The game between the Detroit Tigers and Texas Rangers came to a halt on Friday after a fan was struck with a line drive foul on Friday, causing concern for both people in the stands and on the field.
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This is not the first time this has happened this year, or any year, but it seems that the instances are becoming more well known because of a growing fervor among players to have increased netting along the infields to protect fans of sharp foul balls and errand flung bats.
The biggest proponent of this was Friday’s starter Justin Verlander, who took to Twitter to make his case and even appeared on Good Morning America on Sunday morning to discuss the issue.
He was not alone Anthony Gose, who hit the ball, joined fellow Tigers and many Rangers players in a plea for additional netting, something ownership has balked at.
In the past I’ve said I am against netting. Baseball has been played for 140+ years and people have lined up around the field to watch it. These are extremely rare cases and most fans understand risks. However in these days of smart phones and other ballpark distractions taking away some of people’s attention and the collective drive that the players have for wanting this to happen, it seems inevitable.
To be fair, there was no discussion that this fan was not paying attention. In fact Gose said she “had no chance.”
She was released from the hospital on Saturday and appears to be doing well. We wish her all the best.
While Verlander is playing spokesman for his team on this hot-button issue, it cannot be underscored just how good he has been pitching lately–but with no wins to show for it because of poor run support. Verlander had to be a bit frustrated to see the offensive explosion in Chicago turn to a shutout so quickly.
He understands its and ebb and flow thing–where he may not pitch very well but get plenty of run support and vice versa. Still he and the team know it’s a win for the team that matters so while J.V.’s performances lately have been encouraging, the team has to do a better job of winning the games he starts.
Finally, we are very blessed to have had some of the best radio voices for Detroit baseball for as long as most fans remember. Dating back to Ernie Harwell and Paul Carey, Dan Dickerson and Jim Price are falling into a good legacy of their own.
I think Dickerson is one of the best in baseball. Passionate for the home team, but doesn’t mentally check out of games or seasons when his team is not doing well as so many seem to do. I am not, however, a big fan of Price whose tired shtick has worn thin on me over the years. Although I do believe I am in the minority on this because so many people respond to defend Jim whenever I make these feelings known–so if he’s appealing to some, I guess he’s doing a good job.
"Tigers manager Brad Ausmus seconded those statements. “I think the fan safety is a growing concern,” he told the Detroit Free Press. “It’s not really my call, but I do think it’s something that should be looked at.”Tigers third baseman Nick Castellanos is in favor of protective nets that run to the end of the dugouts: “There’s no way that lady could have reacted to (Anthony) Gose’s line drive. … The safety of the fans is more important. I’m praying that that lady is OK and I know that she wishes that a net was up tonight.”"
Justin Verlander pleased with his pitching but ‘it comes down to winning’ – Jared Purcell, MLive
"“That happens,” Verlander said of the loss overshadowing his performance on the mound. “It comes in stretches. I’m just in one of those stretches right now and the team hasn’t been scoring – not as a whole – it just kind of happens to fall on my day. That’s OK. I just have to keep my team in the game.”On the season, in the 12 starts that he has made since coming back from injury, Verlander has given up an average of 2.75 earned runs per game but the Tigers are 2-10 during his starts."
Saving Baseball on the Radio: The Detroit Tigers’ Dan Dickerson & Jim Price – Tomas Laverty, XN Sports
"After listening to every single broadcast team in baseball over the last several years, I can say in honesty that I’m not sure there’s a better combo. Most broadcasters lack the genuine likability, baseball knowledge and overall sense of fun that Dickerson and Price bring to every broadcast.Critics like to cite Jim Price’s repetition of certain phrases such as “Nice area”, “Art of pitching”, “Yellowhammer”, and “Wow” as grounds for his dismissal. I see it differently. What Price brings as a former player (backup catcher for 1968 Tigers squad) and as an occasional repetitive old man is something missing in baseball broadcasting. Most announcers allow the airwaves to be filled with dead air, only commenting when they feel necessary, and often with a complete lack of charisma. Price, as a color commentator gets it. He understands that radio listeners are a part of a family, and that comfort often comes in the form of familiarity. So, when Price utters “nice area” for the fifth time in the broadcast, we, as Tigers fans are made to feel comfortable by what we know. We know Jim is going to say Saginaw is a “nice area” even if it’s mostly not (I was born and raised there). We know that Miguel Cabrera is not just batting third, he is “The Big Man”, and he’s batting “thirrrrd.”Dickerson, his play-by-play counterpart, is no less charismatic. Aside Vin Scully, Gary Thorne, and only a handful left in baseball, Dickerson has the voice of a baseball announcer. You could say he was born for radio — for baseball on the radio. Dickerson has a sort of riding effect to his calls. There is a music to it. “Two on, two out in the bottom of the ninth. Tigers trailing by one.” Dickerson has something that cannot be taught — an ability to slightly inflect the parts of sentences that require emphasis. If there is tension at any given point in a Tigers game, Dan Dickerson makes sure you can feel it, and he does it effortlessly."