Blog Entry

Pepper: Mets might change Citi Field dimensions

Posted on: September 21, 2011 9:53 am

By Matt Snyder

A common refrain since the Mets moved into Citi Field is that the outfield dimensions cost the team loads of home runs in each given season. Notably, it's been discussed how many homers have turned into doubles for David Wright by several different New York reporters. Only Kauffman Stadium (Royals) and AT&T Park (Giants) have been worse for home runs this season and Citi Field ranked 27th in homers last season.

Two areas in particular that have drawn malign are the height of the left-field wall (why not have it the same height as the center-field wall?) and the well in right field (where it says "Modell's"). It feels like changing those two things would make it a pretty average ballpark for hitters.

Well, changes could be on the horizon, and not-so-small changes at that.

“If we do something, it won’t be subtle,” general manager Sandy Alderson said ( Bats blog), noting that changes are not definite but the Mets are looking hard at several different options.

“We’re not looking necessarily to gain an advantage with respect to home runs versus visitor’s home runs,” Alderson said ( Bats blog). “But at the same time, I think there is some sense that the park is a little more overwhelming to a team that spends half its time there, as opposed to a team that comes in for three games, doesn’t really have to alter its approach or think about it too much and leaves.”

I tend to agree with him. All things equal, I'd much rather have my team playing in a league-average ballpark instead of an extreme-hitter or extreme-pitcher park. Not that it definitely determines the fate of your ballclub -- it doesn't -- but if either pitchers or hitters collectively believe they're getting screwed for 81 games, it's hard to keep a positive mentality for the whole season.

'Fan' is short for 'fanatic:' A Yankees fan had the task of serving Red Sox starting pitcher Erik Bedard with child support papers Tuesday and relished in it. He wore a Yankees shirt and bragged on Facebook that he intentionally served Bedard on a day of his start (Big League Stew). Bedard went out and gave up five hits and four runs (though only one was earned) in 2 2/3 innings. Let's hope this fan never accuses any player of lacking professionalism, or else we've got a nice case of hypocrisy working.

Lincecum endorses Kershaw: The NL Cy Young vote is going to be quite competitive, with Clayton Kershaw, Ian Kennedy and some Phillies likely garnering most of the votes. Two-time winner Tim Lincecum believes the winner should be Kershaw. “Just with the numbers he has, he’s leading in a lot of categories, to put up a 20-win season is huge, especially with the team he’s got. He’s done a magnificent job with his year," Lincecum said after losing to Kershaw again (Extra Baggs). The two aces have squared off four times. Lincecum has a 1.24 ERA in those outings, but Kershaw has won all four.

Harwell's glasses are back: In Tuesday's Pepper, we passed along the story that a statue of late, great Tigers broadcaster Ernie Harwell had been stripped of its glasses. Well, the replacement set of frames is back at home (Detroit Free-Press). Let's hope these stay there for a while.

Aramis' swan song: Third baseman Aramis Ramirez was traded to the Cubs in July of 2003. He played on three playoff teams, in two All-Star games and solidified a position that hadn't been locked down since Ron Santo manned the hot corner. The Cubs have a $16 million option for 2012 on Ramirez and he has repeatedly said he wants to stay, but the feeling apparently isn't mutual. When asked if he believes this is his last run with the Cubs, he replied (Chicago Tribune): "Probably. There's a good chance. I'm a free agent and I don't know what's going to happen. But it looks like I'm going to hit the market."

Movie Night! "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" was a huge hit in the 80s, and it includes a scene in Wrigley Field. It's only fitting that Wrigley's first "Movie Night" will be showing the Matthew Broderick film October 1 (Chicago Tribune). Bleacher seats are $10, while lawn seats are $25. That's steep for a movie that hit theaters in 1986, but would the novelty of sitting on Wrigley Field's playing surface be worth it? You make the call.

No ERA title for Cueto: Reds starting pitcher Johnny Cueto was already suspected to be ruled out for the season, and now he's even admitting as much ( With the Reds out of the race, this wouldn't normally matter, but Cueto had a shot at leading the league in ERA. His 2.31 mark currently trails only Kershaw (2.27). The problem is that Cueto has only thrown 156 innings. In order to qualify for an ERA crown, a pitcher must have thrown at least one inning for each game his team has played. So once the Reds play game 157, Cueto falls off the ERA standings.

Rockies love Tracy, kind of: Rockies manager Jim Tracy is signed through 2012 and his job is safe at least through the length of the contract. "Jim is signed through next year, and we'd love to have him be manager here for much longer than that. But I have gone into the last year of my contract here more than you could imagine," general manager Dan O'Dowd told The Denver Post. So that sounds good, right? Well, depends upon the point of view. He's not offering a contract extension, and you'll notice the comment about going into the last year of a contract. So it sounds like O'Dowd likes Tracy for now, but he's giving himself a chance to change his mind by the end of next year. And he has every right to do that.

Watch those Nats: If you relish in the failures of the Nationals, you better enjoy it while you can. I've preached all season that the proverbial corner would be turned soon, with a great young base of talent and lots of money available for free agents. Speaking of which, expect the Nats to be hot after All-Star starting pitcher C.J. Wilson -- who is a free agent after this season -- this coming offseason ( via Twitter).

Saito can't get healthy: Brewers reliever Takashi Saito has been excellent this season, sporting a 1.90 ERA and 1.18 WHIP. Of course, he's only thrown 23 2/3 innings due to a series of injuries. Now he's dealing with a calf injury (

More roadblocks for McCourt: One of the ways embattled Dodgers owner Frank McCourt plans to get out of his financial mess is to sell the TV rights to Dodgers games for future seasons. Well, Fox holds the Dodgers' TV rights through 2013 and has a problem with McCourt trying to negotiate a deal immediately (

Johan's progress: Mets' ace Johan Santana continues to work his surgically repaired shoulder back into shape. After throwing a three-inning simulated game Saturday, he's now slated for two instructional league games (Oct. 1 and Oct. 7). (ESPN New York)

Happy Anniversary: On this day 15 years ago, Vladimir Guerrero hit his first career home run (Hardball Times). He now has 449.

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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 20, 2011 2:30 pm
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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 18, 2011 7:11 am
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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 7, 2011 9:22 pm

Pepper: Mets might change Citi Field dimensions

I did saying thanks to you can on this remarkable move across. Your internet content are wonderful. Why not retain the kids entering.

Since: Jul 3, 2007
Posted on: September 21, 2011 4:16 pm

Pepper: Mets might change Citi Field dimensions

If this happens it would be the best thing Alderson's done yet. At a certain point you're favoring the pitchers, but this park is so far slanted in favor of the pitchers, it becomes a significant disadvantage. The Mets already aren't going to pitch very well, we knew that, but bring the dimensions more toward those at Shea would change everything for the Mets. It's a perception thing with the Mets hitters, trust me guys a ballpark can change everything. The second the Phillies pushed their left field wall back (their park was initially slanted way too far in favor of hitters), they became a regular playoff team, and the dynasty ensued. Meanwhile, look at what the Twins new ballpark has done to them, Jose Bautista ( a guy who can crank'em out of any park) has more home runs at that field than Mauer, Morneau, Nishioka, Punto and a couple more Twins players combined. Morneau, a former MVP, will probably never be the same again. Bringing in the right players reigns supreme, but this move would truly allow this team to reach their full potential over the next few seasons. Besides, the Mets can't have fly-ball pitchers who milk those deep dimensions, they just go on the road and get rattled. Guys who get strikeouts and ground balls are the ones who have successful careers

Since: Jul 10, 2009
Posted on: September 21, 2011 2:33 pm

Pepper: Mets might change Citi Field dimensions

I absolutely respect Sandy Alderson but there is nothing wrong with Citifield.  The problem is that the Mets are not constructed to take advantage of the dementions.  We don't have pitching.  Not enough team speed and poor defense.  Wright hit 30 HRs last year, there is every indication that Lucas Duda and Ike Davis are capable of 25-30 HRs.  The park is fine and I've heard that pitching, speed and defense can win on the road as well.  Fix what's broken...the players.

Since: Sep 1, 2011
Posted on: September 21, 2011 11:17 am

Pepper: Mets might change Citi Field dimensions

Can the Mets do anything right?
What was wrong with Shea. Was a good place to see a game.
Owners wanted lux boxes and then cannot afford to keep the team.
Mistake. Now they want to overhaul a place that is only 3 years old.
With the $$ on the stadium, why not build it larger to accommodate the Jets.
Just another chapter in the saga of ill equipped ownership.

Since: Aug 31, 2011
Posted on: September 21, 2011 10:48 am

Pepper: Mets might change Citi Field dimensions

1.  I think it is a good point to have the field be an average hitters/pitchers ball park.  I know that wrigley's 3 seasons can cause a hitter to hit poor in april and half of may and then in sept/october.  The problem is that the slumps carry over to road games to.  If you are hitting rockets that are just getting knocked down by the wind, it is going to mess with you. 

2.  Aramis deserves to hit the open market if the Cubs don't want him.  I think he has put together a good year and deserves a shot to be a winner.  I think he does want the cubs to sign him but i guess they have no interest.

3.  I can't be the only one cheering for Johan to come back and be good?

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