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Saturday, October 22, 2011

Adam Rubin: Source: Citi Field changes on tap

“We’re not looking for an advantage with respect to home runs versus visitors’ home runs,” Alderson said last month. “At the same time, I think there is some sense that the park is a little more overwhelming to a team that spends half its time there as opposed to a team that comes in for three games and doesn’t really have to alter an approach or think about it too much and leaves.”

The 16-foot wall in left field will remain because it is structural, but a new 8-foot wall will be erected in front of it, a team source said.

The new left-field wall will not be constructed exactly parallel to the old wall. That would make it too close down the left-field line. Instead, a more modest reduction in depth will occur at the left-field foul pole, with a wider gap between the new and old walls in left-center.

Additional seating is expected to be added between the new and old walls, although there cannot be the same number of rows added throughout that area because of the different space between the walls in the corner versus in left-center.

In right field, where the “Mo’s Zone” nook currently exists, the fencing will be moved closer to eradicate that crevice.

A dramatic change will occur in right-center, which had measured 415 feet from home plate. The new depth is expected to be 390 feet—a 25-foot reduction. That should particularly benefit third baseman David Wright, whose natural power is to right-center.

Renegade (((JE))) Posted: October 22, 2011 at 02:10 AM | 30 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: mets, special topics

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   1. . . . . . . . . . . Posted: October 22, 2011 at 03:56 AM (#3971210)
Pathetic.
   2. Tuque Posted: October 22, 2011 at 04:09 AM (#3971214)
Aw, man. I was hoping this was about beer.
   3. Ebessan Posted: October 22, 2011 at 04:16 AM (#3971216)
The new depth is expected to be 390 feet—a 25-foot reduction. That should particularly benefit third baseman David Wright, whose natural power is to right-center.

It still won't stop being "Utley's Corner".
   4. LionoftheSenate Posted: October 22, 2011 at 05:58 AM (#3971240)
Weak sauce. Where is the roof? Didn't NY baseball have around 20 rainouts this year?
   5. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: October 22, 2011 at 06:04 AM (#3971241)
I'm with zop.

And it's going to take a Herculean effort on my part to avoid hoping that David Wright gains no benefit from this nonsense and instead spirals into mediocrity. Teams* that haul in their fences under some absurd pursuit of fairness irk me to no end.

* And the law profs that support such nonsense.
   6. Sam M. Posted: October 22, 2011 at 06:31 AM (#3971246)
And the law profs that support such nonsense.


I will try mightily to get over my disappointment at having irked you.

These changes go a bit farther than I have advocated; I think the 16 foot wall needed to be lowered, but I would not have moved the left field wall in to accomplish that task. If that was absolutely necessary because the high wall is "structural," I guess that's a necessary evil.

I would not have changed anything in right field. The nook is fine.

The change in right-center field is utterly justified and appropriate. My personal view -- which I certainly admit others need not and do not share -- is that it should give all types of players at least a fair opportunity to compete. Citi Field currently does not do that for right-handed power hitters. A stadium need not create a level playing field, by any means. But a reasonable one. These changes bring that about. I wouldn't mind if, to retain the current overall offense/pitching balance, they made another change that was negative for run production (e.g., more foul territory). But even without that, the new dimensions Rubin outlines here closely mirror Shea Stadium, and nobody ever claimed that was some sort of home run launching pad.

I remain amused at the notion, which some people seem to have implicitly to internalize, that the dimensions of stadium that is three years old should somehow be sacrosanct. They aren't. Change away, Sandy. It's the right move.
   7. Swedish Chef Posted: October 22, 2011 at 07:15 AM (#3971250)
The 16-foot wall in left field will remain because it is structural, but a new 8-foot wall will be erected in front of it, a team source said.

I don't know about the rights and wrongs of changing the dimensions, but that construction is going to look absolutely stupid.

The least they can do is to fill the gap with water and alligators and show the Yankees how to do a moat.
   8. smileyy Posted: October 22, 2011 at 07:19 AM (#3971251)
I can't believe that a stadium designer would be dumb enough to build a structural outfield wall, or that a team would be dumb enough to sign off on it.
   9. Something Other Posted: October 22, 2011 at 08:05 AM (#3971253)
This reminds me of dangling car keys to keep an infant occupied (not you guys).

Deck chairs. Titanic. And so on.
   10. LionoftheSenate Posted: October 22, 2011 at 08:13 AM (#3971254)
The Brewers put in something similar in RF. That area is now a party area and fits in well.
   11. Repoz Posted: October 22, 2011 at 10:35 AM (#3971260)
Why would teams build monstrous stadiums just as MLB is taking the juice out of the ball...aren't all teams in on the conspiracy!?!
   12. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: October 22, 2011 at 11:23 AM (#3971263)
I'm with post 2.
   13. Don Lock Posted: October 22, 2011 at 02:22 PM (#3971294)
So the lack of hitting and power are over?
   14. Banta Posted: October 22, 2011 at 02:23 PM (#3971295)
But even without that, the new dimensions Rubin outlines here closely mirror Shea Stadium, and nobody ever claimed that was some sort of home run launching pad.

Yeah, it probably won't be a home run launching pad, but mirroring the dimensions of Shea will probably not result in a pitchers park because of the lack of foul ground at Citi. I wouldn't be surprised if the new dimensions of the park make it a slight hitters park, like 102 or something of that nature.

I don't really care either way. When the talent is there, the ballpark doesn't matter. When the talent isn't, well, at least this is something different. Maybe the Mets can reconfigure the park every year until they're good again.
   15. McCoy Posted: October 22, 2011 at 03:06 PM (#3971311)
Aw, man. I was hoping this was about beer.

Me too.


I just introduced a beer flight program and it is really taking off. Well enough that I was able to get the powers that be to invest in some proper equipment for it so pretty soon my beer flight will be a choice of four beers instead of three. I also might be able to get 12 more beer lines in the new year, yeh. Though, right now I don't know what 12 new beers I would add on tap. I'm currently doing a regional thing of VA, DC, MD, PA, and NY. I guess I would continue to do that.
   16. Karl from NY Posted: October 22, 2011 at 03:08 PM (#3971312)
I remain amused at the notion, which some people seem to have implicitly to internalize, that the dimensions of stadium that is three years old should somehow be sacrosanct. They aren't. Change away, Sandy. It's the right move.

I guess it's not that bad, but it's annoying that it came about for the wrong reasons. The media waaahing about David Wright hitting homeruns is not the right reason. For every home run Wright doesn't hit, an opposing batter doesn't hit one either, right?

Although the Mets do have a recent history of getting fooled by the park effect into employing average-to-below pitchers, Perez and Maine and later-day Pedro. Maybe this will help keep Bad Pelfreys off our field. (Although it's not entirely clear how the Mets can acquire better pitchers with the Yankees always ready to wave more money at them.)
   17. McCoy Posted: October 22, 2011 at 03:15 PM (#3971316)
Hasn't everywhere that Sandy has worked had a pitchers' park? And hasn't he done pretty well at each location? I'd say move the fence back even more. Wait, what am I saying? I don't want the Mets to win. Move them in Sandy. Oh the conflict. On one hand I want to see Sandy succeed and on the other I want to see the Mets lose.
   18. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: October 22, 2011 at 03:15 PM (#3971317)
It's a sign of a bad organization to blame your problems on your best players, it's a sign of a clueless, inept, intellectually bankrupt organization to blame the ballpark.
   19. McCoy Posted: October 22, 2011 at 03:30 PM (#3971323)
So what does that make an organization that blames the fans, the stadium, and the local government?
   20. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: October 22, 2011 at 03:32 PM (#3971324)
Can they move some the outfield that they're eliminating at Citifield over to the Bronx?
   21. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: October 22, 2011 at 03:34 PM (#3971325)
At the risk of sounding like I'm making an easy joke, I'm actually surprised the Wilpons are willing to pay for this kind of thing. It's either a sign they are confident they'll be able to hang onto the team somehow, or just another indication that they haven't a clue.
   22. Darren Posted: October 22, 2011 at 03:52 PM (#3971336)
I'm with Sam. Change the park if you think it will help your team or even if you just think your fans will like it better. There's nothing morally superior about a pitcher-friendly park. Plus, the hitter on the Mets who would seem to benefit most from the old configuration is probably leaving.

It's not like they're making the Green Monster into a waterpark ride or something.
   23. catomi01 Posted: October 22, 2011 at 03:56 PM (#3971338)
Additional seating is expected to be added between the new and old walls


I think this partially alleviates #21....not sure how many seats are being added or at what price...but they'd all be at most what, 10 rows from the field? won;t offset construction costs right away, but certainly won't hurt over the long haul.
   24. bobm Posted: October 22, 2011 at 04:38 PM (#3971356)
[18] It's a sign of a bad organization to blame your problems on your best players, it's a sign of a clueless, inept, intellectually bankrupt organization to blame the ballpark.

Kansas City's Charlie Finley says hello.

Finley constantly tinkered with the dimensions of his ballpark, until it reached the point of absurdity. His first year he thought the Kansas City pitchers needed help, so he moved the left field fence back 40 feet. By 1964 he had determined that the Yankees won every year not because of their great talent, but because of the dimensions of their ballpark: deep in most of left and center fields with a short distance in right. Finley decided to make his right field configuration identical to that in Yankee Stadium.

Unfortunately, as of 1958 the rules decreed a minimum distance of 325 feet down the foul lines with the exception of those parks already with shorter dimensions. Never one to be put off by something as silly as the rules of the game, Finley ordered that his fence conform to the Yankee Stadium dimensions from center field to right field until it reached a point five feet from the foul line and 296 feet from home plate (the Yankee Stadium distance). From there, the fence angled sharply back out so that it was exactly 325 feet away when it reached the foul line. He thus neatly skirted the rule, which stipulated the distances only on the foul line, not the distance five feet from the line. He painted "KC pennant porch" on the new fence (which was exactly 44 inches high, as it was in Yankee Stadium).

After two exhibition games, American League President Joe Cronin told Finley that all of the fence must be at least 325 feet from the plate. Finley moved the fence back to 325, changed the sign to say "One-Half Pennant Porch" and painted a line on the field that represented the Yankee Stadium dimensions. He then ordered the public address announcer to call out, "That would have been a home run at Yankee Stadium" for every fly ball that went past this line.

This was no joke to Finley. He was apoplectic about the Yankees, and believed the rules were deliberately stacked so that they won the pennant every year. Before its reconstruction in 1974-75, Yankee Stadium had monuments for Miller Huggins, Lou Gehrig and Babe Ruth in deep left center field. Finley threatened to put a statue of Connie Mack right in the middle of center field, saying: "They let the Yankees have their monuments out in the playing area, but if I put one up they'll probably run me out of baseball."

In the meantime, Finley traded for Rocky Colavito and Jim Gentile to hit home runs over his new fences. This strategy sort of worked in that the team finished third in the league with 166 home runs, including 34 by Colavito and 28 by Gentile. Unfortunately, Kansas City pitchers allowed 220 home runs, a major league record that lasted until 1987. The 1964 Athletics finished last with a record of 57-105.

The next year, Finley moved the fences back, put a forty-foot screen above it and got rid of Colavito and Gentile. These actions suggest a management that does not have any idea what it is doing. Just as the pitchers and hitters begin to figure out how best to deal with the dimensions of the park, the next year they come back and have to learn all over again. In 1965, the Athletics remained in last place, with a record of 59-103. The screen stayed, and Municipal Stadium remained a pitcher's park as long as the A's stayed there.
   25. Bob Tufts Posted: October 22, 2011 at 05:11 PM (#3971366)
It could have been worse - one proposal was to raise the fiekd by 8 feet instead.

Good fences make good neighbors - moved fences make ....?
   26. Daunte Vicknabbit! Posted: October 22, 2011 at 05:32 PM (#3971381)
McCoy, I'd be really happy/excited to talk beer with you if you are interested in some suggestions. If you ever decide to add those handles let me know and we can talk about options.
   27. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: October 22, 2011 at 05:33 PM (#3971383)
one proposal was to raise the fiekd by 8 feet instead


They should have put in a hill.
   28. Lassus Posted: October 22, 2011 at 06:10 PM (#3971404)
You know all those times when people are so disappointed in their favorite team they seriously consider stopping rooting for them, or taking a serious break?

This is the only time I've ever felt that way.
   29. Karl from NY Posted: October 22, 2011 at 06:22 PM (#3971409)
Lassus, I've been like that as an Islanders fan since about 1999 or so. Not giving up on the Mets just yet. Might if they don't at least seriously try to retain Reyes.
   30. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: October 22, 2011 at 07:00 PM (#3971427)
#28- Frank Wren drove me to go on break from the Braves this season. Turned out great, highly recommended.

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