Another MLB team will soon extend the protective netting in its home ballpark.
Thursday, Nationals owner Mark Lerner announced that the Nationals will extend the protective netting at Nationals Park further down the foul lines. The netting will be installed during the All-Star break, according to Lerner's press release.
Ahead of the 2018 season, all 30 MLB teams extended the protective netting in their home ballparks to reach the outfield end of both dugouts. However, the White Sox announced on Tuesday that they will extend netting at Guaranteed Rate Field to reach both foul poles, becoming the first MLB team to do so.
Extended netting has become a widely-discussed topic across baseball this season. In a game between the Cubs and Astros on May 29, a four-year old fan was struck by a foul ball line drive hit by Cubs outfielder Albert Almora Jr. The fan was rushed to the hospital following the incident and players from both teams were visibly shaken afterwards.
Almora spoke out about the need to protect fans several days later.
"I hope this never happens again, so whatever the league has to do to make that happen," Almora said at Busch Stadium on May 31 ahead of a Cubs-Cardinals game. "I don't think any kid that goes to a baseball game with their parents or whoever should worry about making it out unhealthy or whatever the case may be. I don't think that should ever cross their mind.
"Whatever the league needs to do to do that, that should be in place."
Lerner referenced the fan in Houston specifically in the Nationals' announcement on Thursday.
"Over the past few weeks, we have seen several fans injured by bats and balls leaving the field of play at other stadiums," Lerner said. "I could not help but become emotional last month watching the Astros-Cubs game when a four-year-old little girl was hit by a line drive.
"I can’t imagine what her parents must have felt in that moment. And to see the raw emotion and concern from Albert Almora Jr. was heartbreaking. Further extending the netting at Nationals Park will provide additional protection for our fans."
Although only the White Sox and Nationals have announced plans for further extended netting this season, more teams will likely follow suit. In fact, the Rangers will extend the netting at their new ballpark next season to a similar area as the Nationals.
The Bulls expected to be picking at the top of the NBA Draft after finishing in the top 4 of lottery odds. They dropped to seventh however, but could they be moving up?
Some think they can, and former NBA player and current ESPN analyst Jalen Rose "proposes" a Bulls-Pelicans trade while strongly suggesting their might be insider info behind this "proposal."
When asked what the Pelicans should do with the No. 4 pick, Rose suggests a trade.
"If I was them.... I guess I'm going to say this, I was going to look at my phone to see if I was able to say this," Rose says. "I'll swap with the Bulls and try to get [Zach] LaVine from them.... and give [the Bulls] Lonzo Ball."
So that would be the Bulls sending the seventh overall pick and LaVine to New Orleans for Lonzo Ball and the fourth overall pick.
When asked if that was going to happen, Rose coyly responded "we'll see."
Ball has been connected to Chicago ever since the Lakers started pursuing Anthony Davis during last season. Rumors also connected the Bulls to the Lakers-Pelicans trade for Davis in the past couple weeks as the third team. And further rumors have suggested the Bulls were the most active team in regards to moving up in the NBA Draft.
But what would it take to move up in the draft and who would the Bulls pick? Mark Strotman has the answers.