No changes planned to Guaranteed Rate Field after injury to Yankees rookie
White Sox manager Rick Renteria on the injury to Yankees rookie outfielder Dustin Fowler, who suffered an open rupture of the patellar tendon in his right knee during the first inning, and the 2-hour, 50-minute rain delay before the Sox’s 4-3 win Thursday, June 29, 2017. (Chris Kuc/Chicago Tribune)
The White Sox have no immediate plans to make changes to Guaranteed Rate Field in the wake of a gruesome knee injury to Yankees rookie Dustin Fowler during Thursday night’s game.
In his major-league debut, Fowler suffered an open rupture of the patellar tendon in his right knee when he crashed into the railing down the right-field line. He later underwent season-ending surgery.
After the game, Yankees manager Joe Girardi was critical of the ballpark’s design.
"There’s an electrical box," Girardi told the Associated Press. "And to me, that’s a problem. And I’m not blaming the White Sox, but it’s something that needs to be inspected. It should have been padded or not put there or put lower because if the kid doesn’t hit the electrical box, he might still be hurt, but my guess is he doesn’t rupture his patellar tendon."
In the area where Fowler collided with the wall, there is a box with a metal backing that informs fans to "Please be aware of objects leaving the playing field" as well as hard-plastic boxes that provide Wi-Fi to fans. Video of the play doesn’t appear to show Fowler’s knee hitting either of those objects. The Sox do not believe there is an issue with the ballpark.
"I would simply say that young man was going after the ball with tremendous vigor," manager Rick Renteria said. "There’s just a newness probably that occurs. He probably had a lot of adrenaline going. I know when we were watching him go after the ball, we thought, ‘Wow, this kid is flying.’ As he started nearing the track, we were saying to ourselves, ‘OK, slow down a little bit, pull it down.’ Or maybe he was going to slide. But obviously he was intent and focused on that baseball. We feel bad for him, we sincerely do."
Scott Reifert, senior vice president of communications, said the Sox’s stadium operations department provides photos of the entire field of play to Major League Baseball before each season and that nothing of significance had changed.
Girardi also had an issue with the low railing down the lines of the park.
"I think it’s something baseball needs to address," Girardi told the AP. "Maybe you put up plexiglass, so they can’t flip over and people can look through it. They look through it in hockey."
Reifert said that was not under consideration by the team.
More tough luck: Sox outfielder Charlie Tilson suffered another injury setback while rehabbing a stress reaction in his right foot. Tilson, who was injured during his major-league debut last season, has been diagnosed with a stress fracture of the navicular bone in his right ankle and will be in a walking boot for four weeks before being reevaluated.