Manfred: Ballpark differences make protective netting tricky issue

Injuries to fans near the field have become a growing problem in recent seasons.

Paul Beaty/AP

BOCA RATON, Fla. — Ballparks differences make it impractical to have identical protective netting at all 30 big-league venues, baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred says.

The commissioner’s office has been discussing the issue with teams following a series of injuries to fans from foul balls this year. Owners will discuss the matter when they meet in Dallas on Dec. 18-19.

”If you go out and look at the ballparks, it becomes evident that a simple uniform – for example you’re going to net to the edge of the dugout – is not workable, given the variation in designs of the stadium,” Manfred said Tuesday at the general managers’ meetings.

”It’s going to have to be a little more complicated than that if, in fact, we move ahead.”