MLB Waiting Until Someone Dies to Get Proactive

Erik Bernstein crisis management, sports crisis management Leave a Comment

An easily preventable crisis…but will it be prevented?

As spring training games get underway Major League Baseball is once again neglecting the very real possibility of a fan being bludgeoned to death by a flying bat. There was much discussion regarding the issue after a fan was struck, receiving life-threatening injuries, by a piece of bat at Boston’s Fenway Park last June, but Major League Baseball didn’t go further than issuing a new safety netting recommendation. And stadium owners, likely foreseeing baseball-1442698-639x426complaints from diehard fans as well as the ever-present hurdle of cost, did a whole lot of nothing when it came to actual action.

The latest incident saw a bat slip from the hands of the Pittsburgh Pirate’s Danny Ortiz, not an uncommon occurrence for MLB players. Unfortunately, this one made a beeline for the face of a young boy who was utterly absorbed in his phone. The only thing saving him from a grisly injury or perhaps worse was the quick reflexes and parental instinct of his father, who was able to fling his arm out just in time to prevent what would have been a tragic incident.

Major League Baseball, stadium owners, it’s time to wake up. Good crisis management means taking the hint before your stakeholders are harmed. Well, that ship has sailed, but it’s not too late to prevent future accidents.

If the trend continues (and if nothing is done it will continue) it’s going to result in maiming and, at some point, death. If we were advising Major League Baseball we’d be telling them to fast-track new safety requirements, not recommendations. As for stadium owners, we’d suspect many are scared of the reaction fans will have to watching games through additional safety netting or other measures. While a legitimate concern, here’s an even more serious pair; Are you willing to look at the mangled face of a fan after being struck? Are you going to wait until an individual loses their life to do something?

The BCM Blogging Team

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