful and life threatening being hit by a projectile can be. Trust me, I am lucky to be alive. 

Sadly, Alan Fish can’t say that.

Matt Imhof injured in freak accident


I have confirmed from several team sources that reliever Matt Imhof was seriously injured after last night’s game.

I was told that Imhof was stretching using “rubber bands” that were attached to a wall/fence by a clip. Reportedly, the clip broke free and sprung back into Imhof’s face.

The extent of the injury is unknown at this time and he is currently being treated for the injury.

Baseball Ross and I wish him a speedy recovery.

Just a Brief Update…

 
I’m sorry I haven’t been attending Spring Training lately. As you know, this is my favorite time of year and this could not have come at a worse time.
Last week, I had a visit with a specialist for my foot injury who recommended that I stay off the injured foot for a while. He informed me that I managed to tear my plantar tendon at the base of my toes. 

So I am supposed to stay off of it as much as I can and when I do venture out I have a “knee scooter” so that I am not bearing weight. I’ve had plantar fasciitis before and this is much, much worse.

I was talking with one of my “baseball sons” and he said to me, “take care of yourself, mom. We need you when we get there.” So I’m going to take his sage advice and take it easy for a few more days. 

See you soon.

Sometimes, It’s More Than a Game

Sometimes It’s More Than Just a Game…

I was going to write a perky piece today about the cars being packed into trucks to go north, celebrate those who will move up a level, and commiserate about those who didn’t. Today something happened at the field that took the wind out of my sails.

We found out late, that the games at 1 were cancelled because of the incoming rain and they were having a camp day, playing intra-squad games starting at 10. As we were walking in, an ambulance pulled up behind us then was waved onto Carlton Field. It was then we looked toward first to see a group of coaches and trainers gathered around a player who was laying flat on the ground.

My heart fell. I hurried to the home plate area where I saw someone I knew who told me what happened. The player was Hugo Arrocha-what was described to me was that Arrocha hit the ball and the first baseman had reached across first to catch the ball. When his arm went out, Arrocha collided with his arm and sort of flipped over it, landing on the side of his head/neck.  He was out cold.

There was a deathly quiet over the complex as he was put onto a stretcher. Arrocha did regain consciousness before being put in the ambulance. There was no “traditional polite applause” as he was carted away. Just a eerie silence that was like a cold fog against your neck.
Eventually, the games on that side of the building resumed, but no one’s heart seemed in it. There was no cheering, just a quiet. Most voices were hushed like it was a library.

I have yet to hear Arrocha’s condition. I will update as I find out his condition…

Sometimes, it’s more than a game, it can be someone’s life.

This was no “Halladay” for the Phillies this weekend

It was announced today that after an MRI Roy Halladay will be out 6-8 WEEKS with a strained lat muscle.

*facepalm* what will happen next?

Sadly, I think the this, along with the plethora of injuries plaguing the Phils just emphasizes the difficulty of maintaining a team of this age.

I’m afraid it will get worse and that we are starting to look into the abyss of a “lost” year. If so, what do we do? Suck it up and admit this isn’t working and deal the players we can in order to free up money and cap room to keep Hamels? Should they bring up some of the young guys and give them a shit at the big time?

I would strongly consider at least bringing some of the younger guys up and give them a shot, but knowing the way this team works, they’ll deal
away a bunch of prospects for a couple of 35 year old worn out players to drag them to the end of the season.

They say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. If this is true, Amarro might be the maddest hatter of them all.