Back in 2015, in the wake of some high profile instances of batted balls and broken bats injuring fans in the stands, Major League Baseball issued some recommendations — not requirements, mere recommendations — to clubs to extend protective netting. Most have done so to some degree and others are planning on doing so. The lack of a requirement has caused this effort to proceed in fits and starts, however.
In New York, someone is trying to impose some uniformity. A city councilman. From the Daily News:
Maybe it will take the action of City Councilman Rafael Espinal, who is introducing a bill into legislature that would make it law for all ballparks in New York City, minor league as well as major, to extend protective netting all the way to each foul pole.
Espinal, who explains his reasoning in a column in the Daily News, is in a position to exert influence merely by introducing the bill into legislature.
Espinal says he’d prefer to not legislate the matter but, rather, hope his bill prods them to act. Given that he’s calling for netting to go all the way to the foul poles, which is far farther than any other team does with its nets, I suspect it will.
Ultimately, I think Major League Baseball passively recommending, as opposed to requiring, clubs to extend netting was a pretty weak move. It was inevitable that, eventually, it would invite this sort of thing.