The New York Mets are hoping that the principle of addition by subtraction will work wonders for the team’s win column.
The organization announced on October 31 that they are shrinking the dimensions of the field of play in Citi Field for the upcoming season. Portions of the outfield wall will be decreased by as much as 12 feet, and the height of the home run line will be dropped to eight feet from foul pole to foul pole.
Since Citi Field opened in 2009, the Mets have hit 331 home runs, leaving them in last place in Major League Baseball (MLB) in that category. During the same three-season stretch, they also rank last in home runs hit at home, with 162.
The team is last in home runs per fly ball percentage since 2009 as well, with 6.6 percent of fly balls leaving Citi and seven percent soaring over the fences on the road.
“We wanted to make Citi Field fair to both pitchers and hitters,” said Mets General Manager Sandy Alderson.
A new wall will be constructed in left field, beginning between the New Era and Caesars signs and angled towards the Citi sign in left-center field. The wall will be roughly four feet closer to home plate in left field and approximately 12 feet closer in deep left-center field.
A wall will also be erected in right-center field. It will extend towards the bullpen and be as much as 11 feet closer to home plate.
The fence in front of the Mo’s Zone and Modell’s Clubhouse will move forward by approximately 10 feet as well.
The measurements from home plate to center field and to both the left and right field foul poles will remain unaltered.
Along with the dimensional alterations, the aesthetics of the ballpark will also be updated.
The outfield wall will become blue for the 2012 season, in honor of the Mets’ 50th Anniversary.
A unique seating section will be installed in left field between the newly designed and existing walls, providing seats to 100 more fans.
The Modell’s Clubhouse, located in right field, will also be expanded to include an outdoor area consisting of roughly 40 additional seats.
“After conferring with Sandy and all members of his staff, ownership concurred with the recommendation to change the dimensions at Citi Field,” said Mets COO Jeff Wilpon. “We decided to change the outfield wall from black to Mets blue, which many of our fans have wanted.”