Mr. Wilpon, Tear Down This Wall.
According to this report by Adam Rubin of ESPN NY, Citi Field, the toughest ballpark in which to hit home runs in the National League is not expected to have any dimension changes or altered wall heights for 2011, according to a source familiar with the plans of New York Mets officials.
Before the start of this season, the Mets did make one small modification, shortening the height of the line on the wall in dead center in front of the Home Run Apple. However, that did not result in one extra homer this season, since no balls struck above the new line that would have remained in play in 2009.
According to HitTrackerOnline, Citi Field is the third most spacious ballpark in the majors with 114,600 square feet of fair territory. Kansas City’s Kauffman Stadium ranks first at 116,600, followed by Colorado’s Coors Field at 115,600. In comparison, Shea Stadium, had 109,300 square feet in play, which would have placed it in 11th place.
I can’t say that I’m not disappointed that no changes will be made to the dimensions of Citi Field for next season…
It really sucks knowing that we will always be among the worst power hitting teams in the majors no matter how many power hitters we stack in our lineup. Like Wright the season before, Bay’s prodigious 30+ homerun totals from prior seasons, vanished in the vastness of Citi Field. And though he gets paid as much as the league’s best sluggers, it’s tough to even forecast a 20 home run season for Jason Bay at this point for the 2011 season.
Wright, who will be 28 next season, should be in his prime years right now, but there’s a good possibility that he may never match his career high of 33 homers set in 2008, the final season at Shea.
Probably the most glaring fact of how difficult it is to score runs in Citi Field, is that the Mets are the only team in the majors that have not hit a grand slam this season.
I enjoy a well pitched game as much as the next Mets fan, but I really miss all those thrills that only a dramatic home run can provide.
And speaking of Citi Field, I’m sick and tired of hearing the manager or front office hammer home the mantra that the park was designed for pitching, speed and defense.
If there was any truth to that, then why is the team’s best defensive outfielder, Angel Pagan, playing in right field instead of center?
Why did Mike Jacobs begin the season as the Mets everyday first baseman?
Are we seriously considering Daniel Murphy as the second baseman next season?
Who will be the Mets Opening Day pitcher in 2011, and will the number two spot be a free for all once again?
These are the types of things that really confuse me about the way this team is built and what the strategy is going forward.
My guess is that Citi Field will eventually be altered to allow more homeruns to all fields. It may take a few more years of the league’s worst offensive output before they do it, but it will get done. So why wait?
About the Author: Joe DeCaro
I'm a lifelong Mets fan who loves writing and talking about the Amazins' 24/7. From the Miracle in 1969 to the magic of 1986, and even the near misses in '73 and '00, I've experienced it all - the highs and the lows. I started Mets Merized Online in 2005 to feed my addiction. Follow me on Twitter @metsmerized.
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