Welcome Home? It's Not Shea!
CitiField is a beautiful park, but it's no Shea Stadium.
Shea Stadium was considered a pitcher friendly park. CitiField is a pitcher's best friend.
Don't expect too many home runs to fly in this park.
Welcome to CitiField, the new home of the New York Mets. Seating capacity for CitiField is 42,000, down from 55,000 at the old Shea Stadium.This new home of the Mets is going to get some getting used to.
The dimensions in center is 408', but in the power alley it's 415'. The Mets have gold-glove winner Carlos Beltran in center.He is capable of covering this larger area. Beltran should not be concerned with right field as long as Ryan Church is there.
Left field is going to be a different story with Daniel Murphy playing in out there. He doesn't seem comfortable playing the position. He is still having trouble picking up the ball. He has a hard time getting to a spot on the field in anticipation of where it is going to land.
This may be one of the reasons the Mets picked up Gary Sheffield.
The walls are as low as 8' but as high as 18'. If you are not used to this, this may cause a problem in how you handle a ball hit at the wall. The right field stands hang over the wall by eight feet. A fly ball that would normally be caught on the warning track can easily land in the stands for a home run.
The foul territory is much small than Shea. From home plate to the backstop is only 45'. This gives the catcher an advantage to get the ball back to him and prevent many runners from advancing a base.
After over 40 years playing in Shea Stadium, this new park is going to take some getting used to. The backstop is made of brick and it reminds you of Wrigley Field. The only way you know the Mets are the home team is because they are in their home whites.
There are a lot of nooks and crannies that will change the outcome of a lot of games. Look for Jerry Manuel and Omar Minaya to make the necessary changes to adopt to a new stadium that is no Shea.
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