Welcome to New Jack Citi

By Rich MacLeod

Citi Field: Where home runs go to die. At least, that used to be the case. During this offseason the New York Mets finally decided to make a couple of big changes to their stadium and no, I’m not talking about the new blue walls. The dimensions of the stadium have been changed. The Great Wall of Flushing, also known as the 16 foot wall out in left, has been moved in and cut in half, the fence is moved closer in right center and the Mo Zone is no more.

You could see that in the first few seasons, this park really got in the heads of the Mets players. There are many times that I can remember when guys like David Wright and Jason Bay, who clearly struggled in this ballpark at times, would crush the ball and either hit it off the wall or, more often, make an out. Mets players have since admitted that it was discouraging when you know you hit a ball well and do not get rewarded for it. Yes, the Mets are and have always been built around their pitching but at the same time you want a ballpark that is going to play fair. Well, that’s what they have now. There have been 17 home runs this season that wouldn’t have gone out of the park in years past, 9 by the Mets, 8 by opponents.

Not only with the shortened fences affect the games that they play, they will inspire more confidence in Mets hitters who know that they don’t have to absolutely crush a ball just to get it over the fence. I think that’s all that anyone wants, a fair situation. That’s what the Mets have now. Welcome to New Jack Citi!

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