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The Red Sox want to bring the right field fence in by nine feet

Oct 20, 2010, 11:55 AM EDT

Image (1) fenway_park_bullpen.jpg for post 156

Those Red Sox. Always soooo envious of the Yankees. Now they’re totally copying the whole short porch thing:

The team is seeking approval from the Boston Landmarks Commission to widen Fenway Park’s bullpen by about 9 feet – a double-edged alteration that should make hitting home runs to right field that much easier.

The change – part of an offseason ballpark renovation plan announced today – would shorten the distance from home plate to the bullpen fence from the current 380 feet to about 371 feet.

In case you’re curious, here’s the chart of home runs in Fenway Park for 2010. It obviously doesn’t show the fly balls or doubles off the wall that will be home runs if the change goes through, but there are bound to be a good number. While it still doesn’t make a poke to right a cheapie, this will apparently shorten Pesky Pole homers too*, so yeah, there are going to be more homers in Boston if this goes down.

And that’s what we really need: more slugfests in Boston.

*I think I misread that. The article says that the wall “behind the Pesky Pole” will be shorter. I think that means “beyond” and that the distance down the line itself will remain the same. My bad.

  1. fndan9 - Oct 20, 2010 at 12:01 PM

    Seems silly to me. I thought the Sox philosophy was now “run prevention”?

    Damn, Granderson has the longest HR at Fenway this year???

    • JBerardi - Oct 20, 2010 at 12:47 PM

      “Seems silly to me. I thought the Sox philosophy was now “run prevention”?”

      Uhh, yeah: http://www.baseball-reference.com/leagues/MLB/2010.shtml#teams_standard_batting::7

  2. BC - Oct 20, 2010 at 12:03 PM

    You can already hit a sand wedge out down the right field line. It’s 302 feet!! What, is it going to be 290 now?????

    • JBerardi - Oct 20, 2010 at 12:46 PM

      Yeah, if you hit it down the RF line. But look:

      http://www.redsoxdiehard.com/features/summer99/pics/peskyspole.jpg

      If you hit the ball even a few feet to the left of the foul pole, you quickly get into the second deepest part (next to the CF triangle) of the Fenway outfield. Not that many home runs get hit around that pole. In fact, Fenway is pretty much a neutral park in terms of home runs. Most of it’s offensive boost comes from the Monster turning short fly outs into doubles.

      • BC - Oct 20, 2010 at 1:17 PM

        That’s true. I think Wade Boggs hit .400 for his career there – kept putting dents in the Monsta.

      • JBerardi - Oct 20, 2010 at 1:33 PM

        Boggs hit .369/.464/.527 at Fenway, although some of that was with the Yankees and Rays. Still pretty solid numbers, I’d say.

    • hasbeen5 - Oct 20, 2010 at 12:54 PM

      I’d go with a lob wedge

  3. Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Oct 20, 2010 at 12:04 PM

    Yay, longer games! I always hated how the BoSox played their games in the blink of an eye, assuming the blinking is being performed by Dick Cheney’s eyelids.

  4. Jonny 5 - Oct 20, 2010 at 12:20 PM

    Bad idea. The historic nature of the park should never be comprimised over hitting more home runs. It’s kind of sickening to even consider. Leave it as it is.

    • WhenMattStairsIsKing - Oct 20, 2010 at 4:57 PM

      Couldn’t agree more.

  5. Richard In Big D - Oct 20, 2010 at 12:24 PM

    Since we can no longer lengthen the flight of balls with steroids, we mudt shorten the distance they must fly in order to be home runs. Ludicrous! Why not just use SuperBalls?

  6. Erik Gonzalez - Oct 20, 2010 at 12:32 PM

    Craig, you neglected to mention that this change has nothing to do with hitting more HR but rather to make the Fenway bullpen meet the MLB criteria for bullpen dimensions. You also neglect to mention that NuYankee Stadium has a RF of 362′ while the modifications to Fenway will bring it to 371′ or so – that is a significant difference. I know you media love the Sox-Yankees thing, but it ain’t here.

  7. JBerardi - Oct 20, 2010 at 12:35 PM

    Craig, the Red Sox did explain why they’re doing this, which seems like an important piece of information. More important than, say, bitching about the length of Red Sox games (which basically just reflects the fact that they always have a great offense– horror of horrors!):

    The team is hoping to increase the width of the bullpens at Fenway Park by approximately eight feet, a change that would make it safer for pitchers warming up and cut down on the dimensions in right field.

    ..

    According to team president Larry Lucchino, who spoke to reporters at Fenway today while showing off other improvements, the home and visiting team bullpens at Fenway are 21 feet across, eight feet shorter than the distance recommended by Major League Baseball. For years, pitchers have complained about the tight quarters while warming up.

    http://www.boston.com/sports/baseball/redsox/extras/extra_bases/2010/10/new_fenway_bull.html

    Now, I’m not sure that I’m wild about making Fenway into even MORE of a hitter’s park, but I don’t think that’s really the point of doing this. They just want a proper-sized bullpen.

    • Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Oct 20, 2010 at 12:46 PM

      They should bury the bullpen under RF and have the relievers come out of a trap door. How sweet would Papeldouche look sprinting up from stairs and appearing in the middle of right field?

  8. roadduck99 - Oct 20, 2010 at 12:45 PM

    They could take out three rows of bleachers.

    HA HA HA HA HA!

  9. ertwngr - Oct 20, 2010 at 12:53 PM

    imagine how many home runs J D Drew will be able to hit once they move that fence. I bet he goes all the way from 22 to 23 or maybe even 24.

  10. mcsnide - Oct 20, 2010 at 12:59 PM

    This may not be accurate, but I believe that I read somewhere that 10 feet of distance approximates 1 foot in height in terms of the HR. So move the fence in, get your bigger bullpen, but raise the fence a foot. And everything theoretically balances out.

    • JBerardi - Oct 20, 2010 at 1:07 PM

      I hadn’t thought of that. Actually, if the made the wall higher, guy could rob home runs much more effectively out there. The wall is more or less at waist hight right now, so most leaping catches out there lead to guys going end-over-end into the bullpen. If they put a more climable wall out there, you’d see some more exciting plays out there and keep the offense i check. I like it.

  11. ta192 - Oct 20, 2010 at 5:45 PM

    Big deal guys. Teams used to change fence depths very frequently, many using the expedient of chain link to hold down the cost. The sun will still rise in the East and set in the West; spare me the Chicken Little act…

  12. indianagary - Oct 20, 2010 at 11:12 PM

    I’m not sure moving in the RF fence right now is a great idea. Our biggest rivals, the New York Yankees, have a line up built for their short right field porch in the Bronx. Why would we want to make our home field more accommodating to their line up?

    Just my 2 cents, here.

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