By MARCUS HAYES mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:Team sources have indicated that the Phillies will decide within the next 2 weeks on whether, and then by how much, they should move their short fences back - one, two or three rows.
The club has taken harsh criticism by many of the league's top pitchers, such as the Braves' John Smoltz, for Citizens Bank Park's tight dimensions, especially in the power alleys, which are about 350 feet from home plate.
A resolution in the next couple of weeks would mean free-agent pitchers might be more likely to sign with the Phillies - and, more practically, it would mean the Phillies would know how many seats they have to sell when they begin hawking season tickets.
I doubt it will affect the guys who can actually hit for power. Moving the walls back a few rows in Citizens isn't going to make it a pitchers park but hopefully it will cut back on some of those pop-up homers.
Maine has a good swing for a pitcher but on anything that moves, he has no chance. And if it's a fastball, it has to be up in the zone. Basically, the pitcher has to hit his bat. - Mike Pelfrey
bronxxbomber wrote:it'll always help pitchers when fences are moved back, but i doubt it'll effect abreu, burrell, howard, thome or utley who don't hit many cheapos anyway.
I think it's always dangerous to assume how a ballpark change will change play. People always assume Camden Yards is a good offensive park because it's a good homer park. But, it's not. Moving the fences may reduce homers, but it also means more area in the OF for fielders to patrol. That can mean more singles, doubles, and triples, and that can mean more runs.
Phlly Paper wrote:Phillies president David Montgomery yesterday confirmed that the team will remove seats and move back the controversially short leftfield porch at Citizens Bank Park, where the power alley is less than 350 feet.
In particular, the flower containers atop the leftfield wall, where shortish fly balls were deposited like fertilizer, developed a stigma of being unfair. It might have hurt the club's attempt to attract pitching during last year's free-agency period. Such noted pitchers as John Smoltz and Curt Schilling criticized the dimensions this season, though home runs were down over last season.
Then again, Phillies slugger Jim Thome was injured most of the season and Mike Lieberthal and David Bell had off years.
"We have spent a good bit of time trying to understand how our ballpark's playing and why," Montgomery said. "We wanted to get through Year 2. We've identified there are some things we can do on the leftfield side. We have not made specific decisions on what we will do. It would be more, we hope to end up with a fair ballpark."
A plan was floated about putting up a screen where the park is least fair, but removing seats seems more likely.
"We have indeed decided there is some remedial action we can take," Montgomery said. "It involves adjusting fences."