It's one of the worst aspects of today's game.
When a player ropes a line drive into the seats, they hold their breath and hope nothing severe happens. But when the Cubs' Albert Almora Jr. did that last night in Houston, he unfortunately struck a 4-year-old girl in the stands. He immediately went down to his knees and began crying, as the rest of the Minute Maid Park crowd went silent.
And as we pray she recovers quickly, the argument is once again brought to light: When will the MLB institute mandatory protective netting in every ballpark? Teams have already pushed their netting down both foul lines, but it isn't a mandatory addition to the stadiums.
Manager Aaron Boone gave his take on Thursday after the incident, and his belief is on the more-netting side of the spectrum.
"Yeah, that's something going back to my playing days, a handful times a year, you have that scary moment," Boone told NYDN's Kristie Ackert. "When my wife and I started having kids, first time they were at a park was make sure you are sitting in a (good) place, make sure you are paying attention or you are protected. It can be a scary situation. I think it's important we do all we can to make sure we protect our fans."
It isn't right that an incident like this one, or the one at Fenway Park last season that left a man bloodied after being hit by a bat, or the one where a woman was put on a gurney and taken out of Fenway after a bat struck her brings the conversation off the shelf again.
Making it mandatory to add more netting is a simple and easy fix to cut down on these ballpark injuries. Going to an MLB game is supposed to be a fun experience, and for kids like that 4-year-old girl, it is one they should be able to look back on and cherish. Yes, these injuries are rare. But they do happen, as Boone points out, a few times for each player during the season.
It can be avoided, and the MLB should take notice of this latest incident. People in the game like Boone already have their stance on the matter.