One week after a fan at Yankee Stadium was struck by a screaming foul ball hit by Aaron Judge, the Yankees on Thursday announced that they are strongly considering adding protective netting along the sides of the field.
“The Yankees are seriously exploring extending the netting prior to the 2018 season to the outside of the Yankees’ dugout and the outside of the visitors’ dugout, with the height of the netting being reduced as it approaches the dugouts,” read a statement posted on the team’s website.
The statement added that the Yankees are consulting with the architectural firm that designed the stadium along with the netting manufacturer and engineering firms to determine the height and length of the extension.
In the Bombers’ July 25 home game against the Reds, Judge’s foul ball, which Statcast measured at 105 mph, crashed into a fan’s head, requiring emergency responders to attend to him.
MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said two days later that there continues to be no timetable to require protective netting for all 30 major-league stadiums.
“We continually are talking to the individual clubs about what they should be doing in each of their stadiums,” Manfred said. “I think the reluctance to do it on a league-wide basis only relates to the difficulty of having a single rule that fits 30 stadiums that obviously are not designed the same way.”
During the All-Star break last month, the Mets became the 10th MLB team to go beyond the league’s basic recommendation by adding netting that declines from 30 feet to eight as it extends to the far ends of the camera wells beyond each dugout.