New York Mets News

Mets Can’t Fix the Team…So They Decide to Fix Citi Field Instead

By Adam Garnett

It looks like Citi Field will be getting a makeover before the Mets lace em’ up for real in April. As Adam Rubin reports in the Daily News, the height of the fence in CF will but cut down from 16 feet to 8 feet in time for the start of the 2010 season. It is important to note that the overall dimensions of the Mets much-maligned new ballpark will stay the same.

Here are some numbers from 2009 regarding the Mets HR ineptitude and the overall HR production in Citi Field that might surprise you (courtesy of Rubin’s article).

  • The Mets hit a MLB low 95 homers last season. Their next closest “competitor” was the Giants with 122
  • Surprisingly, Citi Field yielded an average of 1.60 taters per game, more than five other NL ballparks
  • Visiting teams actually hit two more homers at Citi last season than they did at Shea Stadium in 2008

Obviously, this slight adjustment of the fence isn’t going to turn the Mets into the 1927 Yankees. The fact that other teams didn’t have a huge issue hitting balls out of the park last season points to the fact that the Mets just didn’t have enough home run hitters in their lineup in 2009. The team’s long ball numbers at Citi Field clearly would have been much higher with Carlos Beltran and Carlos Delgado in the lineup most of the season.

The guy I see obviously benefiting from this makeover the most will be David Wright. As we’ve sen over the past five years or so, Wright’s power stroke is to right-center field. When he is clicking on all cylinders, balls fly out to that portion of the park and with a shorter fence to deal with, I would expect his paltry 2009 HR total (10) to go up. I recall covering more than a game or two last year where Wright was robbed of a long ball because of that ridiculous fence. His postgame reactions were always stoic when asked about the dimensions of the park after one of those acts of Citi Field thievery, but you could just tell it was eating at him.

Now that the wall situation in CF has been addressed, it may be time for the Wilpons to address the fact that their team’s reputation as a competent organization is in shambles. I think we may have mentioned that fact a time or two in this space.