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Struds

Fan Sues O's Over Bat Injury

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While I sympathize with her injuries, the problem is right in the first sentence: "...never saw...the bat...".  If you are sitting in a ballpark - especially in the lower deck down the lines -and a batter is up you had better be paying attention to the game, not your phone, french fries or fiance.  

 

There was an incident in another park caught on film last year where a father caught a bat just before it hit his son whose head was down looking at his phone.  He was hailed as a (minor) hero. My first thought was :Nice catch Dad, but maybe you should teach your son safety too.

 

"Patricia Dowdell never saw Chris Davis lose his grip on the bat, sending it spinning wildly over the Orioles dugout and into the fourth row where she sat with her fiancee.

 

 

But Dowdell wasn't. Dazed and bleeding, she couldn't fathom what hit her head and face as she looked at the scoreboard during the game against the Cleveland Indians last July 23 at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. She heard herself moaning as if somehow detached from her body.

 

It wasn't until the Ellicott City woman arrived at the hospital — where court documents say her injuries included skull and orbital fractures and brain swelling — that she realized the 230-pound first-baseman inadvertently sent his bat windmilling into the seats at the end of a swinging strike."

 

http://www.baltimoresun.com/business/bs-bz-orioles-fan-lawsuit-20170419-story.html

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While I sympathize with her injuries, the problem is right in the first sentence: "...never saw...the bat...".  If you are sitting in a ballpark - especially in the lower deck down the lines -and a batter is up you had better be paying attention to the game, not your phone, french fries or fiance.  

 

 

 

 

But Dowdell wasn't. Dazed and bleeding, she couldn't fathom what hit her head and face as she looked at the scoreboard 

Except she wasn't looking at a phone, fries or fiance.  It said right there she looked at the scoreboard.  That doesn't mean she wasn't paying attention to the game.  It is dangerous and they do warn you about it...but no need to make it sound like she was doing something wrong.

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I saw that article and thought the same thing. They have warning signs all over the place. This is entirely her fault. She failed to be a responsible attendee, and now she wants someone else to pay for her irresponsibility.  

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Except she wasn't looking at a phone, fries or fiance.  It said right there she looked at the scoreboard.  That doesn't mean she wasn't paying attention to the game.  It is dangerous and they do warn you about it...but no need to make it sound like she was doing something wrong.

Didn't mean for it to sound like that exactly, but yeah, when a pitch is being thrown I believe that's where your focus should be. If it's not, well this scary kind of stuff can happen.

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Except she wasn't looking at a phone, fries or fiance.  It said right there she looked at the scoreboard.  That doesn't mean she wasn't paying attention to the game.  It is dangerous and they do warn you about it...but no need to make it sound like she was doing something wrong.

In my experience, the people who sit down there have developed a culture of awareness. I only buy those seats on rare occasions. But whenever I'm down there, it seems like people are reminding others to stay alert, at all times. There's not much room for error. There's so much down time in baseball. It provides plenty of time to talk, people watch, and take in the surroundings. But when the pitchers comes set, all eyes on the field. Or else move back to higher ground.

 

It's bad luck that she got hurt, no one wants to see that happen. And I'm not opposed to extending the nets. But you have to take responsibility for yourself, when you sit down there.   

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Didn't mean for it to sound like that exactly, but yeah, when a pitch is being thrown I believe that's where your focus should be. If it's not, well this scary kind of stuff can happen.

I remember sitting on the third base side years ago. I was bringing food in for my friends when a baseball was fouled off and knocked the food out of my hands. For a brief second I was distracted - trying to find my seat and handing food out. The ball didn't hit me, but it could have. I know there are signs everywhere but it is almost impossible for fans to be completely focused 100% of the time. There are vendors that come through, there's the scoreboard, people dancing in other sections, etc.

 

It just seems MLB teams can add a little more protection than they do sometimes, especially in those places closer to the field.

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I remember sitting on the third base side years ago. I was bringing food in for my friends when a baseball was fouled off and knocked the food out of my hands. For a brief second I was distracted - trying to find my seat and handing food out. The ball didn't hit me, but it could have. I know there are signs everywhere but it is almost impossible for fans to be completely focused 100% of the time. There are vendors that come through, there's the scoreboard, people dancing in other sections, etc.

 

It just seems MLB teams can add a little more protection than they do sometimes, especially in those places closer to the field.

If you're coming in and out, it's understandable that something could happen. A fan was killed at the yard. He and his family got to the game late, they were walking down to their seats, and a foul ball found him. 

 

Fans don't need to be focused 100% of the time. But they should be focus when the ball is about to be pitched. Like I said, baseball offers a great deal of down time, in between the action. There's really no excuse not to be paying attention at those moments.

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I remember sitting on the third base side years ago. I was bringing food in for my friends when a baseball was fouled off and knocked the food out of my hands. For a brief second I was distracted - trying to find my seat and handing food out. The ball didn't hit me, but it could have. I know there are signs everywhere but it is almost impossible for fans to be completely focused 100% of the time. There are vendors that come through, there's the scoreboard, people dancing in other sections, etc.

 

It just seems MLB teams can add a little more protection than they do sometimes, especially in those places closer to the field.

I completely agree they can add more protection; netting is practically invisible these days, so no one can claim it takes away from the game.  The only downside I can see is that autograph opportunities and interaction with players before games might be a bit more inhibited, but that's a more than fair trade off.

 

Even a fan paying attention could be hurt by a batted ball or thrown bat because most of us don't have the reflexes of pro ballplayers, and some of those screaming line drive fouls are bullets. But the chances of bad things happening can be decreased to the point of just unlucky as in your example if the pitch is watched to its conclusion.  

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If you're coming in and out, it's understandable that something could happen. A fan was killed at the yard. He and his family got to the game late, they were walking down to their seats, and a foul ball found him. 

 

Fans don't need to be focused 100% of the time. But they should be focus when the ball is about to be pitched. Like I said, baseball offers a great deal of down time, in between the action. There's really no excuse not to be paying attention at those moments.

I have an almost 5-year old boy who would definitely take my attention away during the game.

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I completely agree they can add more protection; netting is practically invisible these days, so no one can claim it takes away from the game.  The only downside I can see is that autograph opportunities and interaction with players before games might be a bit more inhibited, but that's a more than fair trade off.

 

Even a fan paying attention could be hurt by a batted ball or thrown bat because most of us don't have the reflexes of pro ballplayers, and some of those screaming line drive fouls are bullets. But the chances of bad things happening can be decreased to the point of just unlucky as in your example if the pitch is watched to its conclusion.  

They might find a way for the net to go up before the game, but come down during the game. I say might, because it seems possible; I just don't know if it is.

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I completely agree they can add more protection; netting is practically invisible these days, so no one can claim it takes away from the game.  The only downside I can see is that autograph opportunities and interaction with players before games might be a bit more inhibited, but that's a more than fair trade off.

 

Even a fan paying attention could be hurt by a batted ball or thrown bat because most of us don't have the reflexes of pro ballplayers, and some of those screaming line drive fouls are bullets. But the chances of bad things happening can be decreased to the point of just unlucky as in your example if the pitch is watched to its conclusion.  

Lots of well reasoned comments.

 

Regarding the netting and autographs, I wonder if it's a long process to raise it up. If not, they could leave the nets down, until the game is about to start. Then lower it afterward.

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I have an almost 5-year old boy who would definitely take my attention away during the game.

Everyone is free to buy the tickets they want. Personally, I wouldn't take my young child to those seats. It's not worth the risk. But, these risks can be mitigated by simply extending the netting. Like Struds said, even if you're paying strict attention, those foul balls come screaming at you. Have you ever paid attention to the fans reaction, when a foul ball goes into the net behind home plate? The ball hits the net, and falls to the ground, before most people instinctively move to avoid it. 

 

The back rows of the field boxes, are close enough seats for me  :P

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More bats are being "lost" in the stands. That's a real issue that MLB needs to address. I get your supposed to pay attention but bats shouldn't be tossed with such regularity.

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