BOSTON - Major League Baseball has recommended teams have protective netting between the dugouts for any field-level seats within 70 feet of home plate.
The guidelines were issued Wednesday at the winter meetings following a season in which several fans were injured by foul balls, prompting MLB to study fan safety.
Commissioner Rob Manfred says "it is important that fans have the option to sit behind protective netting or in other areas of the ballpark where foul balls and bats are less likely to enter."
"This recommendation," he says, "attempts to balance the need for an adequate number of seating options with our desire to preserve the interactive pre-game and in-game fan experience that often centers around the dugouts, where fans can catch foul balls, see their favorite players up close and, if they are lucky, catch a tossed ball or other souvenir."
Several of the injured fans were hit at Fenway park, including one woman who was hit by a splintered bat in early June. Tonya Carpenter spent a week in the hospital before moving to a rehab facility.
The Red Sox say they will comply with the league's updated guidelines.
"The club is in the process of evaluating different design options to identify the best solution for Fenway Park, and is proactively reaching out to the ticket holders most affected by the planned changes," a statement fro the Red Sox said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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