The Chicago White Sox plan to extend the protective netting all the way to the foul poles at Guaranteed Rate Field, becoming the first major league team to take such a step in the wake of a couple of high-profile fan injuries.The White Sox and Illinois Sports Facilities Authority, which owns the ballpark, are hoping to complete the project this summer, the AP reports. Following recommendations from Major League Baseball, by the start of the 2018 season, all 30 teams had expanded their protective netting to at least the far ends of the dugouts.
But a liner off the bat of Chicago Cubs outfielder Albert Almora Jr. struck a young girl in Houston in May, and a woman was hit by a foul ball from White Sox outfielder Eloy Jiménez in Chicago on June 10. Each of the incidents occurred in the stands beyond the dugout on the third base side. The netting is "going to be good," Jiménez told the Chicago Sun-Times on Tuesday. "I see the counterarguments like, 'Don't sit there' or, ‘Just pay attention to the game,'" pitcher Lucas Giolito said. "Dude, no matter how much you're paying attention to the game, if that thing's coming in 115 miles an hour with tail, no matter if you have a glove this big, it could hit you right in the forehead." (An injury to a small fan left a Cubs hitter distraught.)