The Reds Need To Do More To Protect Their Fans.

posted by Mo Egger, ESPN1530 - 

I had what most would define as really good seats for Sunday's Reds game.  Section 119, row U, on the aisle, just a few rows up from the on-deck circle. I had a prime viewing spot to see Scott Feldman throw a complete game shutout and to see the Reds rough up Johnny Cueto just enough to finish off a series sweep of the Giants.

A few rows one one section over, maybe 20 feet away from where I was sitting, I also saw a little kid nearly catch Buster Posey's bat with his face.

Major League Baseball, in response to a few incidents both in the big leagues and minor leagues, has left it up to individual clubs to determine how long the netting that's always been behind home plate should extend down the base lines. A few teams have extended the protection for its fans. One of them is the Braves, who've run the netting down to where the dugouts end.

Some have made changes, but only so far. One example is the is the Padres. At Petco Park last week, a game was delayed for 13 minutes as a woman seated two rows behind the Colorado Rockies dugout was treated after being his by a bat that had been let go by Hector Sanchez. 

The Reds are among the teams that have met the minimum requirement, extending netting to the inner edge of the dugout, meaning that if you're in the first few rows behind the dugouts - like the people who had to dodge Posey's bat on Sunday - you're at risk.

Here's the part where you tell me that fans sitting close to the field should be closer attention - an argument that's woefully out of touch with modern realities - or you're going to tell me that kids don't belong in seats in the first few rows, which is a lame argument on many levels.  You'll tell me that netting hinders the experience, which is an argument that no one who's ever had a chance to sit behind the plate has used when turning down tickets.  There's simply no argument against extending the netting that makes any sense.

And there's no reason why the Reds shouldn't implement a change now.

I was very close to seeing a near-disaster at Great American Ballpark on Sunday. I'm afraid that for the Reds to make long-overdue changes in the way they protect their fans, someone will have to get hurt.

Mo Egger

Mo Egger

Mo Egger delivers his unique take on sports on Cincinnati's ESPN 1530! Read more

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