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Should the Mets move the wall in at Citi Field?

Apr 22, 2011, 5:40 PM EDT

Citi Field

This comes up about twice a year and people like to talk about it, so hey, why not?  Go read Marty Noble over at MLB.com opining that the Mets should move the fences in at Citi Field because it’s killing David Wright and making home runs scarce and all of that:

Right field at Citi need not be Yankee Stadium-esque, but it needs to be smaller and more inviting to men who swing the bat. The tall wall in left-center could be moved a tad closer and perhaps shortened. But as is, it facilitates extra-base hits and, as Shea Stadium did in all directions, legitimizes the home runs that are hit. Leave it alone.

Right field is the rub. The club isn’t about to turn away from the advertising revenue the Mo Zone generates in right. Its less-than-stuffed pockets need all available pennies. But the Mets ought to eliminate, adjust or move the Zone and make life easier for their best player and most recognizable face. Eliminate Mo, add some seats — they may be necessary again one day — and give David Wright a fighting chance to hit 30 home runs.

I’ve never been a fan of these kinds of arguments. The Mets wanted a pitcher’s park so they built one. If they can’t trot out a pitching staff that takes advantage of that more than the pitching staffs of the visiting teams do, well, that’s kind of tough.  As it is, the Mets have scored more runs at home than they have on the road in each of their two full seasons in Citi Field and are currently averaging slightly more at home in the early going this year. Don’t go changing the organizational strategy every couple of years. And in this case, at least make sure that the problem is actually the park’s dimensions rather than your poor team before making rash decisions.

The argument I hear most frequently in favor of moving the fences at Citi Field?  It would make David Wright’s statistics look better.  And that’s really not a reason to go messing with the fences.

  1. uuddlrlrbastart - Apr 22, 2011 at 5:55 PM

    I don’t necessarily think the Mets need to make any adjustments, though I never understood the need for large dimensions and high walls on all sides. But if they do anything, they should just move home plate up a foot or three. Home to the backstop is already the shortest in baseball and there’s very little foul territory down the lines. No wall moving necessary, no real changes, all the quirks are still there. And maybe David Wright will hit a few more home runs and Met fans will stop complaining that he doesn’t bat 1.000 with runners in scoring position.

  2. frankvzappa - Apr 22, 2011 at 6:12 PM

    moving the wall in to 250 feet couldnt help those bums…

  3. xnumberoneson - Apr 22, 2011 at 6:39 PM

    Leave the fences alone. While the Mo Zone has been death to David Wright’s opposite-field shots, the park in general isn’t quite the canyon people make it out to be. We’ve seen some pretty bad hitters jack balls out of that yard. The OF dimensions have also made Citi Field a great park for triples (or as we saw last night, 4-base errors). They should at least look at 3-5 years of data before making adjustments that have unintended consequences like making it easier for all the Phillies’ lefty bats hit balls out of there when they come to town.

  4. jwbiii - Apr 22, 2011 at 6:42 PM

    Over the past 2+ years, the Mets have hit a few more home runs at home than on the road (122-115). Their pitchers have given up a lot more home runs on the road than at home (175-139). I think that reducing the dimensions would hurt their pitchers more than it would help their hitters.

  5. macjacmccoy - Apr 23, 2011 at 4:42 AM

    For almost every other team in the league I would say this was a bad idea. But the Mets are so lifeless and uninteresting they should do anything they to make the team more entertaining. The fact that they have to deal with that media and play across town from the Yankees launching pad can/will/does add alot of negative attention to the lack of power displayed by the Mets especially at home.

    Anything they can do to take pressure off the team is a good thing. Being able to score more runs should do that. Yes they would probably give up more runs too but its not like that have pitchers that are keeping guys in the yard anyway. Plus moving the fence isnt really about winning more games its about putting on a better show. And to a common fan a 10-9 game is a better show then a 1-0 game.

    So going through with it would probably give them their desired effect. High ratings and more seats filled.

  6. sharronlog - Apr 23, 2011 at 5:38 AM

    Such a wonderful topic for me.I read thsi article and agree with this article.
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  7. micker716 - Apr 23, 2011 at 10:22 AM

    Typical short-term, NY-style thinking. Reconstruct the ball-parks dimensions for David Wright? Why not wait until April every season, look at your roster, and customize the dimensions based on your pitching staff, left-, right-handed batters proportions, speed, power, etc.? Incidentally, “cavernous” Citi Field is averaging 1.286 HR’s, 8th highest in baseball so far this season.

  8. chadjones27 - Apr 23, 2011 at 11:51 AM

    That’ll just make it easier for Utley to hit a couple extra homers… if he ever makes it back.

  9. bennyblanco1 - Apr 25, 2011 at 10:15 AM

    Wright hit what, 29 Homers last year? Yeah, he’ll never hit 30 again.

    If they move the walls in, it wont be for David Wright, it’ll be for everyone.

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