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Is it time to think about bringing in the fences at Citi Field?

Jan 6, 2010, 11:59 AM EDT

After noting that the Mets, if healthy, will have a lot of guys with some power, Bob Klapisch offers a suggestion:

The Mets don’t appear to be close to any significant upgrades in their starting rotation, so if they want to improve their
run-differential why not maximize their HR quotient by reconfiguring
the ballpark?  Doing so would ensure that Bay remains a 30-homer threat, and more importantly, would give Wright a much-needed helping hand . . .

. . . Will it happen? It’s not impossible. Officials plan to see how Bay and
Wright fare in 2010 before bringing in the fences. Wright, in
particular, will be watched closely: With Bay hitting behind him, he’ll
get better pitches to hit and should return to his 33-home run form in
2008.

This seems way, way, way premature to me.  As has been noted by many, you can’t get a good read on how a park plays after only one season.  It usually takes three years for people who care about things like park factors to get reliable data.

As Klapisch notes, David Wright only hit five homers on the road, and that suggests that it wasn’t just architecture that led to his power outage.  Even if the park caused Wright to do silly things, isn’t it worth trying to fix Wright’s swing before calling in the contractors.

  1. themarksmith - Jan 6, 2010 at 12:10 PM

    The funny thing is that the park effects available (though, like you said, it’s a bit too early) show that Citi Field was 12th in baseball in relation to home runs, and Shea Stadium (other than 2008 for some reason) consistently rated in the 20s. Doesn’t that at least indicate that Citi Field isn’t killing home runs? Granted, the park effects could change drastically. Add in that Wright hit as many home runs on the road as at home and I really don’t get the logic behind all the concern. But I guess people need a reason to explain why the Mets and Wright (at least power-wise) didn’t do so well last season.

  2. Old Gator - Jan 6, 2010 at 12:16 PM

    Better idea: leave the fences where they are, scrape that godawful Citibank logo off the walls and rename the stinking place after Bill Shea again. Unless you’ve forgotten, he was the New York attorney who lobbied, begged, pleaded, cajoled, organized and threatened, on his own nickel, to bring National League (ie, real) baseball back to New York after the Bums and Midgets left for the Left Coast. These corporate-named stadiums are just a further erosion of the romance of the game. Let’s have some heart here again instead of all this soulless (or in the case of “Land Shark Stadium,” nauseatingly inane) vulgar whoring after every last nickel.

  3. gumbercules - Jan 6, 2010 at 12:22 PM

    I dunno – the Tigers moved in the fences at Comerica Park in pretty short order…

  4. Josh Fisher - Jan 6, 2010 at 12:33 PM

    Have you looked at that pitching staff? Moving the fences in to help the hitters might do more harm than good.

  5. YANKEES1996 - Jan 6, 2010 at 12:36 PM

    Great Idea!, If you can’t fix the team, then fix the ballpark! Someone needs to tell Omar about this thread.

  6. David Wright - Jan 6, 2010 at 12:49 PM

    Oh God please move them in. Please. Please move them in a lot. I don’t ask for much.

  7. BennyN - Jan 6, 2010 at 12:52 PM

    I wonder if your comments always had this much Met hate when the Yankees didnt reach the WS the last 8 years.
    Yankee fan or Met hater?

  8. TigerS Boy ToY - Jan 6, 2010 at 12:59 PM

    If Craig had watched the Mets introduction press conference for
    Jason Bay he could have given the the Jeff Wilpon reason for not moving the fences, Jeff stated that the team discussed the option
    but Omar and Jerry stated that if they moved in the fences that the opposition would also hit more homeruns and that is not the ball park they need for players like Reyes whose game is speed and Beltran in the field, they also said it was only one year.Also,
    Ho-Jo the met hitting coach said the park was not Wrights problem, the problem was he adjusted his swing to play to the park instead of just using his natural swing, like a Jason Bay who said he altered nothing to play in Fenway after his trade and said he will have no problem at Citi, Wright has been working on hitting the ball sooner rather than sitting back as the ball is approaching.
    SEE BALL HIT BALL, NOTHING ABOUT FENCES, DIMENSIONS BLAH, BLAH BLAH.
    BASEBALL IS A SIMPLE GAME THE WRITERS MAKE IT COMPLICATED, IMAGINE IF TEHY PLAYED THE GAME.

  9. Dirck - Jan 6, 2010 at 1:17 PM

    Perhaps the fact that David Wright aside , who really had an off year, the Mets fielded a lineup for most of the year that was not even a good Triple A caliber lineup just might have had something to do with their lack of homeruns last year .

  10. kirk - Jan 6, 2010 at 1:20 PM

    Jody Gerut did not have a problem hitting a homerun, nor does any visiting team. It is not the concrete, its the team that calls the building home. Went to a lot of games there last year, it is almost certainly not the walls that prevent homers.

  11. Joey B - Jan 6, 2010 at 1:46 PM

    They hit more HRs at home than on the road.
    They allowed more HRs at home than on the road.
    Their OPS at home was .748 and .711 on the road.
    While moving in the fences might help Bay’s lack of range, he’s not quite the type of hitter who pops it down the line and over the Green Monster. I think he’ll hit fewer at Shea, only because he is more like a 32-HR hitter than a 36-HR hitter.
    Other than, the NYMs were last in road HRs. Once you’re last in road HRs, then finishing last in home HRs shouldn’t come as a surprise. At a bare minimum, they need to see how it works over a full season with all their players. Their top 4 HRs were Delgado, Wright, Beltran and Reyes. They about lost 2.5 of those players, and the 4th probably tanked because you lost the other 2.5 players.

  12. YANKEES1996 - Jan 6, 2010 at 2:24 PM

    Yankee fan from birth, my brother is a die hard Mets fan and we go to ballgames at both parks together. I actually like watching the Mets even though I am an AL guy. My brother calls me every spring and tells me that this is the year the Mets win it all and I feel sorry for him and all the other die hard Mets fans. Every year the story is the same but the reason for the collapse is different. So in closing I like the Mets, cannot stand the ownership and management! Being a Met fan is like being a Rangers fan, they have good players but they always have an excuse also.

  13. Tom - Jan 6, 2010 at 2:39 PM

    I’ve always found the cry to move in the fences kind of odd. Don’t the Mets have pitchers too? If you are helping the batter than you are obviously hurting the pitchers. Are pitchers held in such low esteem that no one really cares about hurting them?

  14. The D - Jan 7, 2010 at 1:42 AM

    Wasn’t Citi Field built as a psuedo-replica of Ebbets Field, therefore defining its dimensions, and moving the walls or changing the dimensions would somewhat negate that?

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