We've discussed the issue of liability for balls hit into the stands before, but here's one that seems unlikely: on Saturday, Baltimore's Jay Gibbons fouled one off behind home plate and it hit his wife! While that might seem a one in a million shot, Gibbons is the Orioles' player representative, and he's argued before that the screen behind home plate in Baltimore provides inadequate protection:
The scene occurred in the ninth inning of the Baltimore Orioles' game against Minnesota on Saturday. Gibbons fouled a ball straight back over the screen and into the rib cage of his wife, Laura.
"She's just a little bruised up. She's going to be OK," Gibbons said Sunday.
Long before the matter became personal, Gibbons had asked team officials to do something about making it safer to sit in the seats behind the plate. He contended that the 20-foot screen just doesn't offer enough protection from hard-hit foul balls.
"It's something you think about every day here. Obviously, it's something I've talked about (to) deaf ears," said Gibbons, Baltimore's designated hitter and player representative. "I've got players coming to me every day saying that one of their family members got hit or almost got hit. I had an usher take one for my wife the other day."
Gibbons has suggested that the screen be raised or that the team insert an overhead screen that would extend to the back of the lower deck.
"If they're worried about the sight line, which I've heard, all they have to do is throw a net straight back. One of these days, somebody's going to get hurt really bad. That's all I've got to say," Gibbons said. "I'm confused on what's going on (and) why it's so hard just to make an adjustment. It's just a matter of time where a kid's going to get hit."