NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — It’s a happy day for hitters.
Mired in a streak of six straight losing seasons and hoping to boost offense, the New York Mets are moving in their fences at Citi Field for the second time.
The Mets unveiled the new dimensions Tuesday, which bring in the fences 3-to-11 feet in front of the bullpens in right field. Right-center field will be 380 feet, down from 390 the past three years and 415 in the ballpark’s first three seasons.
“Trying to take the dimensions of the park out of the conversation, so it’s not something that’s discussed in the clubhouse, it’s not discussed in the media, it’s not something our fans have to talk about,” Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said. “We want the ballpark to be fair, but a few more home runs for us wouldn’t be a bad thing, and a little more scoring is I think something most fans enjoy — not all, not baseball purists by any means, but there aren’t a lot of baseball purists left.”
Speaking in front of the new fence on a blustery afternoon with the temperature below freezing, Alderson said the team’s research projected there would have been 27 additional home runs this year under the new dimensions. The Mets would have hit 17, including nine by Curtis Granderson and four by Lucas Duda.
According to STATS, Citi Field was last in the major leagues in home runs during its first three seasons with an average of 1.43 per game. The Mets cut the dimensions by as much as 12 feet after 2011 and lowered the fence height from 16 to 8 feet in left, and Citi Field jumped to 19th in home runs from 2012-14 at 1.79.