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Major League Baseball Teams Look To Add Extra Netting After Yankee Stadium Accident

AILSA CHANG, HOST:

This week the big story in baseball is pretty sobering. It's about the safety of fans at the ballpark.

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

On Wednesday, in the fifth inning of the game between the New York Yankees and the Minnesota Twins...

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED ANNOUNCER: Look out. Oh, my goodness.

MCEVERS: ...New York's Todd Frazier hit a line drive foul ball into the stands behind the third base dugout.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED ANNOUNCER: That is scary. It was absolutely laced.

CHANG: The ESPN announcers reacted as the ball hit a young girl in the face.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED ANNOUNCER: A little too graphic for us to show you. And that...

CHANG: The game stopped. Some players cried. Frazier knelt down at home plate. And then medics evacuated the girl.

MCEVERS: The game did eventually continue. And after it was over, Frazier talked to reporters.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

TODD FRAZIER: It was terrible. Shaken up a little bit and, you know, I don't know really what happened. I hope she's all right. But it was just something that I wish never happened. It was - it was tough. It was tough to watch and tough to be a part of, to be honest.

MCEVERS: One of the girl's relatives told the New York Post earlier today she's in the hospital in stable condition. But the relative said it's going to be a long process.

CHANG: Since Wednesday's game, many people are saying teams need to extend the protective netting along the baselines where foul balls and broken bats can fly into the stands. Twins second baseman Brian Dozier was on the field Wednesday. He wants to see that.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

BRIAN DOZIER: Every stadium needs to have nets. That's it. I don't care about the damn view of a fan or what. It's all about safety. I still have a knot in my stomach.

MCEVERS: Major League Baseball said back in 2015 that teams should extend the netting from behind home plate all the way to the dugouts. But it was a recommendation, not a requirement. And at the time, Commissioner Rob Manfred admitted some people wouldn't like it.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

ROB MANFRED: We want our fans to be safe in the ballpark. But we also have lots of fans who are very vocal about the fact that they don't like to sit behind nets.

CHANG: So far, only 11 ballparks have extended the nets. Yankee Stadium is not one of them. But after what happened this week, more teams are doing it. In the last two days, the Cincinnati Reds, San Diego Padres and Seattle Mariners announced that next season they will extend their netting.

(SOUNDBITE OF BOYISH SONG, "OBVIOUS") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.