The New York Daily News
had an exclusive today.
The Mets are cutting in half the height of the center field wall, from 16 feet to 8 feet.
Now if only we had more guys who could hit it out to the center field wall.
Here's the story...Broadcaster Gary Cohen may be able to proclaim,
"It's outta here!" a little more often in 2010. And
David Wright may not be as inclined to frustratingly fling his Great Gazoo helmet, or whatever protective
wear he uses, during the upcoming season.
The height of Citi Field's center-field wall will be
sliced in half, making the ballpark more homer-
friendly, the Daily News has learned.
Last season, the wall measured 16 feet in front of
the sparsely used Home Run Apple. Now, with the
second level of padding being removed, it will
measure eight feet in the middle of the outfield.
Still, as the Daily News exclusively reported in
September, the stadium's spacious dimensions won't
The Mets hit 95 homers last season, by far the
fewest in the majors. San Francisco ranked 29th with
Wright, whose home-run power is more to right-
center than the left-field line, saw his power
plummet as the Mets moved from Shea Stadium to
Citi Field. He went from a career-high 33 homers in
2008 to 10 homers last season - five at home, and
five on the road.
Greg Rybarcyzk, a former U.S. Navy nuclear
engineer who runs HitTrackeronline.com,
concluded that Wright hit nine balls in play at Citi
Field last season that would have been homers at
Shea Stadium - although that discrepancy won't be
fully addressed by the modest outfield adjustment.
Regardless, the Mets' 2009 power outage wasn't
exclusively a Citi Field phenomenon. They ranked
last in the majors in road homers last season with
46. Pittsburgh had the second-fewest with 50. The
Yankees and Phillies, who play in hitter-friendly
ballparks, also ranked Nos. 1 and 2 in road homers w
ith 116 and 108, respectively.
Meanwhile, an average of 1.60 homers per game
were hit at Citi Field last season, more than at five
other NL ballparks - San Diego (1.59), San
Francisco (1.59), Los Angeles (1.57), Atlanta (1.52)
and St. Louis (1.48). And visiting teams actually hit
two more homers at Citi Field last season than they
did at Shea Stadium in '08.
If Citi Field is imposing for hitters, it didn't scare
away free agent Jason Bay, at least when the Mets
offered the most money - a four-year, $66 million
contract. And it wasn't as if pitchers lined up this
offseason to pitch at Citi Field. The Mets' most
notable pitching signings have been Kelvim Escobar
, Ryota Igarashi and Josh Fogg.