This past weekend, New York Mets All-Star third baseman David Wright was at the Chelsea Piers holding a baseball clinic for the youth of New York. While there, he answered some intriguing questions that have come up in past offseasons, most notably the issue of whether to adjust the dimensions of the outfield walls at Citi Field.
Each year I’m a supporter of this proposal, and each year it’s been vetoed by ownership. Maybe this year, or a year in the near future, it could be different.
With Sandy Alderson now running the Mets front office, he has already been fixing the image of the Mets by hiring new businessmen with experience and firing those who could portray a negative image of the organization. One aspect the team could change to bolster their image is adjusting the vast dimensions of Citi Field.
David Wright, now taking a more outspoken leadership role, touches upon the effects of playing in such an expanse playing field during his interview with Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com:
“I don’t think there’s any question that it affects your thought process and your swing...”
This is exactly what we don’t need our "power source" in the lineup to be worried about before he steps to the plate. We need David to be doing what he does best and lead this team to victory, but instead he’s got to speak about issues like this.
“I’ve kind of learned firsthand that you’re just not going to hit very many opposite-field home runs at Citi…I’d be lying if I said that I wish [the wall wasn’t shorter in right-center] because I think one of my strengths is going the other way, and going the other way with power. Instead of home runs they turn into doubles, triples, whatever.”
He seems OK with the situation, but I don’t think he would be speaking in such detail if he was just OK with it.
Currently the field is 364 feet in left, 408 feet in center and a staggering 415 feet in deep right field.
Like Wright said, my big issue comes from the "Mo Zone" in deep right field and that giant wall eating up any potential home run balls coming its way. Its 415 feet out there and it could definitely be moved in with little opposition from anyone, but great praise from many players and fans.
The height of both right and left field should be reevaluated and shortened to a height that will bring back the probability of the exciting home run rob a la Endy Chavez. Nothing is more exciting in sports than robbing what everyone thinks is a sure thing. With the height of the walls the way it is now, the chance of making a highlight reel play is extremely little to none at all.
The Mets did improve their home run totals in Citi Field from 2009 to 2010 hitting 14 more than they did a year ago. But if we want to see a healthy 2011 Mets led by David Wright, Jason Bay and Carlos Beltran reach their home run potential, then management should seriously begin to discuss reassessing the park where they play over half their season.