Woman injured by foul ball released, players repeat call for netting

Chris McCosky
The Detroit News

Detroit — The good news is, the woman who was struck in the head by a foul ball Friday night was released from Detroit Receiving Hospital early Saturday morning.

But the fervor to extend protective netting at Comerica Park and other parks across Major League Baseball and in the minor leagues hadn't lessened.

"It's not the first time I've hit balls into the stands," said Anthony Gose, whose foul ball struck the woman sitting directly behind the Tigers dugout in the eighth inning. "I've seen it happen. I've done it. But until MLB does anything about it, it's going to keep happening."

As Gose pointed out, Adrian Beltre's broken bat flew into stands in about the same area an inning later.

"How long before they do something?" he said. "Guys are only throwing harder. They have Statcast — they can see the balls coming off 100 mph off peoples' bats.

"She could've lost an eye, it could've hit her in the temple. She could've died. Anything could've happened. Until they put up nets, it's going to keep happening."

Tigers general manager Al Avila said the topic of extended protection for fans was being discussed at the league level and within the Tigers organization well before Friday night's incident.

"I know it's something that is in heavy conversation," he said. "Do you put up netting, not put up netting? If you do put up netting how high and how do you do it? It's something right now that is being looked at seriously."

Gose understands that fans are warned about the dangers of balls and bats flying into the stands, but he doesn't thing those warnings can prevent what happened Friday night.

"Even if you're paying attention, you can't react that fast," he said. "We can't react that fast in the dugout and we're paying attention to the game. Guys are just getting out of the way. A fan who's never seen anything moving that fast at them in their life? No chance. Zero chance in this world."

Gose said he was shaken up by the incident.

"She is never going to want to go to another baseball game," he said. "You don't want that to happen to people. She didn't do anything wrong. She just wants to enjoy a game. Now put up a net and people will still enjoy the game. You're not going to lose that many people or that much money putting up a net. I guarantee it."

A woman is helped after she is hit by a foul ball at Comerica Park in April. Players say people need to pay attention during games, but also believe there needs to be protective netting surrounding the field.