Mark J. Terrill/The Associated Press
The Dodgers’ Mitch Jones breaks his bat as he hits a bloop single to right for his first big-league hit in the eighth inning of Wednesday’s game at Dodger Stadium.
Mitch Jones’ new Dodger teammates retrieved the ball that became his first big-league hit in Wednesday’s game, a bloop single just past the reach of Oakland second baseman Adam Kennedy.
They could have retrieved pieces of Jones’ bat as well.
The barrel snapped off and sailed about 10 rows behind the Dodgers dugout, into the crowd, sending the spectators into a panicked scramble.
On the radio broadcast, Charley Steiner admitted that he followed the flight of the bat into the stands rather than the arch of the ball.
On the TV broadcast, Vin Scully followed the camera shot of the ball going to right field and described it, but there was no immediate. Only on a replay from a camera along the first-base line did we see how dangerous a situation it was, as the jagged end of the barrel seemed to hit the leg of a man in short pants as he tried to turn away, then bounce up into the row behind him. These people were sitting in what used to be the first row of seats before the expanded dugout club section behind home plate. The replay was also shown on ESPN “SportsCenter” last night and earlier today, with the anchor adding that “no one was hurt.”
Dodgers spokesman Josh Rawitch: “We have been monitoring the study that Major League Baseball is doing on broken bats and share our fans’ concerns on the occasions that one reaches the stands.”
That said, there seems to be fewer bats broken this year because of new regulations and policies. But the fact it still happens will be a cause for concern. Do we need nets around the lower stands as they do in Japanese Leagues? Does MLB react with netting like is done in the NHL to protect fans from flying pucks? What’s the compromise?