Despite the team's 65-74 record, the decision by the New York Mets to move in the fences this season at Citi Field is being deemed a success -- and other teams may follow suit.
For Mets GM Sandy Alderson, moving in the fences was a matter of making the ballpark play fairer, not to give the Mets an advantage. And at the end of the day, it looks like that goal was met: at home the Mets hit 52 homers in 67 games, ranking 12th in the National League, while the team has hit 65 home runs in 72 road games, good for 11th in the NL.
"We wanted our ballpark to play more fair, and I think we accomplished that," Alderson told Newsday. "At the same time, the outcome was difficult to predict. Ultimately, this is not a science. There's more Kentucky windage in this than sabermetrics."
It's not unusual to see teams move in the fences; the Detroit Tigers moved in the fences at Comerica Park after the original dimensions proved unplayable, as did the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. There's been talk about a major realignment of the fences at Petco Park (where Alderson himself oversaw a slight reconfiguration), while Eric Wedge openly spoke about his desire to see the fences moved in at Safeco Field. And, of course, the Houston Astros are likely to move in the fences at Minute Maid Park for 2013. Less likely to move in the fences: the Miami Marlins and the Minnesota Twins.
Photo by Kwong Yee Cheng, via flicker.com.
RELATED STORIES: Wedge: Forget I said anthing about moving in the fences at Safeco Field; Wedge: Let's look at moving in Safeco Field fences; Marlins: No plans to move in ballpark fences; New fences at Citi Field not a factor -- yet; Padres looking at moving in Petco Park fences; Mets retooling: closer fences, more hospitality; Twins: We like Target Field fences where they are; It's official: Mets altering outfield fences for 2012; Mets already reconfiguring Citi Field: report; Mets considering offseason changes to Citi Field
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