MLB, clubs redoubling efforts on netting

September 20th, 2017

NEW YORK -- A young girl in the stands was struck by a batted ball in the fifth inning of the Yankees' 11-3 win against the Twins on Wednesday afternoon at Yankee Stadium, briefly delaying play on the field while players looked on, clearly shaken by the situation.

Facing Minnesota left-hander Nik Turley, New York's hit a foul ball down the left-field line that went into the stands. Frazier stepped out of the batter's box and crouched, saying a silent prayer and kissing his bat as medical personnel provided assistance and transported the fan from the seating area.

"I hope she's all right," Frazier said later, his voice cracking. "It's just something that I wish never happened. It was tough to watch and tough to be a part of, to be honest. I thought of my kids. I have two kids under 3 years old. I just hope she's all right."

Commissioner Rob Manfred addressed the incident -- and the issue of fan safety -- in a statement on Thursday.

"The events at yesterday's game involving a young girl were extremely upsetting for everyone in our game," the Commissioner said. "Over the past few seasons, MLB has worked with our clubs to expand the amount of netting in our ballparks. In light of yesterday's event, we will redouble our efforts on this important issue."

The Yankees also issued a statement on Thursday afternoon: "Our thoughts and prayers continue to be centered around our young fan and her family. We remain in direct contact with her family and the hospital, and we will provide any and all assistance that may be necessary."

Several Yankees players -- including , Didi Gregorius, and Frazier -- said that they would be in favor of expanded netting to the far end of each dugout at Yankee Stadium. In August, the Yankees said that they were "seriously exploring" such an extension.

Twins manager Paul Molitor did not see it happen live from the visitors' dugout, but it's moments like these that the Twins want to avoid after installing protective netting that extends to the far end of their dugouts prior to the 2016 season at Target Field.

"I saw the reaction of people around there, our third-base coach, our players," Molitor said. "I'm not sure what's going on [when] that happens. But it stops you in your tracks and gives you perspective."