Commissioner Rob Manfred said individual teams can make their own changes towards fan safety. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Commissioner Rob Manfred: Individual teams can make own fan safety changes

Ryan Hannable
July 14, 2015 - 10:48 am

CINCINNATI -- Speaking at the BBWAA luncheon prior to the 2015 All-Star Game, commissioner Rob Manfred spoke on a number of different subjects, including fan safety. The Red Sox have had two major incidents of late, most notably Tonya Carpenter, who was struck in the face by a broken bat in the stands on June 5. Then last Friday night, another fan was hit in the forehead with a line drive foul ball by the visitors dugout. These incidents have raised the possibility of protective netting being extended further down the base lines. "Obviously we had a very serious injury. It concerns us," Manfred said to reporters, referring to the incident involving Carpenter. "But making a major change in the game in a reactive mode, I believe, is a mistake." Manfred said the league is concerned with fan safety, but nothing will be mandated at least until next year. "I think the most likely course for (MLB) is that the evaluation will continue this season and whatever change, if we decide to make one, will be something that will be a new regulation for next year," Manfred said. The commissioner said while the league won't do anything immediate, individual teams can make their own changes as they feel is needed. "Obviously the clubs remain free to do what they want to do in their own ballparks," Manfred said.