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Nationals extending on-field netting in Nationals Park to "outer ends of both dugouts"...

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The Washington Nationals announced their plans to extend the on-field netting behind home plate in Nationals Park to the "outer ends of both dugouts" for the 2016 campaign. The Nationals are now one of four MLB teams to take this step in the name of fan safety.

Photo © and courtesy of the @Nationals.
Photo © and courtesy of the @Nationals.

A few seasons back, I visited with an SB Nation executive [ed. note - "Notice I'm totally not name-dropping."] who, I must say, had great seats in Nationals Park, two or three [ed. note - "I don't remember how many."] rows behind the first base dugout.

Over the course of about an inning and a half we talked baseball and discussed the goings on here at FBB, but there wasn't a moment when I wasn't on guard, especially when right-handers came up, worried that a foul ball could make a nice visit a nightmare if I wasn't watching intently.

I also noted all the children sitting around me, seeminlgly not paying attention at all to what was going on just feet away on the field of play...

So l'll just say that though some clearly are unhappy with the decision, given that brief experience, and a number of hard-to-watch incidents around the majors over the years, I have no problem with the Nationals' decision to join the growing trend of extending the netting behind home plate to the outer ends of both dugouts.

Bryce Harper, Nats Park

Yes it will "obstruct" viewing to some degree, but NHL arenas took similar precautions years back for the sake of their fans' safety, and before long I think it will become standard around Major League Baseball.

At this point, the Nationals are one of "at least" four teams to make the decision as they noted in the following press release this afternoon:

The Washington Nationals today announced they are extending the on-field netting to the outer ends of both dugouts for the 2016 season.

"In December, Major League Baseball released new guidelines regarding field netting. An internal review of those guidelines led us to conclude that expanding the field netting is the best approach to enhance fan safety," said Jennifer Giglio, vice president of communications for the Washington Nationals.

The Nationals join at least four other MLB teams in extending netting to the outer ends of the dugouts this season.

Here's an image the Nationals provided to show how far the new netting will extend:

Nats extend netting in Nationals Park

Are you "outraged" at the decision? Do you understand why the Nationals have taken this step? Will you curse the netting each time you attend Nationals Park? Do you not care at all?