Of 30 MLB teams, only four have yet to expand protective netting down foul lines

With the Toronto Blue Jays and Los Angeles Angels announcing that they will be adding protective netting down foul lines on Monday, 26 of 30 MLB teams have expanded their safety precautions to protect fans from rogue foul balls. Only the Chicago White Sox, Oakland Athletics, Baltimore Orioles and Miami Marlins remain among teams that have not yet expanded their netting.

The issue was cast into the public eye after a scary incident in which a young girl was carried out of Yankee Stadium after Todd Frazier laced a ball foul against the Twins. Play stopped as she was tended to, and a spirited debate began about expanding netting.

Many of the concerns against netting are based on fan experiences. Netting inhibits fans reaching for foul balls, and some argued that it would impair vision. In spite of these concerns, slews of teams at a time have been announcing that they will be expanding the nets. The Blue Jays finally gave in after being one of the last holdouts, releasing a letter to the fans saying that they intend to have the nets in place for 2018 and the nets will not impair vision of the field.

The main argument against netting at this point is the go-to argument in most one-sided baseball discussions: Tradition. "Traditionally" there aren't nets down the line. The other argument, of course, is cost. However, the safety of the fans is paramount, and these remaining five teams would do well to follow the direction of the rest of the league, and quickly. A mandate from the league may not be far behind -- the MLB has been recommending expanded netting for years -- but it's always better to get ahead of the curve.

Naturally fans want to feel safe at the games that they pay money to attend. Having nets that keep balls from being ripped into the stands at exit velocities of over 100 mph is a huge step.

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