A young girl was struck by a 105-mph foul ball on Wednesday at Yankee Stadium.

NEW YORK – How shameful is it that the New York Yankees still haven’t extended the protective netting near the playing field, stalling while their fans are in danger?

If a two-year-old girl getting struck in the face by a line drive on Wednesday doesn’t compel ownership to act, what else is left besides the unthinkable?

There are no words to properly describe the trauma that ensued in the moments after Todd Frazier’s missile struck the child in the stands behind third base. The ballpark went silent as medical personnel rushed to the girl’s seat, frantically administering first aid before she was put in an ambulance, her grandfather in tow.


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Frazier looked ready to pass out, kneeling in distress at home plate as the scene unfolded. Minnesota Twins third baseman Eduardo Escobar was equally distraught, standing with both hands on his head. Frazier, though, took it the worst. He still hadn’t come to grips with the near-tragedy some 45 minutes after the Yankees’ 11-3 rout of the Twins, tearing up as he told reporters, “I saw the whole thing…it was terrible. It was tough to watch, tough to be part of.”

Citing HIPAA privacy laws, the Yankees declined to identify the girl or shed light on her condition. Other than saying she’d been transported to Columbia Presbyterian Hospital. club officials were legally bound to say nothing. Second-hands news in the clubhouse, however, suggested the toddler would be okay. A disaster had been averted – this time.

But how many more near misses does it take to address the insanity of leaving the public at the mercy of 100-mph line drives? Frazier was right when he said, “those balls are hooking, too. Most fans don’t see anything like that (in their day to day lives).”

A kid – or even adult – is dealing with the equivalent of a smart bomb, utterly defenseless. Ballplayers are bigger and stronger than ever. Balls coming off Aaron Judge’s bat exceed have reached 120-mph this year; one of his foul balls struck a fan in July, requiring medical attention. But Judge isn’t the only one whose line drives are dangerous. Brett Gardner noted, “we see it every day, a lot of close calls and (near) misses.”

Not one Yankee said they’d let their small children sit in the unprotected areas behind the dugouts. So why should anyone else be subjected to the same risk? That’s the question for the club’s hierarchy. Major League Baseball suggested before 2016 that teams protect the area to at least the home-plate edge of both dugouts. Some clubs have complied. Others, like the New York Mets, have done even better. Shame on the Yankees that the Wilpons – who’ve otherwise done nothing right this season – have acted more responsibly, extending the netting at Citi Field to 30 feet in height, wrapping around the camera wells beyond both dugouts.

Of course, the Mets did so only after being publicly pressured by New York City councilman Rafael Espinal, who threatened to introduce legislation that would compel both local teams to provide netting from foul pole to foul pole.

The Mets chose not to resist, because why would they? The Yankees, on the other hand, have avoided giving a straight answer to those who’ve been advocating for ballpark safety, like the Daily News’ John Harper. Instead, speaking to the New York Times this summer, COO Lon Trost said the club had “taken notice” of how many season ticket holders were opposed to additional protective measures. The Yankees’ boilerplate response, at least until Wednesday, was to continue studying the matter with no changes planned until 2018 at the earliest.

You wonder how the field-level thrill seekers would feel if it was their kid whose face was crushed by a foul ball. Wait until next year? How about next week, when the Yankees end the regular season with a seven-game home stand. How about allowing common sense to rule the day. How about deciding the thrill of catching a foul ball is no match for the chance of getting struck by one.

Any of the team execs should visit the clubhouse and ask the Yankees what they were thinking as the girl was being carried out of the ballpark. Frazier answered truthfully. “I have two kids under three years old and I thought of them.” His words needed no explanation.

Amazing how quickly the energy drained out of the ballpark, how little everything else mattered. The Bombers finished off a three-game sweep of the Twins, possibly ruining Minnesota’s hopes of the second wild card. And if nothing else, this week taught the Yankees what should’ve already been obvious: the Twins don’t have the resources to contain the middle of Joe Girardi’s lineup if they end up in a one-game shootout on October 3.

But drama of this mini-trial run was dwarfed by the possibility that someone could’ve been killed. Chase Headley called it, “sickening.” That’s why Frazier was such a mess – the Stadium scoreboard clocked his line drive at 106-mph. He saw everything, right up to the moment of impact.

“Even when I’m at third base, I watch every (foul) ball that goes into the stands,” he said. This time, he was the rocket launcher. It was amazing the Jersey native was even able to finish the at-bat against Nik Turley.

The good news is that the Yankees are off on Thursday before heading to Toronto for the weekend. That’ll given the team’s decision makers a few days to consider what happened in their ballpark – and what nearly happened. Actually there’s no decision to be made here. It’s a no-brainer: extend the netting immediately. Prevent a tragedy before it’s too late.