Albert Almora Jr. Was Brought to Tears After His Foul Ball Injured a Young Fan, And It's Probably About Time the MLB Steps in to Prevent Such an Ugly Scene
It's only a matter of time. Unfortunately, I say that not of the MLB taking additional preventive measures to ensure the safety of fans during the routine occurrence of absolutely tattooed foul balls, but rather the fatal tragedy that will force them to do so if they don't heed the harrowing warning of a 4-year-old being sent to the hospital by the brunt of one.
That may seem like a prisoner-of-the-moment exaggeration, as it sounds as though the little girl on the ass end of Albert Almora Jr.'s rocket of a line drive was one tough customer, but that moment could be almost any moment. Seriously, just ask the NHL what happens when you tempt the fate of high-speed projectiles (that are increasing in velocity as athletes continue to evolve) exiting the playing surface towards those entirely unequipped to protect themselves from them on a regular basis. Someone quite literally had to die before the NHL came to it's senses regarding netting that hardly registers as such to the naked eye anymore. Hell, someone could have easily died last night had that errant foul ball happened to catch her in a more prone position. Look no further than the distraught reaction of a player whose livelihood is baseball for a reminder that baseball is not more important than life itself. Therefore, it stands to reason that the damage controlled by a largely transparent safety precaution is worth an ever-so-slightly obscured view of the sport.
There will always be the hypocritical crowd that says you should never not be paying attention while in the stands. The single, solitary commonality between that crowd is that none of them have ever been struck in the jugular with a bullet of a ball during the inevitable instances in which they missed a pitch while turning away to take a swig from their beer or a bite from their hot dog. Not even the outrageously over-the-top diehards who score the entirety of every game keep their eye on the ball for 3.5-4 hours, and if you're seated down the baselines then all it takes is half-a-second for said ball to obliterate your earhole. Sigh, if only there were some sort of harmless precaution that could be extended so that we wouldn't have to victim blame fans for not having the laser focus and/or fundamentals of the professionals whose brand of entertainment they certainly aren't paying good money to emulate.
In all seriousness, all the well wishes go out to that young girl and her family. Here's to hoping for a quick and uncomplicated recovery, as well as an untarnished love of baseball. Hopefully a highly humanizing response from the person who was unfortunate enough to hit her is enough to get through to baseball in making sure her ER visit wasn't in vain...