OAKLAND, Calif. — The Coliseum strikes again.
One of baseball's more ... let's say unique stadiums comes complete with plenty of supposedly charming elements, including a ton of foul territory, a mountainous, covered upper deck in the outfield that blocks all views of natural landmarks and a complete absence of railings and protective fencing in front of the dugouts.
Well, one of the Chicago White Sox' best players found out the hard way how charming that last one really is Tuesday night.
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Eloy Jiménez was minding his own business, just sitting on the White Sox' bench while his teammates batted in the top of the second inning, when he was drilled by a foul ball off the bat of Andrew Vaughn. He took a line drive off his right knee and immediately collapsed to the floor.
He was down for a while, being checked on by the trainer, before returning to his seat. But he jogged on out to his defensive position in left field when the White Sox took the field in the bottom of the inning, the smoked shot off the leg not enough to force an early exit from the contest.
It's a head-scratcher as to why baseball hasn't forced some architectural changes at the Coliseum. Many of the stadium's quirks surely have to do with the place's past as a two-sport venue, as fences on a football field would present their own problems. The dugouts are quite a distance from home plate, as well, thanks to all that foul ground.
But with the one-time Oakland Raiders off to Las Vegas, you'd think protecting the players sitting in the dugouts would rise in priority. After all, the Oakland Athletics followed baseball's new regulations of protecting the fans by extending protective netting down the lines. We've seen how seriously injured fans can be by foul balls going into the stands. The players are even closer to balls exploding off bats.
Fortunately for the White Sox, Jiménez was well enough to keep playing Tuesday.