The entire time Petco Park has been opened, everyone has been griping about the fences. Originally the fences at Petco were far back and made it difficult to hit a homerun. Fans and owners alike enjoy getting upset that their favorite homerun hitter can’t get the ball over the wall like he normally would. This year however the San Diego Padres have brought those fences in quite a bit to help balls fly over the wall. What is the real reason they did it and is the move successful?
Okay well the main reason they moved the fences in is to put rear ends in the seats. When it comes down to it, people love to see the long ball. Whether that is the best way for their team to win games is irrelevant. They want to see homers, period. The Padres enjoy the idea of being able to hit homers easier more than anyone since they play 81 home games there. It makes sense on the surface. Sure, bring the fences in and hit more homers.
There is a problem or two however. First of all the Padres haven’t been scoring a lot of runs. What is the best way for a struggling team to score runs? Manufacturing runs is clearly the best way to build any offense up. So, what affect do the fences really have on the Padres? So far this season only three homers that have been hit wouldn’t have been homers before. It really doesn’t make much difference.
Worse than that, the difference it makes is more difficult on the Padres pitching. And they could use all the help they can get. Didn’t this Padres team compete at the end of last year, at least with other competing teams, with the old ballpark dimensions? Why bother with the fences? It makes it harder on the Padres hitters but it is more of a bonus for their pitchers than it is a irritant for their hitters. The effect is much greater on the opposing hitters that aren’t accustomed to it.
Blah, it doesn’t matter now anyway. They brought the fences in under pressure from fans and owners. The problem is that the vast majorities of those two sections of people root for and own other teams. Why oh why would the Padres want to help their opposition hit better? Whatever their reasoning, the fact that they are in last place with only 6 wins suggest the fences are a glaring success. Other teams find it even easier to beat the Padres now. Way to go.