Boston.com- The novelist is a season ticket holder, and he received a call from a Red Sox spokesperson who informed King that his seats would be guarded by netting in the upcoming 2016 season. King had this to say:
“There are questions inherent in the decision to net, and I think they’re bigger than baseball. Like when does protection become overprotection? Is the safety of a fan at a public event like a baseball game the responsibility of the organization putting on that event? (According to the back of every MLB ticket sold, the fan is responsible.) When do safety precautions begin to steal away the pure joy of being there? I understand the Red Sox bear some responsibility, but I also accept my responsibility to take care of myself — to the best of my ability — when I’m at the ballpark. Is there a certain element of risk? Yes. Is the risk perhaps increased by being only two rows from the playing field? Yes again. But you can see everything from that vantage, not just the players but the breathtaking green of the grass, the bright white of the uniforms, the sky as it goes from blue in the top of the first to black by the bottom of the sixth. And hey, there’s always the chance that you can catch a foul ball instead of being hit by one. That chance goes away once the net is in place. In fact, a lot goes away. That netting may be a fine mesh, but you’re still looking through a barrier instead of right at the thing you came to see. Which means you’d do almost as well to sit home watching the game on TV.”
Today is opening day at Fenway park. Always a great time- new uniforms, fresh grass, great vibes up&down Yawkey way; however, this year Fenway has a different look. I’m not just talking about the new infield which has added grass and removed dirt to create a smaller diamond, but the netting that wraps around home plate to the corner bases. I can’t be the only sane person that things this is fucking awful. At least we have one major voice coming out to vocalize the Pussification of Fenway– and that man is Stephan King, renowned author and season ticket holder for years. King summarizes it perfectly. Is fan safety the responsibility of the organization or the PERSON WHO IS AT THE GAME. Is that even a question? Unfortunately with sue-happy Americans, I guess its becoming the latter. How can this be allowed to happen to baseball? I remember the joy of being a kid in Fenway; eyes glued to the field, cheering as loud as I could, bringing a glove with hopes of catching a foul ball in the stands. Now for everyone sitting closer, who pay good money for these seats, they dont have that chance. Sure there are stray balls and flying bats into the crowd, but thats apart of the experience! You’re not supposed to go to the stadium to fuck around or stare at your phone. You go to the stadium to cheer and be apart of the game! Like King said, “When does protection become overprotection”. Its the classic case of what it feels like growing up as a millennial. One thing goes wrong and ruins the fun for everyone moving forward. Any millennial will know exactly what I am talking about, and anyone older than us will remind us constantly how its just not like it used to be. This cant last, I need to find a way, some type of petition to sign, some door to knock on, some foot to piss on to get back to how it should be. #MakeBaseballFunAgain
For those of you who would like to see the travesty that is the new netting: check the video.