After a young girl was hit in the face by a 105 MPH foul ball at a New York Yankees game, all MLB teams without extended protective netting behind home plate faced extreme scrutiny, including the Blue Jays. Toronto’s general manager Ross Atkins told media on Thursday that the Blue Jays are considering adding additional netting.
“We absolutely want to ensure that our fans are safe when they come to the ballpark,” Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins said to Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet. “I watch games at lots of minor-league stadiums, often with my children. I’m extremely mindful about ensuring the safest possible environment for all fans.
“I think Major League Baseball is doing everything they can to take the security up a notch, but the most effective thing we can do is heighten awareness and make people aware of how dangerous it is to be watching a baseball game. There’s only so much netting that can occur.”
“To be honest with you, I’m surprised there’s not more injuries,” John Gibbons told TSN. “There always seems to be some close calls. I mean, there was a broken bat that went in the stands here the other night. If that catches somebody wrong, it could pierce them. I would be in favour of (more netting). No doubt.”
Former Blue Jay R.A. Dickey, in his first season with the Atlanta Braves, is set to come close to 200 innings pitched with an ERA resting at 4.32. After the game, Dickey indicated that he may retire after this season.
“It’s an absolute privilege to put on this uniform every time, and I will get emotional if I keep talking,” Dickey, age 43, told The Atlanta Journal Constitution. “But you never want to take a single day for granted. When you put on a uniform that you grew up loving and knowing intimately, it’s a special thing. I never wanted to take that for granted as long as I play the game.”
In Toronto’s 1-0 loss to the Kansas City Royals, the Blue Jays officially made it impossible for them to reach .500. Additionally, Jose Bautista struck out for the 160th time, setting a new franchise single-season record for strikeouts.
On the bright side, J.A. Happ pitched 6.2 innings and only allowed one earned run. So there’s that.
Today, the Blue Jays start their final home series of the year against the Yankees with Marco Estrada on the mound. Masahiro Tanaka starts for the Yankees.
The Score had a pretty interesting article of quotes from four Blue Jay players describing Jose Bautista. Here’s a quote from Marcus Stroman:
He's like a brother to me. He's been incredibly instrumental since day one. He's a guy that took me under his wing, has been a huge mentor to me. He's taught me the ins and outs. Not only just on the field, but away from it. How to go about certain things. He still mentors me now. He'll pull me over and say, 'Hey, try and do this.' This is in baseball or in life, so I'm very appreciative of Jose and I'll always be. Obviously, I hope to play with him a lot longer, but regardless of what happens, we're always going to stay in touch. He's always going to be a close friend of mine.