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The New York Post
Add the Yankees to the list of teams that will install additional protective netting this offseason in the wake of a young girl being injured in the stands by a line drive at the Stadium on Sept. 20.
"Thank God," said Todd Frazier, whose foul ball hit the girl. "Not only here, but every team should have it. It's a good step forward for the Yankees."
The organization received significant criticism — from politicians and its own players — when they were not among the first to announce they would make the changes following the incident last month.
During Sunday's 2-1 loss to Toronto to close out the regular season, the Yankees announced they will "significantly expand the protective netting during the upcoming offseason at both Yankee Stadium and George M. Steinbrenner Field [in Tampa]."
There's no way to install the extra netting in time for Tuesday's wild-card game against Minnesota or any later rounds if they advance, but players were relieved changes were in store that would include netting along both dugouts.
"I'm glad," said Chase Headley, who was an outspoken critic. "I know how hard those balls are hit, and when people are ducking and diving out of the way, a lot of fans think they are more capable than they are in that scenario."
It was especially personal for Frazier, who has been in touch with the girl's family since she was hit while sitting with her grandparents beyond the third-base dugout.
Frazier said the girl's father would be in touch with him at some point to set up a visit from the third baseman when she's recovered enough and added that she is improving.
"She has a couple fractures and is probably still hurting a little bit, but she's out of the hospital, so that's a good sign," Frazier said.
He said he didn't believe fans would put up much of a fight about the netting blocking their view from expensive seats.
"I think a lot of fans get it," Frazier said. "It's the right thing to do. It really is. Safety first."
Major League Baseball recommended before the 2016 season that teams increase the netting, but less than a third did at the time.
Matt Holliday is confident even more teams will follow in the Yankees' footsteps.
"That was a big enough scare that most teams, I would guess, will do that," Holliday said.
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