Twins' Dozier calls for mandatory protective netting after young fan hit by foul ball
Minnesota Twins All-Star Brian Dozier called for mandatory protective netting at every MLB park after a young fan was hit by a liner on Wednesday.
The Yankees-Twins game was delayed several minutes in the bottom of the fifth inning after a young fan, sitting down the third-base line at Yankee Stadium, was hit by a hard liner off the bat of Todd Frazier.
Players and umpires appeared distraught as the youngster was tended to and eventually carried from the stands.
Yankees veteran Matt Holliday was seen brushing tears from his cheeks while appearing to gesture about a protective netting. Frazier knelt and bowed his head. He, too, appeared particularly upset by the incident.
After the game, Frazier and Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorius both said the netting at Yankee Stadium should be extended.
Dozier took it one step further, calling for mandatory protective netting at every MLB park.
"Either you don't bring kids down there, or every stadium needs to have nets," an emotional Dozier told reporters.
"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. I don't know if you guys saw it, but I hope the kid's OK. We need nets. Or don't put kids down there.”
The Yankees have thus far resisted extending their netting to the foul poles, but, according to the New York Times, they were "seriously exploring" a plan to extend the netting after a foul ball hit by slugger Aaron Judge struck a fan in the head in July.
"It's all up to the owners. I don't want to get ahead of myself and say the wrong thing," Dozier said.
"But we're definitely trying to get everybody to do it. I know – Target Field being the closest to home plate, so we put up a little rule that a certain amount of distance you gotta have one. But I say put them all down, all the way down."
Yankees manager Joe Girardi said to reporters that stadium security told him the little girl "is doing OK" after getting hit in the face.
MLB mandated before the 2016 season that teams extend protective netting at least to the far ends of dugouts.