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The Padres are thinking about altering the dimensions of Petco Park

Apr 25, 2012, 11:33 AM EDT

Petco Park

Dan Hayes of the North County Times reports that the Padres are thinking about the place they call home:

Padres interim CEO Tom Garfinkel said the club plans to study what effects reducing Petco Park’s spacious outfield might have on the team’s offense. The Padres could submit plans to Major League Baseball after the season in hopes of turning Petco into a more hitter-friendly park in time for the 2013 season.

Another way to go with this could be to simply schedule more day games in Petco, because the ball flies a lot better then than it does after that heavy marine air seeps in at night. I suppose that’s unpalatable for a lot of reasons, however, given that a lot of people, you know, work during the day.

Whatever the case, Petco is clearly the most extreme pitcher’s park in baseball. But someone has to be, right?  I know each club has to do its best to maximize its revenue and to optimize its competitive position, but I really do like having some variance in these things across the league.  While, yes, offense is on the decline these days, we still have a lot of hitter friendly parks around and we could use some pitcher friendly ones to balance that out.

  1. xpensivewinos - Apr 25, 2012 at 11:45 AM

    Who cares what Garfinkel has to say? As soon as the team is sold, he’s out like sh** through a goose (assuming he makes it that long).

    I’ll wait for the actual owner of the team and whoever is going to be running it to tell me about the dimensions of the ballpark.

  2. brewcitybummer - Apr 25, 2012 at 11:49 AM

    On the other hand maybe the extremes don’t work out well for anyone. If the Padres farm system mangages to produce an elite all fields power hitter like Pujols, Cabrera or Kemp that player would probably have to change his approach in Petco since its so difficult to hit the ball out to center. Otherwise that player may lose all his confidence watching balls crushed from left center to right center die harmlessly short of the track.

    The dimensions can allow scap heap pitchers to produce good numbers but the opposing pitchers are in the same building so I don’t really see the advantage there.

    I know some Padres fans think its to their advantage to construct a roster of speedy singles and doubles hitters with flyball pitchers. But I just don’t see how that manifests itself into 90 wins.

  3. bigleagues - Apr 25, 2012 at 11:54 AM

    Just look at the Home & Road splits of the Home and Away teams when they play at Petco . . . then consider the playing field is one of the closest to sea level of any ML park and, well . . . I think its a foregone conclusion that something needs to change.

    Of course, they could just go out and field a team of Ichiro & A-Gone clones . . . but it’s probably just easier to make the dimensions more conducive to producing offense.

  4. xmatt0926x - Apr 25, 2012 at 11:54 AM

    I’ve mentioned this a couple times before here when large ballparks were the subject. They should move the fences in. What do you ever get with these canyon parks? Yeah the pitchers love it but it seems to me that you always end up with the same scenario. The offense becomes so bad that the pitching advantage is almost wiped away. I don’t know what it is. Maybe there is just a limited amount of the type of hitters who would flourish in these big parks and not enough to go around. Look at San Fran, the Padres, and the Mets before this year. It’s always the same story. Hitters reduced to warning track power and not enough line drive , doubles hitters on each team so we end up each summer hearing the same old stories about how the offense is dead and the pitching is going to waste. The solution? Move the fences in and if your pitching is good enough it won’t matter anyway. Look at the Phillies. Everyone now says Citizens Bank Park plays fairly. No it doesn’t. It’s still a bandbox. It’s just that Halladay, Hamels, and Lee are pitching there most nights and the Phillies hitters aren’t power guys anymore so it just seems to be playing more fairly. Move ‘em in and let the fans enjoy some offense along with the occasional 2-1 game.

  5. ajcardsfan - Apr 25, 2012 at 11:56 AM

    Cut the outfield in half and covert the portion being removed into a lazy river that circles itself in the outfield, you can make the tiny strip that would divide the lazy river into a stage for bikini clad girls! I’m sure you could make revenue off of that

  6. icanspeel - Apr 25, 2012 at 11:57 AM

    These types of things usually only come around when the home team loses more often and in this case the Padres can’t hit, so they think bringing in the fences will fix the team, when in reality instead of losing 3-1 they will lose 7-5. Does it make a Padres fan any happier? Nope.. in simple terms they just want a solid team

    • vanmorrissey - Apr 25, 2012 at 12:52 PM

      Thank you, sir. Go to any of these comment sections right after another 3-1 loss with 10 total hits and you’ll see the same comment. Moving the fences in changes the dimensions for the visiting team also so I don’t see the change to a team with a lifetime sub – .500 winning percentage.The thought is it might keep some fan interest with more exciting 7-5 losses than the 3-1 typical today and reward the hitters for a well hit ball. Thing is this is a losing franchise with inherent fan apathy due to all the losing, that plus the 42% of the local area blacked out on the new TV contract due to no TWC or Directv contract with FoxSportsSD, plus a terrible team, and things don’t look very bright as far as fan attendance goes.

      • gloccamorra - Apr 26, 2012 at 6:02 PM

        Directv carries FSSD. It’s Dish network that doesn’t carry it. Time Warner is playing tough, but if AT&T signs up, between Directv and Uverse, they’ll eat TW’s lunch.

  7. garylanglais - Apr 25, 2012 at 12:04 PM

    This definitely has nothing to do with trading away their young ace in return for two offensive prospects.

    Cynical I know but its quite the coincidence.

  8. mybrunoblog - Apr 25, 2012 at 12:36 PM

    Funny how these teams (Mets, Tigers, now Padres) build these half billion $ ball parks then realize they planned poorly and move fences in.

  9. Nick C - Apr 25, 2012 at 12:44 PM

    I think Petco will remain a pitcher’s park even if they move the fences in quite a bit. At sea level with the heavy marine air it will never be a homerun hitters’ park. I think it is fairly clear that having a ballpark this extreme has caused problems for both their hitters and their pitchers. The adjustment to fairer parks on the road is just too great.

  10. yahmule - Apr 25, 2012 at 1:05 PM

    AKA the Keep Chase Headley Plan.

  11. walrushooker - Apr 25, 2012 at 1:23 PM

    Yes, our ownership blows money on washed up players a la hudson, bartlett, quentin…. And it’s the fences fault. Stop drafting Matt Bush types, stop having the lowest payroll in baseball, spend more and keep your talent, cough A-GO cough.

    San Diego taxpayers bought a new stadium for ownership to up the payroll and have a competitive team, instead moores pockets the cash and tries to sell off the team. And now the Chargers want to try the same thing…oh sorry baseball blog

    • vanmorrissey - Apr 25, 2012 at 3:23 PM

      walrus, right there with you. Having to overpay ‘talent’ in order to get them to play in a pitcher’s park has sure backfired, as well as the Towers, Hoyer bringing in washed players looking for a final contract. Now that Byrnes, under Moorad mind you, has turned the Towers debacle of a farm system around, we have to wait and see what fruit that bears at the MLB level since their payroll will still be in the lower third. 40+ years as a franchise, two WS appearances, one actual WS game won, well, why do you think fans are apathetic? To expect anything else is insane over the next 40+ years, sorry, that’s the truth.

  12. cambodianbreastmilk - Apr 25, 2012 at 3:34 PM

    LEAVE IT ALONE! That’s my opinion. These parks/stadiums get built for a reason. Gone are the late 90’s when 60 homers was a yearly feat and accomplished by 2-3 players. Don’t get me wrong, I like seeing a monster homer, but watching a pitchers duel or seeing these guys leg out a triple or possibly an inside-the-park home-run is more exciting to me.

  13. rcali - Apr 25, 2012 at 4:03 PM

    Then the Padres are actually going to have to go out and get real MLB pitchers. Considering the money spent on the roster, I can’t see this happening.

  14. weaselpuppy - Apr 25, 2012 at 10:25 PM

    Just visited SD and Petco for the first time. It’s an incredible city and a beautiful ballpark….but even my girlfriend, who know absolutely nothing about baseball pointed out “why is the 401 number on the wall there to the left and not in dead center of the wall???”…..loved the game (worley vs wieland), but man, they don’t have any hitters…Cam was a great prospect in Detroit but still has a hole in his swing…Headley looked ok, but the team is boring as hell to watch…

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