Moving In The Fences Not Answer, Pitching Is


Silly me, I thought the object was to win games, not hit home runs.

Sandy Alderson is talking about altering the dimensions at Citi Field in an effort to boost the Mets’ paltry home run total, which is odd considering his background as a fundamentalist. You know, high on-base percentage, advance the runners and cut down on strikeouts.

When he took over his goal was to rebuild the Mets with pitching, speed and defense. Let’s not get teary eyed about Shea Stadium, either. Afterall, how many World Series have the Mets won in their history? Two, and both those teams were built on pitching.

David Wright is on-board with this because, well, afterall, he hasn’t hit for power in two years, but that’s more a product of the beaning by Matt Cain and a poor approach at the plate, not to mention being injured and missing two months this year.

Overall, the Mets have hit 103 homers and given up 141. They’ve been outhomered 87-58 on the road and 54-45 at Citi Field. Those numbers are about right for a team below .500.

Before Alderson tinkers with the dimensions, he should consider what the Mets’ home run production might have been had Wright not missed two months, Ike Davis not been out for most of the season, Carlos Beltran not been traded and Jason Bay hit up to his contract. Take those four factors and the Mets would have closed the homer gap considerably.

But, are home runs really the issue?

The Mets are fifth in the National League with 686 runs scored, which is good enough to contend, but are 13th in runs given up with 712 (4.21 ERA).

Clearly, pitching is the problem, not a lack of power.

Home runs give a team an psychological jolt in that they know they can come back from a deficit, but the boost is even greater from the knowledge its pitching won’t put it in a hole.

It was funny to hear pitching coach Dan Warthen say moving in the fences would help his staff because it would force them to concentrate more. What a joke. If the Mets’ pitchers give up a lot of runs now, wait until the fences come in. Warthen is simply towing the party line. Have his pitchers walk fewer hitters and have him build a bullpen then he can talk. Until then, concentrate on Mike Pelfrey.

And, it’s not as if moving them in will enable the Mets to close the homer gap. The disparity would be roughly the same because the real disparity is in talent.

If the Mets want to do something, it ought to be to get better players, specifically pitchers. Moving in the fences is a gimmick, and teams don’t win with gimmicks. They win with talent.

Ways to Train:  Baseball Tips

If you’re looking to improve your batting average, slice that ERA in half, or simply enhance your ability to interact with your fellow teammates on the field, you’ll want to make sure you’re practicing the right things so that you don’t waste your time on nonsensical efforts.  Fielding, batting, and pitching all require very specific types of training, and while there is certainly overlap (and most players have to know how perform at least two of those 3 functions at any one time), there are also individual items to focus on for each as well.  Below, we’ll cover each of the three aforementioned areas, and what type of training approach you should take for each.


Swinging at a baseball flying toward your face at nearly 100 miles per hour seems like a fairly easy feat when you’re watching a Mets game or another team performing at the major league level.  That easiness only appears that way because you’re watching masters of batting at the plate, the peak of players available for the game.  For the typical baseball player, connecting the bat to the ball can be quite difficult to master, at least in a way that produces actual hits consistently over time.  The best way to practice batting is through repetition, so head over to the batting cages if you want to face pitch after pitch until your swinging improves.  Pitching machines come in a variety of speed settings, so you can surely find one that’ll pitch to you at the speed you need.


Unfortunately, they haven’t developed a baseball batting machine that works quite as well as the pitching version yet, but catching a pitcher’s ball is easier for the average person that throwing a 95 mph fastball.  In order to practice your pitches, find someone who is competent at using a glove, and throw to that person over and over again.  Remember to also switch up your pitches so that you don’t become dominant using only one type of pitch.


This article doesn’t have the space to cover the many different fielding positions individually, but on the whole, there are some simple things to keep in mind when standing in the outfield or around the bases.  Make sure you’re using a glove that’s been broken in, first off, so that you’re comfortable using the glove and don’t feel limited in movement.  Since baseball fields don’t have roof cover and many day games are played, you’ll also want to practice fielding balls in direct sunlight, as often times you’ll have to face straight up in order to catch the ball.  So long as you can run and judge a ball accurately as you are moving towards it, you’ll be in good shape on the field.

6 thoughts on “Moving In The Fences Not Answer, Pitching Is

  1. I think moving the fences would help the following:

    1) David Wright. As we all know he has been complaining about this since forever. It will help his psyche but not his game.

    2) The fans. Fans like HR’s. It will hit the highlights. HR’s are more interesting than long fly outs or a ball in the gap for a triple.

    It is irrelevant as you say because the team needs to pitch and play defense. They need better pitching. Pitchers who do not collapse after 5 innings and pitchers who can go 7 innings before going to the pen. Every year the pen is killed. They do well at the beginning of the year and give away games at the end because our rotation is filled with long relief pitchers rather than starters.

  2. If the Mets move the fences in and it doesn’t help David Wright, then what do they do?

    Both the Phillies and the Yankees have bandboxes and are winning teams. But is it the parks or the talent? I go with the latter. I doubt if any big time free agent, pitcher or player, will refuse to sign with the Mets because of the fences.

  3. A HR is exciting. but singles/doubles consecutively are way more exciting! to watch every guy get up and smack it for a base. wow. they will implode a pitcher.

    Warthen is the joke. if you ask me..

    Everyone says center field is no man’s land. what is it 415 feet? is there any other field where it is as big? I dont know, so i am asking..
    the overhead cam shots .. its daunting to see the size of that field.

    Regardless of dimensions. they have to hit , they have to run, they have to pitch and they have to catch …
    That is how a team wins.

  4. Steve C – the issue isn’t just that it is 415 ft, the issue is that the power alleys are also deep, which increases the space in the outfield. This can both help and hurt. the extra space means some balls can drop in, but other balls can be tracked down if they “hang” and the OF is speedy.

    The fence in LF is a joke, both in height and depth. Bring it in a bit, and lower it. How many fly outs to left has DW hit? Or many others. Plus, he is a line drive hitter, so having the fence that high kills him.

    But RF is a bigger joke, that power alley is terrible. How many fly outs to right for Wright and others?

    No one is saying build a bandbox like that in the Bronx or philly. What they are saying is to make it a little more neutral.

    A double is nice, but when you are down 3 with 2 on, a double may only score 1, possibly 2.

    Would be nicer to score 3, no?

    And yes, the pitching is the bigger issue. Both the rotation and the pen leave much to be desired.