After nearly three seasons of watching David Wright (above) hit balls to the warning track that would’ve been HR’s at Shea Stadium, an anonymous source in the Mets front office promises the Newark Star-Ledger’s Jeff Bradley the spacious dimensions of Citi Field will be amended in 2012.
Among the changes, expect to see the left-field wall, which is nearly 16 feet tall, to be lowered. General manager Sandy Alderson, while not definitively stating changes would be made, said earlier this week there are nips and tucks that can be made to the 2.5 acre field that would not require any major structural changes to the ballpark. Of course, that would be in keeping with the tight budget the organization is working with.
It would not be the first time a ballpark was adjusted. In 2003, for example, the Detroit Tigers decided to move in the fences at Comerica Park after three seasons that frustrated their long-ball hitters.
Wright, who has hit 22 home runs in 639 career at-bats at Citi Field, said it’s not so much the distances down the lines (335 feet to left, 300 to right), but the deep power alleys and high fences that make it such a difficult home run park. “I’ve never been one to lobby for anything,” Wright said, “But I’m a hitter and, of course, I’d prefer a hitter’s park over a pitcher’s park. Everyone knows this place plays big. I guess I’d love to pitch here.”
This season, Citi Field ranks 24th of the 30 major-league parks in home runs yielded. The Mets have failed to hit a home run in 34 of their 59 home games and have just a dozen multi-home run games at home this season. It’s not an impossible place to hit home runs, as evidenced by the four homers the Mets and Brewers combined to hit today, including a monster shot by Angel Pagan that gave the Mets a 9-7 lead in the eighth. But if a 30-home run season is the benchmark for a power hitter, consider since the Mets moved into Citi Field in 2009 they’ve yet to have a player reach that mark. That’s why there’s rampant speculation that sluggers won’t want to sign with the Mets.
The others reasons why free agents might shun Flushing in the near future. For instance, most adults prefer to be paid in cash rather than Mets Money.