Agent Scott Boras says that Major League Baseball needs to ensure that wet bases are not a safety hazard for players during inclement weather conditions, according to Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com.
Boras’ concern comes as a result of a knee injury his client, Washington Nationals star outfielder Bryce Harper, suffered while reaching a wet first base bag on Saturday during a win over the San Francisco Giants.
“We go to great lengths with the soil to make sure it’s not wet and there are drying agents on the ground,” Boras said. “I don’t know what technology we apply or the studies that have been done on the composition of having a wet base. That’s certainly something we need to look into. This injury was directly related to inclement weather and a player putting his cleat on the bag and it slipping across because the surface was slick.”
Fortunately, Harper did not suffer any structural damage, but he did sustain a significant bone bruise and will be out indefinitely as a result.
Boras says that the MLB needs to be more like the NBA, a league that quickly cleans up slick surfaces when they arise.
“In the NBA, when a player hits the floor and there’s perspiration on the floor, they clean it up immediately so the surface isn’t slick. In baseball, we have no one cleaning the bags between innings during inclement weather,” he said. “Is there observation as the game goes where they would stop and make sure the bag is dry? We don’t do that. We don’t take measures like that for player safety that could easily be accomplished by the grounds crew and the umpires’ observations.”
Harper, a five-time All-Star and 2015 National League Most Valuable Player award winner, is scheduled to hit free agency after the 2018 season.