SEATTLE -- If you're distracted by your phone and sitting near the field at a Mariners game this season, you could get a visit from a security officer.
Fans seated in the front rows will get a reminder to keep their eyes on the action, so no one is injured by a foul ball or a broken bat.
The danger was highlighted at a spring training game between the Pittsburgh Pirates and Atlanta Braves. A boy on his cell phone may not have seen a broken bat coming his way. He was saved from being smacked in the face by an attentive fan next to him.
Also in the name of safety this season, the Mariners have extended the safety nets behind home plate – 6.5 feet in each direction.
“We have not replaced the net behind home plate since the ballpark open since 1999,” said Mariners spokesperson Rebecca Hale.
They also swapped it entirely with less visible netting to not block the view of fans.
Major League Baseball recommends nets reach both dugouts and anywhere within 70 feet of home plate.
This is the second full season for metal detectors at the front gate. Expect to take your keys and cell phone out of your pocket to pass through. Backpacks and purses are allowed.