Eric Simon: For starters, what makes Citi Field a “Grand Canyon” where Shea Stadium was merely a decent pitcher’s park? The park dimensions are nearly identical, with Shea actually slightly deeper in many cases.
Greg Rybarczyk: I’m sure most people have not had access to the drawn-to-scale Citi Field prints, as I have, but when you compare the dimensions you get there for Citi Field with the ones for Shea Stadium that you get from overhead satellite photos, you will see that Citi Field is actually deeper in almost every part of the park, and by a large amount. You will see that only in the corners is Shea deeper, and then only barely so in LF and a bit more so in RF, while Citi Field is a) hugely deeper in RF and RCF, and b) somewhat deeper with much taller fences in LF and LCF.
...Really, Citi Field is not even close to Shea dimension-wise, and home runs will be drastically reduced. I predict this because over the last three years, my analysis of every home run hit in MLB revealed that approximately 29% of all home runs have cleared the fence by 10 feet or less. At least half of the Citi Field outfield fence is either 10 or more feet deeper, or effectively 10 or more feet deeper due to a combination of longer distance and higher fence height.
Now, there could be some change in the wind patterns that makes Citi Field more favorable than Shea, as Shea was open in center field and frequently had wind coming in, while CF is more sheltered. We’ll have to see how that turns out, but I haven’t seen any convincing evidence that the wind will be more or less favorable in CF than it was in Shea. A few people have stated what the wind was doing on a particular day in November when they got inside Citi Field, in the particular spot they were standing in, but that’s not much to hang one’s hat on.