Zach Schonbrun of The New York Times reports that New York City Council member Rafael Espinal is preparing to propose legislation that would require the Mets and Yankees to extend protective netting to 90 feet from home plate at Citi Field and Yankee Stadium, respectively.
Major League Baseball issued a recommendation to teams last year that netting be extended to 70 feet from home plate and most teams complied. According to Schonbrun, one-third of teams have extended netting beyond 70 feet, including the Pirates and Phillies. The Phillies’ situation was well-publicized last year as a fan was struck by a Freddy Galvis foul ball in August. After the game, Galvis said, “It’s 2016 and fans keep getting hit by foul balls when you’re supposed to have a net to protect the fans. The fans give you the money, so you should protect them, right?” The next day, another fan was hit by a foul ball in nearly the same spot and Galvis threw his hands up in disgust.
The players seem to be very much in favor of extending protective netting.
Espinal shares the players’ point of view. He said, “I’m baffled by why this is such a big issue. You have the money to put up the netting. You would avoid the headaches of having to deal with injured fans. Your players would feel less guilty when they go up to bat. Everyone can enjoy the game in peace.”