The Twins will stretch the protective netting for fans behind the home plate area at Target Field to the far ends of each dugout, the team announced Wednesday.

This move follows Major League Baseball's recommendations issued last week in an effort to protect fans who are increasingly distracted from watching the action and are being struck by foul balls.

Commissioner Rob Manfred acknowledged that the additional netting creates a player-fan barrier in an area of stadiums where fans seek autographs before games, pursue foul balls or plead for a ball from players as they come into the dugout during games.

The netting height above the dugouts will be roughly 7 feet, somewhat less than what is in place directly behind home plate.

The Twins added that the team will use the best visual option to make the netting as "minimally obtrusive" as possible.

Twins President Dave St.Peter said the team is "reaching out to season-ticket holders most affected by these changes. We fully understand fans differ in relation to their opinions about sitting behind protective netting," suggesting that other seating options will be arranged for those who wish to have a clear view of the field.

Paul Walsh

AP honors five

Two players for the region were named to Associated Press FCS first All-America football team. They are sophomore wide receiver Jake Wieneke of South Dakota State (Maple Grove High school) and senior offensive lineman Joe Haeg (Brainerd HS) of North Dakota State.

On the second All-America team are freshman all-purpose offensive player John Santiago (St. Francis HS) of North Dakota and senior punter Ben LeCompte of North Dakota State.

On the third All-America team is junior offensive lineman Zack Johnson (Eastview HS) of North Dakota State.

Winona State fills spot

Myranda Nash was named Winona State's associate athletic director/senior woman administrator. She has held the same position at Brevard (N.C.) College since August and before that several other positions there.