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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Amazin’ Avenue: Transcript of Sandy Alderson’s Interview on SNY

During the top of the third inning of the Mets’ series-opener in St. Louis last night, Sandy Alderson joined Gary Cohen and Ron Darling in the SNY booth to talk about the organization’s prospects, offseason plans, and potential changes to Citi Field.

GC: Let’s parlay that question about team speed into the next question about the configuration of the ballpark. Do you see it changing appreciably next year?

SA: How do those relate, Gary? [laughter]

We’re certainly talking about it, and I think it’s conceivable that, yes, we will see some changes at Citi Field, but no final decisions have been made. We’re still looking at different possibilities. I think if we do something, it’s not likely to be subtle. I think it’s probably a decision that we’ll make sometime in October, as well. There’s no reason not to.

We’ve looked at a lot of possibilities, we’ve done at lot of analysis, none of which is all that precise. We haven’t done wind analyses, but those are a complete crapshoot. We’ve tried to do as much analysis as we possibly can, and I think we’ll have some recommendation in October.

Envirowalls are a go!

Repoz Posted: September 21, 2011 at 02:06 PM | 88 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: business, mets, projections, sabermetrics

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   1. Run Joe Run Posted: September 21, 2011 at 03:02 PM (#3931865)
Also heard on Jered Max ESPN radio that Sandy is considering moving the fences in. According to Max, that alone will add 5 wins to the Mets. Yes. He said that.
   2. Justin T Posted: September 21, 2011 at 03:33 PM (#3931895)
That park is already so stupid that I don't really care what they do. Normally I would suggest that people stop being such pansies about their park not being a bandbox. But whatever. You're the Mets.
   3. Benji Gil Gamesh VII - The Opt-Out Awakens Posted: September 21, 2011 at 04:26 PM (#3931937)
Jeebus, I forgot the Mets have 3 more years of Bay.
   4. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: September 21, 2011 at 04:49 PM (#3931959)
It's crazy how we got so good a building parks (Camden, PNC, whatever SF Is called now), then suddenly so bad again. A new Dodger stadium didn't sound so terrible until Citi and new Yankee showed up.
   5. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: September 21, 2011 at 05:17 PM (#3931983)
I don't think they should replace Dodger Stadium, but I don't see what's so terrible about Citi (or NYS, other than the price tag). Yes, they should fix the outfield dimensions, but even so it's a very nice stadium and a huge upgrade over Shea.
   6. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: September 21, 2011 at 05:23 PM (#3931989)
It's interesting that the most recent stadiums (Citi, Target Field) favor pitching. No idea as to intent
   7. Repoz Posted: September 21, 2011 at 05:49 PM (#3932018)
It's interesting that the most recent stadiums (Citi, Target Field) favor pitching.

I believe the new Marlins stadium will also be pitching friendly. ugh.
   8. Srul Itza Posted: September 21, 2011 at 06:16 PM (#3932041)
A new Dodger stadium didn't sound so terrible until Citi and new Yankee showed up.


Yes, it did. Dodger Stadium is a gem. The only valid reason to build a new park would be if it was necessary to get rid of McCourt.
   9. just plain joe Posted: September 21, 2011 at 06:21 PM (#3932046)
I believe the new Marlins stadium will also be pitching friendly. ugh.


Why is this a bad thing? I would much rather watch a well played, well pitched 4-2 game than one of those 11-8 monstrosities from Coors Field or Great American Ballpark. An occasional slugfest isn't so bad but a steady diet of softball scores rots the mind.
   10. SoSH U at work Posted: September 21, 2011 at 06:22 PM (#3932047)
It's crazy how we got so good a building parks (Camden, PNC, whatever SF Is called now), then suddenly so bad again. A new Dodger stadium didn't sound so terrible until Citi and new Yankee showed up.


Isn't Target supposed to be pretty damn good?

Why is this a bad thing? I would much rather watch a well played, well pitched 4-2 game than one of those 11-8 monstrosities from Coors Field or Great American Ballpark. An occasional slugfest isn't so bad but a steady diet of softball scores rots the mind.


Though I agree with your larger point, there's probably nothing you can do in terms of ballpark design that would keep Coors from being a hitter's park.
   11. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: September 21, 2011 at 06:23 PM (#3932048)
Yes, it did. Dodger Stadium is a gem. The only valid reason to build a new park would be if it was necessary to get rid of McCourt.

Yeah, I guess I didn't state that real well. Losing Dodger Stadium to get a beautiful Pac Bell like park would be bad but you would recover, but getting an overpriced sterile environment like new Yankee would be an complete disaster.

But agreed that Dodger stadium is fine the way it is, except obviously for the owner.
   12. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: September 21, 2011 at 06:24 PM (#3932051)
It's interesting that the most recent stadiums (Citi, Target Field) favor pitching. No idea as to intent

I don't know about Minnesota, but Shea was a pitcher's park and I'm sure that had something to do with creating Citi in the same vein. The Mets have had a history of developing good pitchers and I think there is a notion that it is easier to build a good team in a pitcher's park than a hitter's park. Padres GM Jed Hoyer said something to this effect earlier this year, although he was talking about small market teams:

It's hard to build a team in a place like Milwaukee because pitchers would be demoralized. Hoyer thinks it's easier to build a team in Petco Park. "In a non-large market, it's better to have a pitcher's park." It's really challenging to develop and draft pitching when they get worn down mentally.


The interesting thing is that Citi has a 97-98 park factor; in terms of overall scoring this is not Petco or Safeco even though it frequently gets talked about that way. The main thing is that it does appear to depress home runs more than usual. The Mets are 5th in the league in runs scored despite being 14th in home runs.

EDIT: here's the link to the Hoyer interview
   13. SoSH U at work Posted: September 21, 2011 at 06:28 PM (#3932055)
It's hard to build a team in a place like Milwaukee because pitchers would be demoralized. Hoyer thinks it's easier to build a team in Petco Park. "In a non-large market, it's better to have a pitcher's park." It's really challenging to develop and draft pitching when they get worn down mentally.


The hell with wearing down mentally. They wear down physically. Hitters don't tire - pitchers do. If I'm in the ballclub-building profession, I want a ballpark that requires the fewest numbers of pitches to get through a season.
   14. Stormy JE Posted: September 21, 2011 at 07:06 PM (#3932088)
Jeebus, I forgot the Mets have 3 more years of Bay.

According to Cot's, the Amazins are on the hook for two more years, plus there's a vesting option (2014 option guaranteed with 600 PAs in 2013 or 500 PAs in both 2012, 2013). Also, he's got a full no-trade clause.
   15. Karl from NY Posted: September 21, 2011 at 07:14 PM (#3932091)
The interesting thing is that Citi has a 97-98 park factor; in terms of overall scoring this is not Petco or Safeco even though it frequently gets talked about that way. The main thing is that it does appear to depress home runs more than usual.


Right. The effect of large or small park dimensions is to convert HR to doubles or vice versa, which really aren't all that different in terms of run scoring. But the media mind can't comprehend anything other than home runs as a component of park factor.

And it's shameful how the media are transparently clamoring for more home runs to generate stories for them. We've seen this constant drumbeat of "how are you going to increase HR at Citi?". Why should the team even want to? I wish Sandy and the Mets would properly say "fück off" rather than this endless vague prevarication that's eventually going to end up caving in to the ravenous wolves.
   16. Repoz Posted: September 21, 2011 at 07:15 PM (#3932092)
Why is this a bad thing? I would much rather watch a well played, well pitched 4-2 game than one of those 11-8 monstrosities from Coors Field or Great American Ballpark. An occasional slugfest isn't so bad but a steady diet of softball scores rots the mind.

I lived through one Tracewski Era...and I don't want to go back.
   17. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: September 21, 2011 at 07:22 PM (#3932102)
Pitchers parks supposedly help depress hitters salaries. I have not seen studies that support this contention.
   18. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 21, 2011 at 07:22 PM (#3932104)
or NYS, other than the price tag

It's a $1.6B montrosity that looks like it was designed by Albert Speer, has no soul or character, is visually unimpressive from the inside, and is quiet as a morgue during key moments of the ballgame.

The pluses: 1.5 inches more legroom.
   19. Stormy JE Posted: September 21, 2011 at 07:26 PM (#3932109)
The pluses: 1.5 inches more legroom.

jetBlue gives you more legroom too and, unlike NYS, the fares are quite reasonable!
   20. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: September 21, 2011 at 07:29 PM (#3932116)
I don't really want to get into this--in part because it's 95% subjective anyway--but I will say that I think criticisms of NYS are profoundly exaggerated and would likely have been the same no matter what the new park looked like.
   21. AJMcCringleberry Posted: September 21, 2011 at 07:33 PM (#3932119)
But agreed that Dodger stadium is fine the way it is, except

...for it being a dump.
   22. zack Posted: September 21, 2011 at 07:41 PM (#3932126)
I was in Dodger Stadium for the first time last month, and I enjoyed how unique it feels these days, due to its age. I mean there are actual bleachers in the outfield! And the cheapest seats are the whole outfield, rather than the third deck in the outfield corners like all the new parks. Apparently seat pricing is now based on probability of getting a ball these days.

But that said, it is pretty dumpy, and I didn't like how segregated the sections were. It also had the most expensive beer prices I have ever seen, and though I have been to at least a dozen parks in the last few years I haven't been to any in NY, Boston or Chicago, so maybe that's the norm in the prime cities.
   23. Conor Posted: September 21, 2011 at 07:45 PM (#3932131)
I don't think there's anything really inherently wrong with having a large park, but it seems pretty clear that Citi has had a profoundly negative impact on David Wright. Say what you want, but I don't think you want to build a park that kills the value of your franchise player.
   24. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: September 21, 2011 at 07:49 PM (#3932134)
It's a $1.6B monstrosity that looks like it was designed by Albert Speer...


Hey! Speer may have been a Nazi, but he was a great designer of stadia. Look at this, for example, or this. He doesn't deserve to have his name associated with a piece of crap like NYS...
   25. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: September 21, 2011 at 07:51 PM (#3932135)
Unless you meant the current Speer firm. In which case, you're still wrong, just in a different way.
   26. SoSH U at work Posted: September 21, 2011 at 08:00 PM (#3932146)
I don't think there's anything really inherently wrong with having a large park, but it seems pretty clear that Citi has had a profoundly negative impact on David Wright. Say what you want, but I don't think you want to build a park that kills the value of your franchise player.


First, while it's possible that it's had a profound impact on Wright, I don't know how clear that is (and it certainly couldn't have been anticipated in the design process). Second, I'd have questions about my star player if he was seriously devalued by his park. Finally, I wouldn't be screwing around with the dimensions on the offchance that my player resumes the ascent to superstardom forecast for him.
   27. just plain joe Posted: September 21, 2011 at 08:22 PM (#3932190)
Finally, I wouldn't be screwing around with the dimensions on the offchance that my player resumes the ascent to superstardom forecast for him.


Very true; also your opponents get to hit at your revised dimensions as well. If you move the fences in 10-15 feet you run a big risk of giving up more "new" runs than you score yourself. This is likely to have a negative effect on your pitching staff, especially if you have young pitchers. As a general rule it is easier to develop hitters than pitchers so IMHO this would not be a wise thing to do. In any case if your "superstar" requires a bandbox in order to be succesful then perhaps he is not the player everyone thinks he is.
   28. Conor Posted: September 21, 2011 at 08:23 PM (#3932193)
First, while it's possible that it's had a profound impact on Wright, I don't know how clear that is


I may have oversold it, but his RC+ from 2005 (first full year) to 2008 (last year at Shea) were 142, 133, 155, 143. Since then, he's gone 127, 127, and 124. (Pretty consistent). Not bad, but he played the entire 2009 season at 26 years old. His 26-28 seasons have been the worst hitting seasons of his career, so far.

His strikeout rate has spiked since moving to Citi, the 4 years in Shea he was at 17.2%, 17.1%, 16.2%, and 16%. From 2009 on, it's 22.7%, 24%, and 20.9%.

And you have the anecdotal stuff; probably won't do much for you, but the look on David's face when another bomb to left center hits off the wall says a lot. Also I think Chipper mentioned something this weekend about how David was a guy who had power to right center, which is basically neutralized by the park, and it's hurt him a lot. Like I said, it's anecdotal stuff, but when you see your franchise player decline from 26-28, when he should be getting better, or at the least, maintaining, you start looking for stuff. Wright from 05-08 was a really consistent player, and he's changed a lot since then.

It seems to me that the park spooked him by being so large and eating up balls that normally went for HR and doubles (not worth anything, but he did hit a HR in the first game at Citi), so he adjusted his game to try and maintain the power he used to have, which has resulted in the significant uptick in K rate.

Second, I'd have questions about my star player if he was seriously devalued by his park. Finally, I wouldn't be screwing around with the dimensions on the offchance that my player resumes the ascent to superstardom forecast for him.


I think the park has messed with a lot of the hitters. Wright is the most notable though.

I grant you a lot of the stuff is anecdotal, but he become a worse hitter at a time when that normally doesn't happen, and that happened to coincide with moving to Citi. Could be a coincidence, but I doubt it.

Anyway, making it not just about Wright, after watching 3 years worth of games, I think the stadium should be changed. The wall in LF is too high and too deep, and right center is just too deep. I'm not trying to sit here and tell you the Mets would be any better if the walls were moved in, and my opinion could very possibly be different if the team was better, but my feeling is I'd like to see them move the walls in.
   29. Conor Posted: September 21, 2011 at 08:24 PM (#3932199)
In any case if your "superstar" requires a bandbox in order to be succesful then perhaps he is not the player everyone thinks he is.


Total strawman. No one would call Shea a bandbox, and he was a superstar from 05-08.
   30. Karl from NY Posted: September 21, 2011 at 09:05 PM (#3932292)
I may have oversold it, but his RC+ from 2005 (first full year) to 2008 (last year at Shea) were 142, 133, 155, 143. Since then, he's gone 127, 127, and 124.


RC+ is already park-adjusted, so you're double-counting the park effect if you claim it caused Wright's statistical decline.

I see his road RC+ as 148, 135, 143, 111 (Shea years), 131, 119, 120 (Citi years). He was already on his way down and it wasn't caused by the park switch.
   31. Stormy JE Posted: September 21, 2011 at 09:56 PM (#3932354)
IIRC, the building of Citi cut down the winds that often blew into Shea from left field, thereby making the joint fairly neutral in '08.
   32. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: September 21, 2011 at 10:01 PM (#3932360)
But that said, it is pretty dumpy, and I didn't like how segregated the sections were.

I'm surprised people think that, but I guess if you are used to a brand new stadium maybe it could come off as a little run down...

I spent my younger days going to old Tiger Stadium. If you want to talk about a dump, that my friends...
   33. Conor Posted: September 21, 2011 at 10:38 PM (#3932385)
RC+ is already park-adjusted, so you're double-counting the park effect if you claim it caused Wright's statistical decline.


Hmm, I'm not entirely sure I follow.

I'm saying the park has affected Wright above and beyond what the park factor would say. And not just his Citi field numbers. Since the Mets have moved to Citi, he's had the 3 worst years of his career, at agee (26,27,28) when that normally doesn't happen. I think the park is so big that it's gotten into his head, and caused him to change his approach at the plate, sacrificing contact for power, which is why his strikeouts started spiking as soon as they moved to Citi. (In the very first month of 2009, he struck out 27 times in 94 PA. From 2005-2008, he had one month where he had more than 27 K's, and that was a 29 K month in 2006 when he had 127 PA).

I see his road RC+ as 148, 135, 143, 111 (Shea years), 131, 119, 120 (Citi years). He was already on his way down and it wasn't caused by the park switch.


I'm not sure you can just isolate his home/road splits like that, because I'm saying Citi has resulted in him changing his approach at the plate regardless of where he plays. And I'm not sure why you'd throw out half of the data anyway and just look at his road numbers. (Though the 08 split is very strange; he killed the ball at home that year, 176 RC+ compared to 111 on the road. Does it mean he was on the way down because he hit very well at home but not on the road?) His best season, by RC+, was 2007. 2008 was identical to 2005. 2006 was clearly his worst season before moving out of Shea, so I'm not sure how he was on the way down.

Every single one of the 4 full seasons he played at Shea was better than any one of the seasons he's played so far at Citi. The only season at Shea that was even close to any Citi field season was 2006, and then he had 2 years superior to that in 07 and 08 (which is why I don't buy that he was anything close to being on the way down). From 2005-2008, using fangraphs WAR, he was 5th in the major leagues, behind only Pujols, Utley, A-Rod, and Grady Sizemore. If you just want to look at RC+, since I'm talking about hitting, he was 7th. From 09-11, he's 52nd in WAR, and 31st in RC+. And as I've said, the age shouldn't really be a factor, since he was 26 when he moved to Citi. I know every player doesn't age perfectly, in the sense that they steadily improve until age 27 or so, and then slowly get worse until they retire, but if you were asked to give a 3 year projection for a 26 year old player who had a steady 144 RC+ over the course of nearly 3,000 PA, I don't think you'd come up with a 125, give or take.

Could it be a total coincidence that he happened to get worse as soon as he moved to Citifield? Sure anything is possible, not everyone ages the same way. But throw in his performance track record with the open frustration he's shown at times when playing in Citi, and I don't think it's the case.
   34. Karl from NY Posted: September 21, 2011 at 10:44 PM (#3932391)
Hmm, I'm not entirely sure I follow.

You can't say that Wright's lower RC+ from 2009-onwards is because of Citi's low park factor, because Citi's effect is already baked into the RC+ number.

I'm saying the park has affected Wright above and beyond what the park factor would say.

That is a legitimate argument. But I'd say the fault rests with the player, not with the ballpark. What happens if they move the fences in now and Wright doesn't suddenly become 2006 again? Then everybody looks silly and Wright gets even more frustrated.
   35. Conor Posted: September 21, 2011 at 11:28 PM (#3932426)
You can't say that Wright's lower RC+ from 2009-onwards is because of Citi's low park factor, because Citi's effect is already baked into the RC+ number.


Right, to be clear, I wasn't. Not the actual park factor, but the effect it had on David.

That is a legitimate argument. But I'd say the fault rests with the player, not with the ballpark. What happens if they move the fences in now and Wright doesn't suddenly become 2006 again? Then everybody looks silly and Wright gets even more frustrated.


I think that is also legitimate. I've tried to avoid saying that it's as simple as move in the fences and Wright is the player he used to be, because i don't think that is the case. (Naturally as a Met fan I hope it would be).

But I think the park has weighed on a lot of hitters. Its extremely difficult to hit a HR there. And to be fair, the Mets haven't had a lot of power hitters anyway. But to me, I think you can easily move the fences in a tad, while still maintaining a pitchers park that'll help you develop arms.
   36. Lassus Posted: September 22, 2011 at 12:33 AM (#3932536)
It's a $1.6B montrosity that looks like it was designed by Albert Speer, has no soul or character, is visually unimpressive from the inside, and is quiet as a morgue during key moments of the ballgame.

Yes.


I don't really want to get into this--in part because it's 95% subjective anyway--but I will say that I think criticisms of NYS are profoundly exaggerated and would likely have been the same no matter what the new park looked like.

No.


Regarding Sandy and the transcript, I find moving fences in to be the height of lame.
   37. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: September 22, 2011 at 12:50 AM (#3932562)
I don't really want to get into this--in part because it's 95% subjective anyway--but I will say that I think criticisms of NYS are profoundly exaggerated and would likely have been the same no matter what the new park looked like.

I agree with this. I've been to NYS 4 or 5 times and it's a perfectly cromulent stadium. I didn't understand all of the criticism but then again I am not a Yankee fan so I had no love for the old stadium.
   38. Sam M. Posted: September 22, 2011 at 12:57 AM (#3932570)
Regarding Sandy and the transcript, I find moving fences in to be the height of lame.


I'm just going to let loose on this topic once and for all, have my say. Citi Field is a ludicrous park for right-handed power hitters. Look at this blog entry from the NY Times today, and think about the dimensions it shows along with the height of the walls. Unless you pull a ball right down the LF line -- and I mean right down the line, there is simply no reasonable place for a right-handed hitter to hit a home run that is comparable to any other park in baseball. There is no power zone. No other park has that deep a left field, combined with that high a wall. And certainly no park then ALSO makes it impossible to have a reasonable shot to right or left center, or straight-away.

For left-handed power hitters, there is a reasonable amount of space to take your shots. But for a player like Jason Bay or David Wright, the park is death. It is awfully easy for us to sit here as fans to say they should just lock in their attitude and accept doubles instead of home runs, but that's both too simple and frankly wrong. Not all the would-be home runs become doubles; a lot of them become outs. And it's not so easy to accept doubles that used to be and feel like home runs off the bat to a veteran hitter. Anyone by this time who isn't persuaded that it has fundamentally changed David Wright's approach to hitting and affected his career just isn't paying attention.

I would make two simple changes. First, I would lower the height of the wall in left field to 8 feet across the board. There is no reason whatsoever that a fence that far away also needs a high wall. This ain't Fenway. Second, I would make right-center field less of a death valley. It shouldn't be further away than dead center. Bring that in to about 390 instead of 415, and it would at least give right-handed hitters who have opposite-field power a chance that way. That happens to reward good hitting as well.

This would not make Citi Field a "band box." It would still be a modest pitcher's park, as almost any stadium at that location would be unless you made it absolutely tiny. It would simply make it equally a challenge and an opportunity for hitters from both sides of the plate.

I find opposing reasonable, modest changes in a park that is currently competitively unbalanced is the height of lame.
   39. Lassus Posted: September 22, 2011 at 01:01 AM (#3932574)
It is a reasonable argument, Sam, I'll admit my problems are more subjective than anything else. Regarding your proposal, I'll accept shortening walls with no problem at all, but I hate moving them in. HATE.
   40. Sam M. Posted: September 22, 2011 at 01:18 AM (#3932610)
Regarding your proposal, I'll accept shortening walls with no problem at all, but I hate moving them in. HATE.


Here is an instructive comparison between the dimensions of Citi Field and Shea Stadium (Citi Field's numbers in each case are first):

Left Field: 335 v. 338
Left Center: 371/384 v. 371
Center: 408 v. 410
Right Center 415/378 v. 371
Right Field: 330 v. 338

The two key places Citi Field differs significantly are that left field juts out to 384, and that it has the much higher walls, and that there is that utter death valley in right-center field. Those 40 extra feet are just an inexplicable addition to what was already a really strong pitcher's park. I'm not even calling for pulling back from the left-center field addition where it is 384 -- just reducing the wall height. But that right-center field? Again, I'm not saying it should come all the way even to where Shea was at 371. Just bring it to 390 and I'll be happy. That is still a pretty deep right-center, but it's fair.
   41. . . . . . . Posted: September 22, 2011 at 01:19 AM (#3932613)
You know, Sam, your argument would have more weight if the Yankees hadn't played in pre-renovation Yankee Stadium for 50 years, a park that makes Citifield look like the Baker Bowl for righty power. And the crazy part is that the Yanks featured some great right-handed hitters in that park (DiMaggio, Ellie Howard among others) and, this may come as surprise, built very successful teams in that park. So I find it hard to believe that changes to avoid "competitive unbalance" are necessary for whatever reason other than to soothe David Wright's bizarre inability to cope with long fly outs.
   42. Sam M. Posted: September 22, 2011 at 01:27 AM (#3932623)
And the crazy part is that the Yanks featured some great right-handed hitters in that park (DiMaggio, Ellie Howard among others) and, this may come as surprise, built very successful teams in that park.


And do you know what that incarnation of Yankee Stadium did to Joe DiMaggio's power numbers? Instead of the typical better numbers most players compile at home, DiMaggio famously had much stronger numbers (especially power numbers) on the road. Only his triples (not surprisingly) were higher at Yankee Stadium.

Can the Mets build a successful team at Citi Field? Of course they can. I even want it to be a strong pitcher's park -- much as Shea was. The hints Alderson is dropping about wanting to substantially increase offense for its own sake as a lure to fans are NOT what I favor. But I don't really see the reason to have the stadium -- for no particular reason associated with the geography of the site -- be built and kept in a configuration that sharply disfavors s particular kind of hitter. If you have to cram the field onto a parcel that requires a short right field, and you can have acres of left and/or center to balance things out overall, so be it. But they didn't have to do that at Citi Field, and they're not locked into it now that they have seen the imbalance the field creates. A simple, relatively modest fix makes all the sense in the world.
   43. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 22, 2011 at 01:27 AM (#3932624)
. I've been to NYS 4 or 5 times and it's a perfectly cromulent stadium. I didn't understand all of the criticism but then again I am not a Yankee fan so I had no love for the old stadium.

$1.6B and tearing down the site of 26 World Championships for cromulent is a poor trade.
   44. Adam Starblind Posted: September 22, 2011 at 01:34 AM (#3932638)

$1.6B and tearing down the site of 26 World Championships for cromulent is a poor trade.


But Yankee Stadium was already not Yankee Stadium - just a crummy 70s revamp job.
   45. Conor Posted: September 22, 2011 at 01:44 AM (#3932669)
And do you know what that incarnation of Yankee Stadium did to Joe DiMaggio's power numbers? Instead of the typical better numbers most players compile at home, DiMaggio famously had much stronger numbers (especially power numbers) on the road. Only his triples (not surprisingly) were higher at Yankee Stadium.


Also, they still had the chip shot to RF.

I agree with Sam. It's the fact that it's ridiculous to both fields. I think it's too much. Just an opinion, of course.
   46. Voros McCracken of Pinkus Posted: September 22, 2011 at 01:49 AM (#3932676)
But Yankee Stadium was already not Yankee Stadium - just a crummy 70s revamp job.

And that was ultimately why I didn't spend the money to go see it before it was knocked down: it already had been when I was a toddler. Have never been to NYC at all though I was in Newburgh for a while traveling to Boston once.
   47. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: September 22, 2011 at 02:13 AM (#3932728)
The new Yankee Stadium is pretty bland. What reduces the experience is that it is both expensive with LESS quality of product inside. Not 'on the field' product. Food is blah. Beverage selection is blah. The experience is blah.

Contrast that with a PNC or a SF ballpark where the surroundings are swell but the feel and 'stuff' are just as good if not better.

How do you scr*w that up?

I tell you how you goof it up. You accept some vendor deal that is lucrative and look the other way on everything else.

Shame on them.
   48. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: September 22, 2011 at 02:16 AM (#3932737)
I will say this for Citifield. I didn't get cussed out by some surly attendant while trying to find my seat like I did at Shea.
   49. Orange & Blue Velvet Posted: September 22, 2011 at 02:31 AM (#3932752)
So I find it hard to believe that changes to avoid "competitive unbalance" are necessary for whatever reason other than to soothe David Wright's bizarre inability to cope with long fly outs.

They aren't doing it for a third baseman (really a first baseman) who might not even be on the team three months from now. They're doing it because Alderson thinks it's the right thing to do.

I happen to agree with him.
   50. Lassus Posted: September 22, 2011 at 02:37 AM (#3932758)
And that was ultimately why I didn't spend the money to go see it before it was knocked down: it already had been when I was a toddler. Have never been to NYC at all though I was in Newburgh for a while traveling to Boston once.

I went a few times in the previous decades, all after the renovations. I'm still bewildered how Yankee fans could get on Shea being somehow epecially urinerrific and somehow ignore the stench of not just bathrooms but everyone's drunk sweat in their own tiny, dank hallways. The inside of that place was just as dumpy and stinky as any other older stadium I've been to.
   51. PreservedFish Posted: September 22, 2011 at 02:45 AM (#3932766)
Tough to believe that Voros has never been to NYC in his life. What the ####?
   52. Lassus Posted: September 22, 2011 at 02:50 AM (#3932770)
I find Citifield nice, but I find it honestly rather dull as an experience. I guess it's so nice I would notice if it was different, but nothing about it really jumps at at me at all.

This may be why I like the bigness of the stadium. It makes it unique.
   53. . . . . . . Posted: September 22, 2011 at 02:51 AM (#3932771)
They're doing it because Alderson thinks it's the right thing to do.



The point is there's no REASON to do it, other than CHICKSDIGTHELONGBALL. Parks with huge platoon splits have been around as long as the National League. There's no reason to believe that playing in a park that's unfriendly to a certain type of hitter (be it a lefty, a righty, a fb hitter or a slap hitter) is somehow unfair or amoral or Contrary to the Ideals of the Great American Pastime. Aside from the fact that great teams can be built in "unfair" stadiums, be it the Yankees, the Red Sox, the GB & speed teams on the turf-stadiums of the late 70s to mid 80's, the Dodgers of the 60's, FUN, legendary teams can also be built in those same stadiums. See list above. And plenty of players played - and starred- in unfavorable stadiums without it "messing with their minds". Eg Dimaggio, Joe Morgan.

So given that "unfairness" isn't a rationale for moving the fences, and there isn't reasonable competitive argument, what's left? Maybe having an unusual stadium highlights the ineptitude of an organization unable to build to exploit its idiosyncracies. Maybe they do, in fact, want to placate a star or two. Or maybe chick's just dig the longball.

But Sam's argument that somehow it's better when parks are "fair" to all kinds of hitter - that's not supported by history and it's basically a thinly veiled argument of WAAAA HOMERUNS DAVID WRIGHT WAAA. I'd expect something at least slightly supported by logic from a law professor.
   54. PreservedFish Posted: September 22, 2011 at 03:04 AM (#3932790)
I'm more on zop's side here, but if they do change the dimensions, it won't bother me. When a Mets hitter lofts a bomb into the gap - a would-be homerun ball in almost every other park - only to see it caught, the entire stadium groans. The fanbase complains about this, whether for good, logical reasons or WAAAA HOMERUNS DAVID WRIGHT WAAA reasons. I don't think the team is wrong to investigate and propose a way of solving a phenomenon that is widely perceived to be a problem.
   55. Orange & Blue Velvet Posted: September 22, 2011 at 03:09 AM (#3932796)
The point is there's no REASON to do it, other than CHICKSDIGTHELONGBALL.

Alderson obviously has valid reasons or the changes wouldn't be made. Perhaps he looked at the Mets HR output (14th in the NL) and the fact that they've stranded the most baserunners in baseball (second in the NL in OBP) and thought that the boost to the offense would justify a change to the park's dimensions. Maybe he thinks it would make the team more entertaining in the short run (especially during a time when they look to be terrible) and perhaps increase a certain player's trade value (Wright, Bay) at the same time. Maybe he's taken things into consideration that we haven't... Who knows?

I trust Sandy not to act capriciously. If he thinks this is the right move, then that's good enough for me.
   56. The District Attorney Posted: September 22, 2011 at 03:19 AM (#3932806)
Alderson obviously has valid reasons or the changes wouldn't be made. Perhaps he looked at the Mets HR output (14th in the NL) and the fact that they've stranded the most baserunners in baseball (second in the NL in OBP) and thought that the boost to the offense would justify a change to the park's dimensions. Maybe he thinks it would make the team more entertaining in the short run (especially during a time when they look to be terrible) and perhaps increase a certain player's trade value (Wright, Bay) at the same time.
Maybe he wants to be able to consider all of the hitters in the league as potential Mets, rather than just 40% of them.
   57. Sam M. Posted: September 22, 2011 at 03:25 AM (#3932810)
Parks with huge platoon splits have been around as long as the National League.


And as I alluded to above, most of these parks were were built that way for a reason having something to do with the unique city environment into which the stadium was being crammed. The resulting strong platoon differentials were a result of the park having been built that way for a reason, not just because of a whimsical desire to have the stadium be that way. There is no good reason for Citi Field to be the way it is.

Of course the Mets can/could build a winner in Citi Field. They would simply eschew right-handed power hitters, stack the line-up with left-handed mashers and right-handed speed guys (and/or switch-hitters). Make sure the line-up has plenty of speed. And outstanding power pitchers, which have always worked in pitching-rich environments. But the fact remains that they happen right now to have a couple of right-handed power hitters to whom they are contractually committed for big dollars for the time being, and if winning more right now is even a slight priority, they will also win more if they take better advantage of those two hitters' skills relative to the opposition. In the long run, even with the changes I'm recommending, they will still be best off emphasizing left-handed power and guys who get on base and can run (for defensive reasons as well as offense on the bases).

As for expecting more from a law professor, join the club. Generations of law students have had the same complaint, and I expect they always will.
   58. gator92 Posted: September 22, 2011 at 03:45 AM (#3932820)
Suppose you had a hole in a major golf tournament that was a 295 yard par 3 with a lake directly fronting the green.

You could easily counter any complaints from the golfers thusly:

- you're strong enough to reach the green if you hit the ball well.
- everyone has to play the same holes, so quit your complaining.
- just because every other course has par 3's that are under 200 yards doesn't mean that we have to.
- not everyone wants to see you land on the green in 1 most of the time; balls landing in the water are part of the game, too.
- if you don't think you can reach the green, why don't you just lay up over here and play for a bogey?
- back in the 1932 Open, there was a par 3 that was even longer, and the lake was even bigger... and there were crocodiles
   59. Stormy JE Posted: September 22, 2011 at 04:03 AM (#3932827)
What does Jose Reyes think about taking away his triples in favor of "WAAAA HOMERUNS DAVID WRIGHT WAAA?" (Not that the odds of re-signing him are good regardless.) Also, wasn't it not that long ago that we were told that many long balls hit at Citi still end up as doubles and triples?
   60. Athletic Supporter is USDA certified lean Posted: September 22, 2011 at 04:09 AM (#3932831)
Though I agree with your larger point, there's probably nothing you can do in terms of ballpark design that would keep Coors from being a hitter's park.


Make the entire field slanted 2 degrees uphill. Pitchers are literally throwing downhill, by the time you get to the fence the ground is 10 feet higher, players are running uphill to first (the most important base). Boom.

EDIT: Maybe 1 degree.
   61. The District Attorney Posted: September 22, 2011 at 04:49 AM (#3932859)
What does Jose Reyes think about taking away his triples in favor of "WAAAA HOMERUNS DAVID WRIGHT WAAA?"
I like that we are supposed to take that seriously as a characterization of an argument.
   62. . . . . . . Posted: September 22, 2011 at 05:06 AM (#3932862)
There's a strong argument that am unusual park helps the astutely managed team because players' theoretical cost reflects their neutral park abilities while their value is effected by park.

Take the Yanks. While not as extreme as Death Alley, OYS and NYS still favor pull-lefties and kill pull-righties. And what do the Yanks have? Not a single pull righty, and only one right-handed power/fb hitter in recent memory (Rodriguez) whose power is more of a straightaway/opposite alley type.

Take Boston. Fenway favors low-K players and FB hitting lefties. And unsurprisingly, the team features Ortiz, Pedroia, etc.

Good management doesn't view an unbalanced park as a disadvantage, because it creates an asymmetry that can be exploited. If you have a spacious LF - your LF should be a Brett Gardner type, who doesn't rely on HR and whose defensive value can be leveraged in your Nebraska-sized left field plain. Planning to put a dead pull FB hitting statue out in LF is the problem. That the fences are high - not a problem.

Not all quirky parks are quirky because of constraint. Dodger Stadium's ultra-high mound wasn't a function of the architectural context of Chavez Ravine, but it sure made a 12 to 6 curveball look good. Busch Stadium's laser fast turf wasn't somehow imposed by proximity to the gateway arch, but yalls are Met fans so you must remember Willie McGee scampering to another triple while the ball skidded to the fence.

Last, my understanding is that a pitcher friendly home park was thought to grant a slight HFA even to a neutrally constructed team because a lower offensive context means fewer batters faced per inning which means more innings pitched by the top of your staff compared to teams in neutral or offense friendly parks.
   63. . . . . . . Posted: September 22, 2011 at 05:08 AM (#3932863)
And thus, taking my above post into consideration, I maintain that Sam M still has no argument beyond WAAA HOMERUNS DAVID WRIGHT WAAA.
   64. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: September 22, 2011 at 05:55 AM (#3932871)
Last, my understanding is that a pitcher friendly home park was thought to grant a slight HFA even to a neutrally constructed team because a lower offensive context means fewer batters faced per inning which means more innings pitched by the top of your staff compared to teams in neutral or offense friendly parks.


I'm not sure how much that would change things. Your opponents would also be able to throw more innings with the top of the staff when playing in your place, muting that effect.

But along those lines, as I noted in 13, the inherent danger involved in throwing the baseball, in the sense that the more work you ask a staff to do, the more likely those pitchers will wear down or break down over the course of the season, makes a pitcher's park vastly preferable. Perhaps that's what you meant.

But I'm entirely in your camp. Probably because of my deep loathing of TTO-style ball, I find move-the-fences in campaigns, whatever lame justification given for them concerning any stadium that happens to be more favorable to the ball chuckers, to be among the most unpalatable proffered at this site. They offend in ways that even such travesties as the wild card and interleague don't. A pox on any organization that gives in to such base demands.
   65. Benji Posted: September 22, 2011 at 06:19 AM (#3932873)
I've seen serial killers that looked up more than Alderson did in that interview. Either that was a beautiful countertop or he is ashamed to look us in the eye. And I know I'm in the tiniest minority of BTF Met fans, but I hate him.
   66. Sam M. Posted: September 22, 2011 at 01:33 PM (#3932972)
Not all quirky parks are quirky because of constraint. Dodger Stadium's ultra-high mound wasn't a function of the architectural context of Chavez Ravine, but it sure made a 12 to 6 curveball look good. Busch Stadium's laser fast turf wasn't somehow imposed by proximity to the gateway arch, but yalls are Met fans so you must remember Willie McGee scampering to another triple while the ball skidded to the fence.


You've shifted your argument, and none too subtly. We weren't talking about "all quirky parks." We were talking about parks that result in a major and unusual platoon differential, usually because either left or right field has to be tucked in really close to home field. That has caused designers to make the other field, where space is available, unusually deep, and/or to utilize high walls -- to do something or several somethings to make sure that, as much as possible, the overall effect of the short field doesn't make the park a complete joke. Inevitably, though, such steps result in severe platoon differentials.

When you broaden the discussion to "quirky parks" that is just a completely different discussion.

Look. Let's say the Mets had designed Citi Field reasonably in the first place, with dimensions like what I suggested in # 40 were comparable to Shea, but still more pitcher friendly than the old park, which had already been pitcher-friendly. If someone came along and argued that the fences in left field should be raised to 18 feet, and the right-center field moved BACK to 415 feet, because the park needs to be (or should be) even more "quirky," would anyone support that? Why are the dimensions and fence heights of a three year old stadium (especially one that people have been smacking around anyway) so sacrosanct? There is nothing wrong with taking three years of experience and saying, "Hey -- this park has an unusual feature that has no particular reason for being based on the geography of the city blocks into which it is situated, a feature that is harmful to the team competitively as constructed, a feature that is harmful to the team financially, a feature that can be modestly modified while still preserving the basic, pitching-friendly nature of the stadium, while being more even-handed in the way it allows players of all kinds to compete."

Finally, as for Jose Reyes, I agree that the hints Alderson is dropping suggest alterations that would (or at least might) change the general spaciousness of the park and hinder his game. What I'm suggesting? It wouldn't hurt Jose Reyes a bit. If anything, turning five of those triples into doubles might save him one trip to the DL for a hamstring strain.
   67. Stormy JE Posted: September 22, 2011 at 01:41 PM (#3932984)
If anything, turning five of those triples into doubles might save him one trip to the DL for a hamstring strain.

I agree with you on Mets-related issues maybe 19 times out of 20, Sam, but that line just does not compute. I concur that stadium quirkiness for the sake of quirkiness -- as opposed to necessity -- may seem silly, but if the ballpark is rated fairly neutral for runs scored, why must one consider bringing in the fence in right-center nearly 40 feet? (I have no problems with knocking down the left field fence to eight feet.)
   68. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: September 22, 2011 at 01:49 PM (#3932999)
And I know I'm in the tiniest minority of BTF Met fans, but I hate him.


Yeah, I've never really understood your whole thing with that.
   69. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 22, 2011 at 02:14 PM (#3933021)
But Yankee Stadium was already not Yankee Stadium - just a crummy 70s revamp job.

It was still the location, the same field, the same monument park, and it still had a great "feel".

You came in through these dark corridors and entered the lower deck into brilliant sunlight/ or artificial light, with this huge (still scaled to the 460' LCF) blue and green stadium in front of you. Awesome first impression every time

The upper deck was steep and right on top of the field, and the crowd was raucus as hell. The building would literally shake in the playoffs.

They should have done a retro renovation of the existing Stadium. They could have shared Citi-Field for 1-2 seasons.

If I had Bill Gates money, I'd buy the Yankees, dynamite the new Stadium (starting with the grotesque Steinbrenner monument) and build a replica of the original back where it should be.
   70. Sam M. Posted: September 22, 2011 at 02:22 PM (#3933032)
but if the ballpark is rated fairly neutral for runs scored, why must one consider bringing in the fence in right-center nearly 40 feet?


I didn't advocate bringing it in 40 feet (even though, I'd note, that would merely make it the same in right-center as Shea Stadium was, and Shea was nobody's idea of a bandbox). I advocated bringing it in only to a still-estimable 390 or so feet. That would still test anybody's power when they aren't dead-pulling the ball, especially in the atmosphere around Flushing Bay, and even more when it's a right-handed hitter going the opposite way. As the stadium is constructed now, there is simply NO fair outlet for a right-handed power hitter to compete. Even in Old Yankee Stadium, a strong power hitter could at least take an opposite-field shot to the short porch. There was something. Citi Field has nothing that allows that kind of hitter even a . . . well, forget a level playing field. Even a non-level, but somewhat reasonable, playing field. Citi Field's current dimensions, IMHO, don't allow that for right-handed power hitters. I'm fine with a park that tilts somewhat. But it shouldn't be so biased -- especially for no reason dictated by the surroundings -- that it is unfair.

As for the fact that it is rated fairly neutral for runs, that's not my point anyway. I'm not trying to increase offense. And in any case, some of you who keep arguing that Citi Field just turns home runs into doubles and triples, and that this is relatively neutral for runs, shouldn't think my proposal would increase offense, at least not significantly. My own view is that it would increase runs, by a modest but noticeable amount, still leaving Citi Field a stadium pitchers enjoy.

Except Mike Pelfrey. He never seems to enjoy anything.
   71. Sam M. Posted: September 22, 2011 at 02:24 PM (#3933034)
They could have shared Citi-Field for 1-2 seasons.


Rent: 500M Madoffs/season.
   72. Stormy JE Posted: September 22, 2011 at 02:29 PM (#3933041)
My own view is that it would increase runs, by a modest but noticeable amount, still leaving Citi Field a stadium pitchers enjoy.

More so than the outfield dimensions issue, I wonder if the Mets pitchers want Angel Pagan back in CF. (Whether Kirk or Fernando will be ready to compete with Angel for the job next season remains to be seen.)
   73. . . . . . . Posted: September 22, 2011 at 02:39 PM (#3933055)
You've shifted your argument, and none too subtly. We weren't talking about "all quirky parks." We were talking about parks that result in a major and unusual platoon differential, usually because either left or right field has to be tucked in really close to home field. That has caused designers to make the other field, where space is available, unusually deep, and/or to utilize high walls -- to do something or several somethings to make sure that, as much as possible, the overall effect of the short field doesn't make the park a complete joke. Inevitably, though, such steps result in severe platoon differentials.

When you broaden the discussion to "quirky parks" that is just a completely different discussion.

Look. Let's say the Mets had designed Citi Field reasonably in the first place, with dimensions like what I suggested in # 40 were comparable to Shea, but still more pitcher friendly than the old park, which had already been pitcher-friendly. If someone came along and argued that the fences in left field should be raised to 18 feet, and the right-center field moved BACK to 415 feet, because the park needs to be (or should be) even more "quirky," would anyone support that? Why are the dimensions and fence heights of a three year old stadium (especially one that people have been smacking around anyway) so sacrosanct? There is nothing wrong with taking three years of experience and saying, "Hey -- this park has an unusual feature that has no particular reason for being based on the geography of the city blocks into which it is situated, a feature that is harmful to the team competitively as constructed, a feature that is harmful to the team financially, a feature that can be modestly modified while still preserving the basic, pitching-friendly nature of the stadium, while being more even-handed in the way it allows players of all kinds to compete."



I haven't shifted your argument, but I have been forced to tack here and there to match shifts in yours. As best as I can tell, there are two issues with Citi:

(1) Citi has an extreme platoon differential
(2) Citi is a moderate pitcher's park (bbref says multi-year PF of 97)

We can all agree (2) is not a problem, right? Shea had a PF of ~98 in the aughts, IIRC. It's consistent with the history of the Mets to play in a pitcher's park and it may afford a slight competitive advantage.

So now lets look at 1. Your argument is that most historical parks with platoon advantages necessitated an asymetrical shape in order to fit into the landscape.

But that's simply not true, and as a native New Yorker you should know that. The Polo Grounds had bilateral symmetry but it sure wasn't "symmetrical" in the way it affected hitters - it conferred a big advantage on pull hitters from both sides. That shape - just a quirk. Yankee Stadium had plenty of land around it - enough to build a second stadium - Death Alley was just a quirk.

Further, many strong platoon parks played as pitcher's parks, which is inconsistent with your theory above (the only justification for platoon asymmetry is to keep a park from being a bandbox). Yankee Stadium was a pitcher's park. Forbes Field was a slight pitcher's park.

I don't understand why "being more even-handed in the way it allows players of all kinds to compete" is a good thing (seeing as the symmetrical stadiums of the 1960s and 1970s basically sucked, and many of them simply swapped one kind of inequity (platoon) for another (gb v. fb). I never knew that stadiums should aspire to an ideal of perfect neutrality with respect to all phases of the game and I look forward to your explanation of why that is the case. And if Wright/Bay's ineptitude is really such a catastrophic drag on the team, I guess I could get behind moving the fences closer in LF WHILE MOVING THE FENCES OUT IN RF, to preserve the pitcher-friendly PF while reducing the platoon advantage. But moving the fences to benefit today's roster is perhaps the most lilly-livered, cowardly, embarassing step a team could ever take.
   74. Ravecc Posted: September 22, 2011 at 02:58 PM (#3933075)
I’m of 2 minds about the possible changes to Citi. I like having a pitchers park, and I don’t want to overreact to one terrible season at home.

I thought they were just going to mess with The Great Wall of Flushing, but Sandy says changes will not be subtle. Are they actually going to touch the contrived quirks of the MoZone? Please? Yes, it is WAAA HOMERUNS DAVID WRIGHT (AND JASON BAY) WAAA, and the thing may have just killed Lucas Duda.
   75. Sam M. Posted: September 22, 2011 at 03:02 PM (#3933078)
So now lets look at 1. Your argument is that most historical parks with platoon advantages necessitated an asymetrical shape in order to fit into the landscape.

But that's simply not true, and as a native New Yorker you should know that. The Polo Grounds had bilateral symmetry but it sure wasn't "symmetrical" in the way it affected hitters - it conferred a big advantage on pull hitters from both sides. That shape - just a quirk. Yankee Stadium had plenty of land around it - enough to build a second stadium - Death Alley was just a quirk.


Well, you're historically wrong. As I said, most parks that had platoon advantages built into them were built that way for reasons of geographic/urban necessity. You mentioned two parks. On the other side of the coin, you have such famous cases as Fenway, the Baker Bowl, and Ebbets Field (both of the last two having right field lines under 300 feet).

I am not arguing for pure "symmetry," or some "ideal of perfect neutrality," even though you want to pretend I am in your caricature of my argument. I simply want to make changes that would give each type of player some reasonable chance to compete. You are the one who seems to think that the original, initial design of Citi Field must be the Platonic ideal of baseball as it must be, so immune from critique or reevaluation that any proposal must be attacked. I must admit, that in the avalanche of criticism the stadium has received for everything from being cheesy to being too Dodger-centric, this is the first time I've seen it really defended for anything since it opened. I guess that's progress, in a weird sort of way. In about 40 years or so, it'll probably actually be beloved, just about the time they take the wrecking ball to it.
   76. Devin has a deep burning passion for fuzzy socks Posted: September 22, 2011 at 03:17 PM (#3933087)
Well, here's something we can all agree to chuckle at. Warthen's saying that the current dimensions are hurting the pitching, too.

Saying he was "very much" in favor of the proposed changes, Warthen asserted that Citi's current dimensions inflicted a pair of negative effects on the pitchers: Sometimes, the assumption that it was a pitchers' park created lapses in concentration, and the wide gaps in the outfield led to many hits that would have been caught in a smaller park.

"In smaller ballparks, we concentrate better," Warthen said. "I think there are going to be fewer hits."

   77. Sam M. Posted: September 22, 2011 at 03:25 PM (#3933090)
Sometimes, the assumption that it was a pitchers' park created lapses in concentration, and the wide gaps in the outfield led to many hits that would have been caught in a smaller park.


Sometimes, you just gotta say what the client needs you to say. He who writes the check, writes the script.

But I will say this: when Lucas Duda is your right fielder, it is at least a little bit truthy that wide gaps in the outfield do lead to some hits that would be caught in a smaller park. Or by another right fielder. The word "lumbering" was just made for that kid, both at the plate and in the field.
   78. Stormy JE Posted: September 22, 2011 at 03:30 PM (#3933093)
Warthen's saying that the current dimensions are hurting the pitching, too.

As I suggested above, maybe they ought to find a new tenant for CF.
   79. Stormy JE Posted: September 22, 2011 at 03:32 PM (#3933095)
One way to solve the Duda problem: volunteer to move the team to the AL West!
   80. Something Other Posted: September 23, 2011 at 10:44 AM (#3933859)
.239/.289/.367/.656
That's what's been missing from the argument. That's the final month of Wright's 2009, the month after his concussion. He was clearly a different hitter through mid-August 2009, than he had been through the end of 2008, but the concussion affected him very, very strongly. Wright's standing farther off the plate since his concussion contributes to his lesser hitting, and he's not doing that because of the fences at Citi. Oh, and Wright's September 2009 included a BABIP of .320, so it wasn't like he was hitting in a lot of bad luck. To have the discussion in this thread without any of the participants troubling to do something obvious like post Wright's hit locations by year seems strange for a site such as this one.

I've seen serial killers that looked up more than Alderson did in that interview. Either that was a beautiful countertop or he is ashamed to look us in the eye. And I know I'm in the tiniest minority of BTF Met fans, but I hate him.
I merely detest Alderson. He turned out to be just another rich guy, sent to protect other rich guys. The more we learned about the Wilpons' finances the clearer it was that Alderson had been wise all along, and that he'd just been bullshitting us, playing us for suckers.

#### him.
   81. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 23, 2011 at 11:44 AM (#3933866)
I merely detest Alderson. He turned out to be just another rich guy, sent to protect other rich guys. The more we learned about the Wilpons' finances the clearer it was that Alderson had been wise all along, and that he'd just been bullshitting us, playing us for suckers.

#### him.


Really?

Do you honestly think fans have a right to know a team's budget plans for the next 5 years? Even assuming the team knows. And what advantage is their in letting other teams know your weakness? Can't help in trades; e.g. Beltran.

Alderson can't just go around slamming the Wilpons and airing their dirty laundry, even if he is a pseudo-MLB caretaker. I think he's doing the best he can under severe constraints.

And, frankly, Alderson implementing a solid drafting/development program and a pseudo-Moneyball approach is the best hope the Mets have to contend this decade.

As a Yankee fan, I'd trade you Cashman and our front office for Alderson and his team in a heartbeat.
   82. Something Other Posted: September 23, 2011 at 08:32 PM (#3934334)
Really?


Really!

There's a big difference on the one hand between being your garden variety, close-to-the-vest GM, and on the other having 'being a shill for the Wilpons' as a major part of your job description. Think of it: why, in the twilight of your working life, would you knowingly soil yourself by fronting for those pieces of crap? Alderson looks bad, and he smells bad in this.

Boo!!
   83. Benji Posted: September 24, 2011 at 06:53 AM (#3934625)
I wish that Cashman front office for the Met ########### was a real offer. I can't imagine Cashman accepting that pile of #### from Milwaukee (esp now that it turns out the "young phenom" they got with the useless Herrara was days from being released) or just one player for Beltran when Bourn, Pence and Ubaldo brought back 4 players each, and guys like Brad Freakin Ziegler, Uehera, Adams and Fukudome brought back two. And before you tell me about contracts and FA status or that Wheeler was THE GREATEST PROSPECT IN HISTORY you need to tell me why KRod was dealt 3 weeks before the deadline and discount the desperation the Giants had to improve their offense. The Mets got taken. I can't imagine another GM making either of those deals. Even Phillips would have gotten a warm body thrown in.
   84. Something Other Posted: September 25, 2011 at 12:11 AM (#3935359)
Benji--why the contempt for Alderson? I'm sympathetic, and don't intend to argue. I'm genuinely curious, particularly given the nearly universal adulation that greeted his appointment.

Anyone know why Herrara was getting dumped? He's cheap and seems serviceable, w a 2.78 ERA in the minors and respectable numbers in 100+ games in the majors. He seems pointless for the Mets, not the kind of guy you try to pick up when you have a real chip in FRoddy. As for Adrian Rosario, WTF? A 21 year old reliever who has never made it out of A ball? There are lottery tickets, and then there are lottery tickets such that, if you win, you win a giant-sized beverage at the convenience counter. Rosario seems to be the latter.
   85. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 25, 2011 at 01:01 AM (#3935378)
I wish that Cashman front office for the Met ########### was a real offer. I can't imagine Cashman accepting that pile of #### from Milwaukee (esp now that it turns out the "young phenom" they got with the useless Herrara was days from being released) or just one player for Beltran when Bourn, Pence and Ubaldo brought back 4 players each, and guys like Brad Freakin Ziegler, Uehera, Adams and Fukudome brought back two. And before you tell me about contracts and FA status or that Wheeler was THE GREATEST PROSPECT IN HISTORY you need to tell me why KRod was dealt 3 weeks before the deadline and discount the desperation the Giants had to improve their offense. The Mets got taken. I can't imagine another GM making either of those deals. Even Phillips would have gotten a warm body thrown in.

The point of the KRod trade was just to get rid of him, so the option didn't vest. Nothing was an acceptable return.

Wheeler was better than any of the players in those other deals. Since when does a rational person judge a trade by the quantity of players received?
   86. Something Other Posted: September 25, 2011 at 03:04 AM (#3935438)
The point of the KRod trade was just to get rid of him, so the option didn't vest. Nothing was an acceptable return.
And yet, KRod readily accepted the rewriting of his contract so that another team wouldn't have to deal with the vest. It was clearly in KRod's best interests, and it's startling the Mets FO wouldn't have been aware of the likelihood of a rewrite. That could have also been a condition of dealing him, the same way teams trade for players conditional on being able to sign them for additional years. In other words, they were trading the best reliever who was at all likely to be available in-season, and got a very poor return on him.

That's certainly not a plus for Alderson.
   87. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 25, 2011 at 03:18 AM (#3935450)
It was clearly in KRod's best interests, and it's startling the Mets FO wouldn't have been aware of the likelihood of a rewrite.

It wasn't in his interest to give the Mets a rewrite. He was their best RP, and had a pretty good grievance if they demoted him from closer just to avoid the option.

After he's been traded to a team with an established closer, there was no chance the option would vest. So, he might as well get what he could for a worthless option.

That's certainly not a plus for Alderson.

Your hatred is blinding you. Before that trade, Mets fans were very worried the option would vest.

It's a clear plus. As is the Beltran trade. Everyone was saying no one would give up an A prospect for Beltran, and Sandy brought back a top-25 talent.
   88. Something Other Posted: September 25, 2011 at 06:25 AM (#3935509)
Your hatred is blinding you.
This is a very peculiar assertion. Quotes, please.

At any rate, you're missing the point. Nothing, ever, barred the Mets from trading FRod to a team which would have no obligation to pitch him in a certain role. They should have been aware of that and gotten a commensurate return for the best reliever available in-season. If I have something of no value to me, even negative value, and you value it highly, as the Brewers did, I'd be a fool to simply give you that item at its value to me. I should sell it at its value to you, no? Alderson failed to do that. Stating "That's certainly not a plus for Alderson" does seem to me to lack the corruscating rage you credit me with, but perhaps that's just my insane hatred for the man destroying my ability to perceive my insane hatred for the man.

You'd be much, much better off arguing that Herrara is some sort of diamond in the rough. Or perhaps you've simply confused me w Benji.

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