Currently, the netting at both facilities extends only to the near end of the dugout. While the Yankees have not announced specific plans at either venue, most teams are extended netting to the far end of the dugouts. Through this season 10 teams had extended netting to the far ends of the dugouts, and in the past few weeks seven other teams (Detroit Tigers, Chicago Cubs, Cincinnati Reds, San Diego Padres, Baltimore Orioles, Colorado Rockies and Seattle Mariners) announced plans to extend netting. We expect more announcements of extended netting to come now that the 2017 MLB season has ended. From a Yankees press statement:
As previously announced, the Yankees consulted (and are continuing to consult) with architects, engineers, netting manufacturers and Major League Baseball to analyze and determine the best and most appropriate type of netting material, color and installation methods. We have also considered comments from our great fans.
While the current protective netting meets the recommended guidelines established by Major League Baseball, the additional protective netting we are planning to install for the 2018 season will exceed the current guidelines established by the Office of the Commissioner of Major League Baseball.
Further information will be made available when our installation plans are finalized.
Though there had been previous discussions of MLB teams extending ballpark netting before this season, a September incident at Yankee Stadium prompted real movement on the issue. The Yankees were already being scrutinized for their netting setup, as local politicians were looking to mandate the installation of extended netting at Yankee Stadium. (The Mets had already done so for the 2017 at Citi Field, escaping the public criticism.) When a young girl was struck by a foul ball, the public criticism intensified.
In his recollection of the episode, the father, Geoffrey Jacobson, described the horror of walking into a hospital room to find his daughter, who will turn 2 this week, connected to tubes and machines. Her eyes were swollen shut, she had multiple facial fractures — including those of her orbital bone and nose — and doctors were monitoring the bleeding on her brain, fearing that it might lead to seizures.
And on her forehead, he said, was an imprint left by the stitches of the baseball that hit her….
“While there are numerous medical follow-ups and some remaining medical questions to be answered, we can’t ignore how fortunate we are that our little girl is home,” Jacobson wrote in the account that accompanied the interview, calling her a fighter and praising doctors, nurses, emergency medical technicians and others who came to her aid.
RELATED STORIES: Tigers, Cubs Extending Ballpark Netting for 2018; Blue Jays to Reevaluate Rogers Centre Netting; Yankees Under New Pressure to Extend Netting; At Least Three MLB Teams Extending Netting for 2018; Fan Struck by Foul Ball at Yankee Stadium; Manfred: MLB-Wide Policy on Netting a Challenge; New Citi Field Netting Brings Praises, Curses From Mets Fans