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The Mets are lowering the centerfield fence

Feb 9, 2010, 8:29 AM EDT

The wall was sixteen feet high last year. Now it’s going to be eight feet, says Adam Rubin of the Daily News. David Wright is probably happy. Johan Santana is probably sad.  And so it goes.

But here’s a question: what are the Mets going to do for their other 81 games? After all, they were last in road home runs too. And as Rubin notes, more homers were hit per game in Citi Field than in Atlanta, San Diego, Los Angeles and St. Louis. Visitors hit more homers in Citi Field in 2009 than they did in Shea Stadium in 2008.

The Mets’ real problem last year was not their field. It was the can’t-hit-a-lick lineup they sent out there most days.  A lineup that was pressed into service due to a multitude of injuries. A lineup which everyone concedes was a worst case scenario.  A lineup, in other words, whose performance should not be the basis on which a team makes fundamental decisions about the configuration of their park.

But then again these are the Mets, and making sound, reasoned decisions just isn’t their bag, baby.

  1. Old Gator - Feb 9, 2010 at 8:39 AM

    We all know what’s going to happen. These poor clowns are going to be swinging from their heels at pitches in the dirt trying to get them over their playpen fence. Gooo! And then they’re going to carry the ignis fatuus of that tortoise pen fence with them out onto the road like a psychic implant, and do the same thing – of course, if they happen to start off a road trip with the Rocky Mountain Oysters and get lucky out there, they’ll be totally obsessed with launching moonshots by the time they get to Los Angeles or even to Joeprodolsharklife Stadium, with its capacious if slightly oddball left and right center field dimensions, and won’t it be fun watching all those fly balls dying in the humidity and falling, wet and spongy, into Cameron Maybin’s glove? To them, every fence is going to look low as wishful thinking works its magic – kinda like the way they sawed the legs of the chairs and tables on the backlot studio sets down to make Alan Ladd and Veronica Lake look a little bit less like Herve Villachaize and Linda Hunt. Oh boy. Feesh peetchers, start scuffing up those balls – it’s sinker season when the Mutts come to town!

  2. Jonny5 - Feb 9, 2010 at 8:56 AM

    Well at least they aren’t going to mess with “Utley’s corner”. He wouldn’t like that very much….http://www.phinallyphilly.com/2009/06/29/utley-has-made-his-mark-at-citi-field-with-utleys-corner/

  3. BC - Feb 9, 2010 at 9:00 AM

    When your team leader in home runs hits 10, and he’s a broken-down, 41-year-old guy who plays 50% of the time (Sheffield), you have bigger problems than the center field fence. How about getting some players that can play and that stay healthy for more than a month at a time?

  4. Tired - Feb 9, 2010 at 9:01 AM

    What reason does the team give for the change. Realistically 8 feet lower for a section in centerfield can’t mean too many more home runs for either side. Maybe it will provide a few more plays at the wall – taking away a home run or two. Maybe a little more investigation would make this a more worthwhile article instead of your continuous “what can we hammer somebody with today” blab.

  5. Wooden U. Lykteneau - Feb 9, 2010 at 9:37 AM

    http://www.hittrackeronline.com/parks/citifield_rings_2009_scatter.jpg
    *sigh*
    As tired pointed out, the evidence does not support the delusion.

  6. Jack Meoffer - Feb 9, 2010 at 9:52 AM

    I was really disappointed with Citifield. Shea Stadium was a dump of dumps. Then Citifield was revealed with the ugly orange and outfield fences and I thought it was the typical Mets. They just don’t ever get it right. I use to be a rabid fan but after they dismantled the 1986 team and traded both Lenny Dykstra and Roger McDowell on the same day for Juan Samuel I lost interest. The 1994 strike was the final nail in the coffin. So now I can watch a game but I don’t care who wins, seriously. I’ll watch the Mets locally, but cringe in how all the new stadiums look great and the Mets management screwed up totally. It’s not even in the top 15 of the new stadiums.

  7. Fast Eddy - Feb 9, 2010 at 9:58 AM

    Thsi should be a tremendous help for guys like Sir Albert and Mr. Howard. Then line drives will no longer hit the top of the wall for doubles, but go into the stands for 4 baggers.

  8. -z- - Feb 9, 2010 at 10:19 AM

    It’s the prices, not the fences, that need to be lowered.

  9. BC - Feb 9, 2010 at 10:36 AM

    I agree. The only thing they improved with Citi Field was getting into and out of the parking lot. I wasn’t that impressed with the stadium overall.

  10. -z- - Feb 9, 2010 at 10:44 AM

    You can make it all the way from the subway platform to your seat with barely a hint of who plays there – You know it’s not the Dodgers even though that is the primary logo you are bombarded with at every turn. In the souvenier shops it’s all Dodger stuff up front, you have to root around in the back of the shop to find anything to do with the Mets. The whole thing is Fred Wilpon’s childhood wet dream love affair with the Dodgers. Who is this appealing to? People who have an active memory of the Brooklyn Dodgers are either on a ventilator or in Florida. Hey Fred, the Dodgers are what is known as the competition.

  11. spudchukar - Feb 9, 2010 at 10:48 AM

    Any idea that gives the Mets fans easier access to the field and thus the players in this ugly year to come is dangerous.

  12. belichick's cheat codes - Feb 9, 2010 at 12:33 PM

    you guys just merged this blog into the NBC sports ‘talk’. maybe now’s a good time to cut off the unnecessary pro-Braves/anti-Mets inserts and superfluous posts. with Cap’n Florio it’s obviously impossible for him not to interject his snark into otherwise non-stories but at least he doesn’t do it with such a (blatant) bias. i like Calcaterra–as long as he isn’t doing his junior Fox News correspondent shtick. he couldn’t even follow company lines (this time, rotoworld) when Sherman made up a rift story about Belly and the Mutts (“How he knows exactly what is going on in Beltran’s head is anybody’s guess”). No, no. There’s no such thing as too easy a target for old Craig. lay off it for a minute, eh buddy? or you guys will never grow this blog into a national powerhouse. and if your blog can’t beat Ken Rosenthal’s rumor mill o’ crap, then it becomes panic time.

  13. 2cents - Feb 9, 2010 at 1:42 PM

    I knew you should have renamed this place…”The Blog Formerly Known as CTB”…I just knew it.

  14. Skids - Feb 9, 2010 at 2:03 PM

    Maybe they should bring in the fences while they bat, move them back on tracks when the visitors bat. That might help them.

  15. Omega in Colorado - Feb 9, 2010 at 2:59 PM

    @Skids
    I had a similar idea. Why not put the walls on hydraulic elevators and move them up and down according to home team / visiting team at bats and the talent level of the batter.
    Being a Cubs fan I can always say, ‘well at least they aren’t the Mets’.
    I feel for you Mets fans out there, I hope Minaya comes to his senses and steps down and they get someone in there who knows what the heck they are doing. You deserve a better team then they roll out for you each Spring.

  16. The Dog - Feb 9, 2010 at 3:04 PM

    I hope they do it, not that it will help them. I’m pretty sure that when the Phils and other big boppers roll into town they’ll be licking their chops.

  17. Ken - Feb 9, 2010 at 3:04 PM

    This report is garbage. The only part that is being lowered is in front of the apple in center field. It is probably 15 ft wide. The Mets are not trying to increase the amount of homeruns hit.

  18. jimbo w - Feb 9, 2010 at 9:37 PM

    hey Z,
    got a prob with retired NY’ers living in florida?
    and BTW, i saw the beatles at shea when it was the CHARM of the worlds fair. See, one of the best things about being my age is i get to smile and shake my head when youngin’s spew venom, with no historical reference.
    Rock on Tu Pac, LL cool J, and the ilk

  19. Welcome To Pottersville - Feb 9, 2010 at 10:04 PM

    Craig Calcaterra should check facts before he writes:
    1) As some of the astute readers have mentioned- only a section of the wall in centerfield was 16 feet. Calcaterra wants to build up the story by embellishing through leaving out specific facts.
    2) The Mets “can’t hit a lick lineup” of 2009 was tied for the National League lead in team batting with a .270 average. The biggest issue with the 2009 Mets was the record-breaking number of injuries the team suffered. Period. End of controversy.
    Calcaterra’s can’t-check-a-fact journalism is bush league No wonder we’ve never heard of Craig Calcaterra. Checking facts just isn’t his bag, baby.

  20. Craig Calcaterra - Feb 9, 2010 at 10:19 PM

    1) When I wrote this story at 8:30 this morning the only place reporting it was the Daily News, who made no mention of the fact that it was only a small part of the fence and made much mention of the home run rates in Citi Field. To the extent there was anything misleading about the initial post, it was a function of the source material. To the extent it was wrong, it was more than corrected by commenters throughout the day.
    2) The Mets .270 average is misleading in the extreme. They scored 671 runs for all of that average, which was 12th in the NL. And who’s being misleading? Despite your “period, end of controversy rebop,” there was no controversy on the Mets’ injuries. Did you not read my next sentence? “A lineup that was pressed into service due to a multitude of injuries.” If you hadn’t, you’re sloppy. If you had, you’re trying to be combative for no reason.

  21. Dennis - Feb 10, 2010 at 3:20 PM

    Way to go Craig! I thought you were kind. Look the family is broke, the bought one long ball player who will play the outfield like a dear caught in headlights. He will not have the Green Monster to help him. No one else wanted him. A need for 3 position players, starting pitching, and the like with a slew of free agents on the market and not a peep.No activity from the Mets organization! Anyone taking this team to 3rd place is a miracle worked for 2010. 4th is the odd on favorite for those in the know. I’d sell off and trade the best pieces for great talent and rebuild this team. That would be money well spent for a farm system wanting of everything. That way 4th place won’t hurt so bad!

  22. john pileggi - Feb 10, 2010 at 8:19 PM

    Shut up, put the crystal ball away and let’s see what happens. 60 days to the real season, so we will find out soon enough.

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  24. Dave - Feb 26, 2010 at 5:32 PM

    That is great that they lowered the fence. It should be no more than 8 feet high all of the way around.

  25. How to play texas hold em poker - Mar 1, 2010 at 3:40 PM

    Is it correct that many musicians get screwed over by studios that wanted to take every dollar ??

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