We knew the New York Mets were moving in the fences. This afternoon we learned by how much. Common sense dictates moving in the fences benefits the hitters more than the pitchers, but speaking like any politician you’ve ever heard, GM Sandy Alderson says that’s not the case.
“These modifications are a refinement of previous changes made to the Citi Field fences and continue to be fair to both pitchers and hitters,’’ Alderson said. “A lot of analysis went into this decision. We believe these modifications will increase the number of home runs without adversely affecting our pitchers.’’
Of course, that’s impossible.
In its first three seasons, Citi Field measured 415 feet at its deepest point in right-center. In the last three years the wall was 390 feet. It will now be 380 feet.
Had the Mets played with these dimensions last season, they would have hit an additional 17 home runs while the opposition would have hit 10 more.
It is impossible to project those numbers because it doesn’t into account: 1) wind conditions, and 2) the game situation, which would dictate how hitters are pitched.
Making such a declaration means every fly ball hit last year at Citi Field would have to be analyzed, and quite frankly I don’t believe that was done.
Alderson said the goals in moving in the fences were two-fold: 1) making the more Mets more competitive at home, and 2) increasing offense, which he says increases the entertainment value of the Citi Field experience.
Then again, if the altered fences make the Mets more competitive, it stands to reason the opponents would also benefit. And, it’s not guaranteed the Mets will score most of those additional runs.
The Mets were out-homered by the opposition 71-59 last year at Citi Field. That’s 12 more. Now, if the Mets would have hit 17 more, that’s only a net of five more home runs. That’s less than one a month.
The bottom line is there’s no guarantee the both teams would benefit equally to the fences being moved in. However, one can only surmise if the opposition was 12 homers better than the Mets last season, they enter this year 12 homers better.
Also not being taken into consideration is that the Mets are building their team on young pitching. Why make things harder for them?