PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – After a foul ball recently hit a young girl at a Chicago Cubs game, the Pirates have again raised the issue of safety netting at PNC Park.
A couple of years ago, the Pirates extended the park’s safety netting all the way to the end of their dugout. A year later, the MLB ordered all teams to do the same.
But after what happened in Chicago, the question now is: should the netting go all the way down on the foul line?
The view from the Pirates clubhouse is to put up the nets.
“Yeah, I think so. I mean guys hitting are hitting hundred plus mile-an-hour foul balls, that could do some damage to somebody,” said outfielder Brian Reynolds. “I think you’ll still be able to see the game fine and everybody will be safe.”
The Pittsburgh Pirates released the following statement:
“We are pleased that Major League Baseball will continue to evaluate the issue of protective netting in MLB ballparks and we will again assess the situation at PNC Park and determine if further expansion is warranted.”
First baseman José Osuna echoed Reynolds, saying, “I think that would be good, to protect the fans.”
“Yeah, you wanna go as far as you can to make sure people are safe,” added shortstop Cole Tucker.
But the view from fans is mixed.
“The human in me says yes, extend them,” said one Pirates fan. “The baseball fan in me isn’t so sure.”
Another fan was more certain.
“I think something should be there, at least on that very lower level along the third and first baseline,” he explained.
Yet another fan had a different take entirely.
“I don’t think so. I think that there’s folks that sit down there that kind of understand the risk,” he said.
Pittsburgh Pirates Manager Clint Hurdle said there is no easy solution, but something needs to be done.
“It’s hard, we want to live in a perfect world and we don’t want harm for anybody at any time,” said Hurdle. “And I think the best thing we can do is put our heads together and come up with a solution.”