Down 9-1 early against the Giants, Mets outfield Jeff McNeil slid and caught a ball right on the left field line, crashing into the wall in foul territory. A tremendous catch, however a dangerous play that very well could derail a career.
Should Major League Baseball add more foul territory to prevent injuries? Some will say these dimensions give each ballpark its own personality, but how much does that matter? It’s at least worth a conversation.
With the Mets down 9-1, Jeff McNeil hustled to make an incredible catch and crashed into the side wall.
He is remaining in the game. pic.twitter.com/b8w6n4JfFm
— SNY (@SNYtv) May 25, 2022
On this play, McNeil is headed full speed with essentially zero options other than plowing into a wall. His only other play was to pull up and allow this ball to fall into what appeared to be foul territory. Not such a big deal in a 9-1 game, and in hindsight probably should have — but don’t we always want our athletes to play hard and ignore the score? Jeff McNeil ultimately put his body in jeopardy and corralled this one so credit to him.
McNeil would soon after exit the game with a sore wrist, which can be heard live on the broadcast.
At the very least baseball could bring the netting down to the ground. It’d look weird, and maybe isn’t the best idea in the world, but baseball has to take this play away. Players can’t be out here getting hurt catching a ball a foot into foul territory. We’re practically teaching players to play as hard as the scoreboard suggests.