Francisco Lindor wants more netting after hitting boy with foul ball

The Indians' star wants more netting to protect the fans

James Rapien
July 21, 2019 - 11:51 pm
CLEVELAND, OHIO - JULY 21: Francisco Lindor #12 of the Cleveland Indians hits a two run home run during the third inning against the Kansas City Royals at Progressive Field on July 21, 2019 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images

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CLEVELAND, Ohio –­­ Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor called for every Major League team to extend their safety netting after he hit a young boy with a foul ball in Sunday’s game against the Royals at Progressive Field.

Lindor hit a fastball into the seats just past the Kansas City dugout in the sixth inning. The four-time All-Star said the boy was 3 years old.

“He’s in the hospital right now,” Lindor said after the game. "I came over immediately and tried to find out where he was. The paramedics were checking him here. Once I got out of the game, they let me know that he’s doing OK. He’s doing good. He’s in the hospital getting checked out. He’s talking and answering questions and his eyes look good. That’s a good sign. Hopefully, every test they run on him comes back good.

"You don’t want that to happen to anybody, especially a little kid.”

Major League Baseball extended the safety netting at their ballparks at the start of the 2018 season, but that change wasn’t enough to protect the fans in the crowd. Lindor understands fans want the best experience, but he also wants them to be safe.

“As soon as I hit it, I knew it was headed to somebody,” he said. "I hit it hard. I got over on the ball. It stinks. I encourage every MLB team to put the nets all the way down [to the foul pole]. I know it’s all about the fans’ experience to interact with the players. I completely get that. You want to have that interaction with the players, getting autographs and stuff. But at the end of the day, we want to make sure everybody comes out of the game healthy. We’ve got to do something about it.”

Lindor admitted that he prayed for the kid in between pitches, hoping that he was OK.

“You take that moment to say a little prayer, to say ‘God help him,’" he said. "Then you try to go back to your business. Focus on the pitcher. Focus on your at-bat. Focus on your job.”

The Indians got the win, but one of the best players in baseball has made it known that extending the netting is something commissioner Rob Manfred and the rest of the league needs to embrace.

 “Everybody feels bad. If we can put the nets a little farther down, it would be a lot better.”