(CBS) The Cubs will add at least 30 more feet of netting down the lines to protect spectators at Wrigley Field for the 2018 season, president of business operations Crane Kenney said Tuesday on the Bernstein and Goff Show on 670 The Score.
The news comes in the wake of a young girl getting injured by a line drive off the bat of Yankees third baseman Todd Frazier at Yankee Stadium last Wednesday, which renewed calls for enhanced safety measures. The girl was hit in the mouth and has spent the ensuing days in the hospital.
Ahead of the 2016 season, the Cubs added netting in front of the field-level seats that were within 70 feet of home plate, MLB.com reported at that time. The Cubs’ new plan is for the netting to extend to the beginning of the dugouts — it currently doesn’t quite go that far — and will come in conjunction with moving the both dugouts slightly farther down the lines as part of continued Wrigley Field renovations.
There will be at least 30 more feet of netting, and the Cubs are “evaluating” the possibility of adding even more, Kenney said.
“Our goal is to create a safe environment,” Kenney said. “One of the things that will be happening next year is we move the dugouts a little farther down the line as part of our restoration plan, which we’ve talked about for years. The netting will get pulled a little farther toward the foul poles as a result of the dugouts moving. We’ve studied the spray charts for where the balls are heading and obviously, we’ve been pulling the nets further and further along from where they were.”
“Today phones and other things are distractions in the ballpark that didn’t exist (in past eras). So adding the netting as we have recently and as we will again this offseason makes sense. Safety is No. 1 for us. The players are in favor of pulling the nets. We’re going to do it to a degree. We’re studying it — even today, we had a meeting about whether we should go even further than we plan on going. But there will be more netting next year when folks come into the ballpark.”