Girl struck by 105-mph foul ball at Yankees-Twins game

The MLB stadium netting debate was reignited when a small girl was hit by a foul ball Wednesday at Yankee Stadium during the Yankees-Twins game.

A girl was struck by a foul ball at Yankee Stadium and carried out from the stands Wednesday afternoon, an incident that will likely spur more calls for the New York Yankees to extend protective netting behind home plate.

Just six weeks after the Yankees said they would "seriously explore" extending the netting before the 2018 season following a similar incident, a girl was struck by a 105 mph foul ball off the bat of Todd Frazier in the bottom of the fifth inning. 

The game against the Minnesota Twins was delayed for about 4 minutes while she was attended to and then carried from the seats as players from both teams reacted. Frazier took a knee as she was carried away.

Twins center fielder Byron Buxton prayed in the outfield and teammate Eduardo Escobar was reportedly crying.

“One, don't bring kids or (two) have nets, that’s it. I don't care about the damn view, it's all about safety, I still have a knot in my stomach,” said Brian Dozier. 

"I thought of my kids," said Frazier after the game, still shaken. "I have two kids under 3 years old and I just hope she's all right. I know the dad or whoever it was that was with them was trying their hardest, but the ball's coming at 120 miles an hour at them and the ball's hooking. So it's like if you've never seen a ball like that, which most people in the world haven't, it's very tough."

''The child who was struck with a batted ball today was given first aid at the ballpark and is receiving medical attention at an area hospital," the Yankees said in a written statement. "The federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, known as HIPAA, prevents the team from giving more information. We will have no further comment at this time.''

At a July 25 game, an Aaron Judge foul ball —- clocked at 105 mph — struck a fan in the head and he required emergency response.

Following that incident, the Yankees said they were consulting with manufacturing and design firms on how to extend the netting at their stadium.

In the wake of a grim 2015 accident in which a woman at Boston's Fenway Park was struck in the head by a flying piece of a broken bat, Major League Baseball issued recommendations — but not requirements — for clubs to install protective netting. Many clubs proceeded to do so, most recently the New York Mets following July's All-Star break.

The Mets extended the 30-foot protective netting by four sections on either side of home plate. Two sections beyond the dugouts have an 8-foot net.

"We've been trying to get these teams to put nets up," said Twins second baseman Brian Dozier said. "No. 1, you don't bring kids down there. And number two, every stadium needs to have nets. That's it. I don't care about the damn view of the fan or what. It's all about safety. I still have a knot in my stomach."

Said MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred on July 27: “We continually are talking to the individual clubs about what they should be doing in each of their stadiums I think the reluctance to do it on a league-wide basis only relates to the difficulty of having a single rule that fits 30 stadiums that obviously are not designed the same way.”

Said Yankees manager Joe Girardi: "I'm for making everything as safe as possible for everyone at the ballpark — players, too."

We sat down with Twins Daily blogger, and baseball superfan, John Bonnes to get his take. While he empathizes with those who want a clear view, he stands on the more netting side.

“When you see the video of that ball going into the stands, that quickly,  think it’s easy to say people should be paying attention and the arguments about personal responsibility and we are too safe and coddling people too much…but none of that matters when a 100 plus MPH baseball is coming at you,” Bonnes said.

Contributing: AP

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