Brian Dozier is getting his wish.
After watching a young fan get struck in the face with a line-drive foul ball during a Twins-Yankees game in September in New York — and then calling for more protective netting in ballparks — the team Dozier plays for is moving to make spectators safer.
The Twins on Wednesday announced they are expanding netting at Target Field, and not just by a couple of feet. The netting will now extend past both dugouts, past first and third bases and a few feet down the outfield foul lines. Anyone sitting in sections 1 through 17 — the dugout boxes — will be behind a net.
The 7-foot-high net over each dugout, put in place before the 2016 season, will be raised to 9 feet.
“I think it’s remarkable,” Dozier said from his home in Hattiesburg, Miss. “Number one, it shows how proactive the Pohlad family is about being one of the first to get the extra netting up.
“Another thing, it sets the precedent, especially with myself and other people speaking up, that this is something that everyone desperately needs. All it takes is for one person to die, then it becomes a tragedy that could have been avoided.”
The young fan, who was about to turn 2 years old, suffered several facial fractures Sept. 20 when a foul ball traveling 105 miles per hour struck her. The imprint of the seams from the ball were visible on her forehead. Dozier was emotional after the game when calling for more protection.
The only documented fan fatality from being hit by a foul ball was in 1970, when a young boy was struck during a Dodgers game.
The Twins were contemplating adding netting before the September incident. Since then, the Yankees and several other teams have pledged to do so.
“Since opening in 2010, Target Field has earned a reputation as one of the most intimate venues in all of sports, with lower level seats located closer to home plate than any other MLB venue,” Twins President Dave St. Peter said in a statement. “With that reality in mind, we feel extending the ballpark’s netting is in the best interest of our fans.”
All the netting will be state-of-the-art material that will make the view as unobtrusive as possible.
Pete Maki has been hired as the Twins minor league pitching coordinator.
Maki had been the pitching coach at Duke since July 2015. Before that, he was pitching coach at Columbia. He’s a 2004 graduate of Franklin and Marshall in Lancaster, Pa., where he was a relief pitcher.
Maki replaces Eric Rasmussen, who worked for the Twins for 27 seasons before his September firing.
The Twins are set to announce all of their minor league assignments by the end of the week, but there are indications they are still looking for someone to manage Class AAA Rochester.
• The Twins, on the prowl for pitching help, were in pursuit of righthander Miles Mikolas before he signed a two-year deal with St. Louis on Tuesday. Mikolas, drafted by San Diego in 2009, has spent the past three seasons in Japan, where he went 31-13 with a 2.18 ERA for the Yomiuri Giants.