Today is an off day for the Mariners as we await the start of a home stand featuring the Reds and Cubs. Jack Z. has stated he is not throwing in the towel just yet and wants to see what happens in these games. Fair enough however should things not go as planned and we begin the next round of rebuilding the Mariners, I would like to propose that we move in the fences before next season starts. As we all know Safeco Field is considered a pitcher-friendly ballpark. In addition to the heavy moisture laden air, the fences as you can see on the left are deep. In order to entice a real Power Hitter to come to play for the Mariners it may help if we make it a little easier to actually hit 30-40 homers here. I have done a little research into the official rules for Major League Baseball and found the following under rule 1.04 The Playing Field : a) Any Playing Field constructed by a professional club after June 1, 1958, shall provide a minimum distance of 325 feet from home base to the nearest fence, stand or other obstruction on the right and left field foul lines, and a minimum distance of 400 feet to the center field fence.
b) No existing playing field shall be remodeled after June 1, 1958, in such a manner as to reduce the distance from home base to the foul poles and to the center field fence below the minimum specified in paragraph (a) above.
So there you have it, we can indeed move in the fences as long as we follow the parameters contained in the above rules. I suggest we move dead-center into 400 feet and the left field foul pole into 325. This will enable the Mariners to take 8-10 feet out of the no-mans land in left center as well as moving in the fence in right center a little as well. The Mariners fans like fans everywhere love the home run, it is probably the most exciting aspect of the game of baseball. Yes I know bringing in the fences applies to both teams and the advantage is not strictly in favor of the home team, but the current mind-set of building a team around pitching and defense has proven to be a bust. Maybe I’m alone on this idea but I figure if we are going rebuild let’s do it right and start with the things we can control.
Now I’m sure Howard Lincoln and Chuck Armstrong will say it costs too much. My response is that this project will probably cost about half as much as we spent on Ian Snell’s salary to date. And since we most likely won’t be playing much ball in October, we could start drawing up the plans after the Cubs leave town and begin construction on October 4th. That is unless someone happens to be getting married in the bullpen that day…. http://jeffsmariners.com