A Slippery Slope

Yankee Stadium has announced it will extend safety netting next season after this year’s terrible accident when a child was hit by a line drive.

Photo Credit: Karsten Moran for the New York Times

Everyone gasped when the child was hit – the players visibly upset. No one wants this to happen, ever.

The NYT article goes on to say:
Had additional netting been in place on Aug. 20, the girl most likely would have been protected from the ball that hit her.

Aaah, there’s the rub. Most Likely. And here’s the problem. Do you net the entire stadium for the unlikely???? Do children go to the stadium dressed for the unlikely?


Don’t misunderstand me here. I am not making fun of the tragic events that injured the girl BUT we all go and do things every day that could LIKELY cause us and or children harm.

Where does this ruling end? How many stadiums will be fully netted? What will be netted next? Where does personal responsibility enter into the equation, even when the unlikely does occur? I have to assume all stadiums, of all sports today, have a clause that “you are here knowing the hazards”. Right?

This netting story reminds me of my favorite Switzerland family saga. We took the kids as teenagers back to where two of them were born and did some major driving up and around the mountain towns, famous for its switchbacks and, ahem NO guard rails anywhere.

Behind us at one point was a car, motoring at a pretty fast pace, then we heard (we had convertible with top down) a noise I can only describe as a whistle without whistling. Take your lips and intend to whistle but only make air sounds. Come to find out that sound was a car careening off the road high in the air then down a cliff, into an abyss that we certainly couldn’t get to. Also, in the days before cell phones, the best we could do was stop at the next town and report the accident.

My point? The Swiss are huge proponents in taking full responsibility for your actions. Driving without guard rails. Honor system in buying bus tickets.

I can understand, in this litigious day and age, and when companies are publicly called out on social media, the Yankees probably had NO CHOICE but to add netting. Who will be next? I think it’s a sad statement on how our lives are protected. But no one asked me my opinion before putting up the netting and it wasn’t my child hurt by the line drive. Maybe I’d feel differently had it been my child? I don’ think so but fortunately I don’t have to make that decision.

You think the extra netting is a good idea, a bad idea, or the inevitable for all stadiums?

8 thoughts on “A Slippery Slope

  1. ”Back in the day” when i had a corporate job, i was given tickets to a yankee game and used the company’s box right behind the dugout. i was there with my son, probably 10, and it was a perfectly lovely baseball day. But i was never a good athlete, and i sat in terror as foul balls rocketed by us, one only two rows back. would i be able to stop the one headed at my son’s face? i doubted it. i understand the dilemma. we are much more a part of the game when there is no barrier. compare that to hockey, with the glass wall separating us from the action. I was there too in the corporate box, thankful for the barrier. i guess i come out in favor of the net or barrier when there are kids involved, just as we require helmets and car seats for children.

    1. Logic agrees with you. And probably 9 out of 10 parents would agree with your comment too. But I balk. I fear every venue will be forced to net the entire place. Yes, hockey does have glass. Golf doesn’t and you can’t prevent a golf ball from hitting someone. NASCAR has made some safety measures but other sports simply can not. As a lacrosse mom, I can remember dodging a few errant flings that came off the field. I guess it’s the nature of the sports world that hard balls will go where they shouldn’t some times and hurt people. It comes down to how much regulation the industry wants to put on themselves because of outside social media pressure. And I think that’s 99% of it. Social Media demands today to the point that industry has to respond whether they want to or not. And by responding, I mean capitulating.
      I go back to my headline. Slippery slope.

    1. So I thought about this clip the whole time I was out. Is it for real? A real ad for Stop Land Mines Dot Org??? With the Benny Hill theme song?? I’m trying to figure out if you are messing with my head (again) or this is how Brits laugh at land mines exploding. Enlighten me, please.

      As I said to you once before, Family Guy videos and any clip with Benny Hill music are always a hit with me. I just need some man’splainin.

      1. It’s really old, but, it is a parody of a real UN ad.
        But, evidently the Brits are quite fine with blowing people up who may not totally embrace measures to “address” climate change:

  2. There are sports fans and spectators. Back in the day, the kids and i would get pretty good seats on the baselines. the difference was, we brought our own gloves HOPING to catch a foul ball. We were sports fans. I suppose in todays day, the stadium needs to put up a fence or a net or a protective device to insure the high falutin spectators don’t get injured. Of course the kids who bring their mitts wont be catching any more foul balls. Note to parents: If you don’t want your kids in the line of fire, for gods sakes. don’t seat them there. you’ve ruined it for the rest of us.

    My kid comes by the other day to show off his new super high end vehicle. I think the thing looks great and I say lets go for a ride. So I squeeze down into this thing that’s like a pancake on wheels, and he hits the button to turn it on. The interior screen lights up and on it it says: DRIVE SAFELY AND OBEY ALL THRAFFIC RULES and some other warning bullshit that I cant remember. I say hold on aminute. Turn the car off and turn it back on. The kid gives me that look, that he knows- that I know-, that I;m about to lay into him about the warning message on the screen. Turns out the warning message comes up on the screen every single time you turn the car on. We took a ride on the back roads out to Lake Okeechobee and it turns out the car is a sweet ride. The kid did good.

Comments are closed.