Ever since the home-and-home series with the Yankees showed what a difficult place Citi Field is for hitters, there is renewed talk of once again moving in the fences. Well, it’s not going to happen.
And there is one simple reason, the reason the Mets do or do not do everything — money.
Here’s what Jeff Wilpon said about it last week. “I’m not saying we wouldn’t, But I don’t see any reason why we would.”
If that is the case, then he has never watched his team play at home. The only reason not to do is because of cash.
It was not revealed how much the last alteration of Citi Field cost, but it was probably a pretty penny. It was a major construction project; digging foundations for the new wall, building the Party City Deck and other hidden costs. I cannot imagine the Mets springing for it again.
And perhaps they do not even need to when there is a simpler, cheaper alternative — moving home plate up. I have advocated this before and I still think it is a good idea. It would just be a matter of simple gardening to rejigger the grass. It would also provide more foul territory behind home plate and down the lines which would not be a terrible thing.
The only difficult part about this is that I believe the foul poles would have to be moved to their left and right, respectively. If home plate is moved up, it would no longer line up with the poles. Perhaps the foul line could take a slight turn in the outfield to extend to the poles, but I am not sure if that is allowed. Do the foul lines have to be straight from home plate to the pole?
I would recommend moving home plate up eight feet. Why eight feet? That would make center field 400 feet away, which is the minimum that is “preferable” to MLB.
Here is a chart of Citi Field’s configurations:
————- 2009-2011 Current Moved in 8 feet
Left field line 335 335 327
Left field 371 358 350
Left center 384 385 377
Center field 408 408 400
Right center 415 390 382
Right field 378 375 367
Right field line 330 330 322
This would help all of those fly balls that die on Citi Field’s warning track without making it a bandbox like Yankee Stadium or Citizens Bank Park where routine fly balls turn into home runs.
I doubt the Mets will do this, either. But one thing I can see them doing is moving in the fence in right center only. The distance there, 390, is a joke, especially when that is the spot where your best batter, David Wright, like to hit balls. An entire park should not be designed for one player, but if there is a small way to help the player around whom you are building the club, you should do it.