MLB parks will add safety netting

DALLAS — Major League Baseball is close to new recommendations for safety netting at its stadiums for the 2016 season.

Commissioner Rob Manfred said Thursday that it “absolutely clear” there will be changes. He said there was more work to be done, and that he wasn’t prepared to go into details.

“In addition to a recommendation on the physical location of nets, there will be a broad fan education component to the program,” Manfred said after owners wrapped up their quarterly meeting.

There were several instances of fans injured by foul balls at MLB games this year. The commissioner said fan safety is paramount.

Manfred said the 30 clubs encouraged MLB to move forward conceptually and that there is an understanding of the outlines of the plans. But he didn’t want to elaborate until having those details “down in writing.” That should be done by time the owners meet again in January.

“A lot of things seem easy and are not always so easy,” he said. “We want our fans to be safe in the ballpark, but we also have lots of fans who are very vocal about the fact that they don’t like to sit behind nets. … We’re trying to reach an appropriate balance on the topic, recognizing that it’s complicated by the fact that not every stadium is laid out exactly the same way.”

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