Fenway Park's landmark status has thrown a wrench into plans to expand the right-field bullpens, which would move in the fences, and the Red Sox have scrapped the plan for now.
The narrowness of the bullpens, which have had roughly the same configuration since they were added in 1940, keeps the Red Sox from offering some of the amenities now common in major-league ballparks, including workout areas and climate-conrolled indoor sections. The team's proposal would have reduced the distance from home plate to right field from 380 feet to 371 feet.
"We're going to re-examine it and see if we can come up with some alternative plans that might give us a chance to have a safer and more competitive bullpen facility, as well as shorten a bit the walls in right field," Red Sox president Larry Lucchino told MLB.com Thursday. "It's down the road somewhere."
A recent Boston Herald story said the move was scrapped because the Massachusetts Historical Commission did not approve it, which would have cost the team tax credits. Lucchino told ESPN that was not the primary factor.
"It was not a specific tax consideration," Lucchino said. "The danger was more about jeopardizing the historic designation attached to Fenway Park. ... The folks in the historic community have addressed the issue and have spoken to us about re-examining some of our plans and thoughts for it. And we will do that. It's not going to happen this year but it may happen down the road."The Red Sox are making some upgrades to Fenway this offseason, including the addition of video boards and some new seats.
-- David Andriesen