New York Mets: How Changes to Citi Field Dimensions Will Affect the Team in 2012
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According to ESPNNewYork.com, Citi Field, the Mets' infamously pitcher-friendly ballpark, has undergone some major alterations this offseason, presumably with the intended effect of boosting the Mets hitters' power numbers.
It certainly was needed last season, particularly where third baseman David Wright and right fielder Jason Bay were concerned.
Wright, a cornerstone of the Mets franchise since his MLB debut in 2004, hit a measly 14 home runs last season, with only five coming at Citi Field.
It is no secret that his power numbers have drastically decreased since the Mets moved into Citi Field from Shea Stadium in 2009. In the three seasons before the team started play at Citi Field, Wright has hit 50 home runs at home.
In the three seasons since Citi Field was built, Wright has only hit 22.
In Bay's case, the change in stadium was even more drastic. Bay played half the 2008 and the entire 2009 seasons with the Boston Red Sox, playing nearly half his games at the famed bandbox of Fenway Park.
In the 200 games Bay played with Boston, he hit 45 home runs. Since joining the Mets on a four-year, $66 million free-agent contract in 2010, Jason has only hit 18 home runs in 218 games in New York.
Wright and Bay, in addition to injured first baseman Ike Davis, look to be the Mets' key run-producers for 2012, especially if star shortstop Jose Reyes leaves during free agency.
The stats are undeniable that the change to Citi Field greatly diminished Wright and Bay's power numbers, and that power loss undoubtedly helped the Mets to three straight fourth-place finishes in the NL East since the inception of Citi Field.
The new changes will decrease the in-play surface area of Citi Field and hopefully—at least for the Mets' sake—that will be enough of a change to regain the power of their important run-producers in Wright and Bay, among others. It was a long overdue move by management to shrink Citi Field, even as little as two percent, but it was the right thing to do.
These changes will definitely help the Mets on the playing field next season and will solve the Mets hitters' problems hitting home runs at Citi.
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