Here are 16 Walk-Off Thoughts after the Indians' 5-4 win over the Kansas City Royals. Except, exactly none of this will be about the game itself.
1. There are absolutely zero valid arguments against netting that extends closer to the foul poles in Major League stadiums, and it's unfathomable how steadfast some can be after seeing a little kid, believed to be three years old (though not confirmed), get hit with a foul ball. It was gut-wrenching for all to see the adults who were with child immediately sprint up the steps and to paramedics. No time was wasted. They immediately ran for help.
2. There are still so many on Twitter firing back, though, even after this incident and those in Houston, Los Angeles, Chicago and so many more. But, none of those arguments have any traction. Let's go through each one.
3. "I don't want to look through netting." This is a minor inconvenience, and the most expensive seats in the house are behind home plate — and netting. Every stadium, including Progressive Field, extended the netting further than it had been in the past a few seasons ago. You don't hear much in terms of complaining from those behind the dugouts who had their views altered.
4. "Well, they shouldn't sit there if they have little kids." It's strange to think someone not being able to sit in certain seats because they have kids makes more sense than a few simply having their seat behind netting. Why can't they enjoy the game with the seats they'd like if it's this easy of a fix?
5. "Well, people shouldn't be on their phones." Not everyone who gets hit with a foul ball was hit because they were on their phone. Jake Bauers and other players have said that it's difficult or impossible to react even when paying full attention. It doesn't take social media being a distraction to put people at risk. Some of these foul balls are being lined into the stands at 100 mph, and they're breaking to the right or to the left. A seat along a foul line shouldn't require a D-1 scholarship (again, if it's an easy fix, which it is).
6. "If you can't get out of the way, don't sit there." See previous sentence.
7. "Teams will lose fans who don't want to sit behind netting." Some fans having to sit behind a net for the safety of others is much more inclusive than telling fans with kids or fans of a certain age they can't sit in signifiant chunks of the stadium.
8. Yes, the NHL has netting in every arena. That's a positive in terms of fan safety. The problem is that it only came about after a fan was hit and killed at a game. The idea with safety protocols is to have them in place before an organization, a franchise or a venue is completely forced into acting from a horrific incident.
9. Many players have voiced their support of extended netting. As far as the Indians are concerned, that includes at least Bauers and, on Sunday, Francisco Lindor, who called for every MLB team to extend the netting at their respective stadium. The Cubs' Albert Almora Jr. was distraught after hitting a young fan in Houston.
10. Bauers said it's tough on everyone, which is understandable. Lindor was upset as well. There is an understanding that it might hamper player interaction before games, for example. But it isn't worth these incidents.
11. "It sucks. I encourage every MLB team to put the nets all the way down," Lindor said. "I know it's all about the fans' experience of interacting with players and I completely get that. You want to have that interaction with the fans, getting autographs and stuff, but at the end of the day, we want to make sure everybody comes out of this game healthy, and we gotta do something about it. It sucks. Everybody feels bad. And if we can put the nets a little bit further down, I think it would be a lot better."
12. Lindor relayed to the media that he heard that the young fan who was hit is doing OK. There has been official update from the team, but it's good news, and hopefully it will be confirmed.
13. "I came over immediately and tried to find out where he was," Lindor said. "They were checking him, the paramedics were checking him here, and then once I got out of the game they let me know that he's doing OK, he's doing good, he's in the hospital getting checked out, he's conscious, he's talking and answering questions, his eyes looked good, so that's a good thing and it's a good sign. Hopefully every test they run on him comes back good."
14. It also isn't easy to just step back into the batter's box and go about your business. As Bauers said a few weeks ago, everyone is human. On Sunday, Lindor took a few moments before stepping back into the box.
15. "You take that moment to say a little prayer, ‘God, help him. Hope he’s OK,'" Lindor said. "And then you try to go back to this, focus on the pitcher, focus on the at-bat, focus on your job. That at-bat, I didn’t want to pull the ball at all. I was just trying to hit it somewhere else, not hit it in that direction, because then what happens is somebody gets hit and then everybody’s paying attention that person and nobody remembers there’s a game going on. You don’t want to pull the ball again, because then now you hit somebody else. It’s not fun."
16. This is a solvable problem and something that needs to be a league-wide mandate. The time for this hasn't just come, it's probably already passed. There's no reason for these incidents to continue.
Ryan Lewis can be reached at email@example.com. Read the Indians blog at www.ohio.com/indians. Follow him on Twitter at @ByRyanLewis.