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Thread: Bring in the fences?

  1. #1
    Owner All-Star Parker Hageman's Avatar
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    Bring in the fences?

    If the Twins ever do decide to move the fences in at Target Field, they’ll join two other teams to contemplate the shift to improve offensive output. The season began with the Mets altering their fences in order to attempt to inflate their scoring at home. Now, both the Padres and the Mariners are weighing the pros and cons.

    The Seattle Mariners, whose lack of home run power appears to derive from the quality of personnel just as much as the home confines, are bandying the idea around this season. Per Larry Stone of the Seattle Times:

    The question of whether the Mariners should move the fences in at Safeco Field is again a hot topic, and Wedge was asked about it before the game.

    "Like I've always said, Jack (Zduriencik) and I talk every day. Jack talks to the powers that be on a daily basis. When the season's all said and done, we're going to evaluate everything. I mean, everything. Both on and off the field, both in regard to the field or anything else regarding that. I'll leave it at that.

    "The longer I'm here — nothing's going to happen this season, that's obvious — but it does allow me to give it another four months to take a peek at it, too. I have my thoughts, of which I will not let you in on. Safe to say we will evaluate everything when the season's done."
    Last month, the San Diego Padres, who have hit 166 home runs at home from 2009 through 2011 (in comparison, Toronto hit 146 at home in 2010 alone), acknowledged that they will be making a strong consideration to move their fences in at Petco Park:

    “We’re open-minded and we’re seriously considering it,” Padres interim CEO Tom Garfinkel said Tuesday.

    “I do believe it is too extreme right now. It will still be a pitcher’s ballpark. But a hitter should be rewarded if he crushes it. And if a team is down 4-0, they should feel there is some hope. It’s just too extreme.”
    This comes on the heels of the New York Mets’ decision to alter Citi Field’s dimensions this past offseason:

    Dave Howard, the Mets’ vice president of business operations, talked about the changes.

    “We are bringing the wall in and lowering the height to eight feet from foul pole to foul pole with the intention of making the ballpark play more fair, more neutral,” he said. “Certainly we know that David Wright and Ike Davis and Jason Bay and Lucas Duda and the rest of our position players are excited about it. We think our fans are very excited about it, and we are looking forward to seeing how the field plays starting [tomorrow].”

    The new dimensions in the outfield are 358 feet in left field (down from 371 feet last year), 398 in center field (previously 408) and 375 in right field (previously 378). The walls from last year — including the 16-foot high one in dead center field — will remain in their same positions, but the new, eight-foot wall will be placed in front of them, slashing the dimensions as well as making home runs more frequent since anything that clears that first wall will now be a home run.
    How has the new configuration fared in Flushings? So far, the returns have not been that favorable as the Mets have hit just 8 home runs at Citi Field, the second-lowest home total in baseball. Clearly, simply moving the fences in is not a cure all for offensive woes.

    So the Twins wouldn’t be alone in bringing the fences in. However, as we see with the Mets, just moving the fences in is not necessary a boost to the bats.
    Last edited by Parker Hageman; 05-24-2012 at 01:52 PM.

  2. #2
    It sounds like this could become an issue in Miami, too (if you ask Giancarlo Stanton, anyway). Way to early to tell there, though, because it's going to get pretty warm there this summer and the ball should start flying a little better.
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  3. #3
    Twins Moderator MVP ashburyjohn's Avatar
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    I'm not sure if Target Field is way out of the norm for the rest of the league. While I don't like cookie-cutter stadiums, I fear that a too-unique stadium tempts the team to acquire players that "fit" it, and to me this risks being uncompetitive at playoff time if it lowers the odds of winning at the away-field. There's a balance that can be aimed for. So, if the changes are intended to reduce some kind of unfairness versus most parks, I'm in favor, but if for instance we're just moving in the fences to make for more offense in general, I don't see the point.

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    I'm not advocating changing the dimensions. I kind of like the status quo. The current dimensions do not seem to affect the competition too much. However, if it were done, I would suggest moving home plate out rather than putting up new fences in the outfield. Those temporary fences look ridiculous and Target Field currently has really small foul-territory. It would probably mess up sight lines though. I guess I'm back to rejecting the idea. Never mind.

  5. #5
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    Not a fan. Draft, develop, and sign better hitters. Oh, you could paint a line on the RF wall to turn some doubles into HR, I guess.....
    Lighten up Francis....

  6. #6
    Senior Member All-Star Boom Boom's Avatar
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    I think the Twins lack of power has more to do with the team they've assembled than the ballpark.

  7. #7
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    Target field is fine as is. It is below average for HRs but above average for doubles & triples, and just about average in overall run scoring. If you start bringing in the walls, it could get crazy really quick. Park factors are more than HR rates. Target field is close enough to average scoring. There are probably ten stadiums that suppress run scoring more.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by mike wants wins View Post
    Not a fan. Draft, develop, and sign better hitters. Oh, you could paint a line on the RF wall to turn some doubles into HR, I guess.....
    Bravo! on Part One! Uggghhhh on Part Deux, there's something satisfying about a homerun actually leaving the field of play.

    To keep the park's aesthetics, I would advocate extending the RF "overhang" out to right center. This would give the Twins another 1000 or so quality seats and reward a hitter for crushing a ball to the power alley, w/o making it a pitcher's nightmare like Yankee Stadium.

    One more point, bring back the trees, the numbers tell us that Twins hitters hit for higher average and more power with them in 2010, plus it gives them a CF background home field advantage combined with a more beautiful park.

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    Was not serious about the line on the wall...
    Lighten up Francis....

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    Senior Member All-Star IdahoPilgrim's Avatar
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    I don't think the problem is the Twins ballpark being too much a pitchers park. It's just that we don't have a good enough lineup. Other teams hit here just fine.

    Oh, and if this was such a pitchers park, what does that say about our pitching, with a rotation as bad as it is...

  11. #11
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    The "other teams don't have any trouble at Target Field" meme is extremely simple-minded, lazy, and mostly just wrong. Other teams have out-hit the Twins at Target Field about the same as they have on the road.

  12. #12
    Twins Moderator MVP USAFChief's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CDog View Post
    The "other teams don't have any trouble at Target Field" meme is extremely simple-minded, lazy, and mostly just wrong. Other teams have out-hit the Twins at Target Field about the same as they have on the road.
    Speaking of lazy, simple minded analysis, wouldn't the above prove the point that it's not Target Field that is the problem, it's the Twins punchless lineup?
    Last edited by USAFChief; 05-24-2012 at 02:58 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by USAFChief View Post
    Speaking of lazy, simple minded analysis, wouldn't the above prove the point that it's not Target Field that is the problem, it's the Twins punchless lineup?
    Nope. But I'm not surprised you missed that. (Worth noting that I wasn't planning the second sentence, but there is a minimum number of characters, and that was the truest and most applicable I could come up with.)

  14. #14
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    Whether Target Field plays fair or not for hitters doesn't change the fact that the perception is that it is a pitchers park. Seeing as Jason Kubel was interested in leaving last year due to his view that it was a difficult park to hit the ball out of, the Twins may have a difficult time recruiting and keeping sluggers who have the same feelings about it.

  15. #15
    Twins Moderator MVP USAFChief's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CDog View Post
    Nope. But I'm not surprised you missed that. (Worth noting that I wasn't planning the second sentence, but there is a minimum number of characters, and that was the truest and most applicable I could come up with.)
    So the Twins are outhit on the road at roughly the same rate as at TF--your claim not mine--but TF is the problem?

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by mike wants wins View Post
    Was not serious about the line on the wall...
    LOL, I was kind of hoping you were. Just the thought of them drawing a line from center all the way over to right field is halarious.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by USAFChief View Post
    So the Twins are outhit on the road at roughly the same rate as at TF--your claim not mine--but TF is the problem?
    I thought I could give you a mulligan and you could get there on your own. Apparently not. I'll hold your hand...

    On the road, team A hits 500 home runs and gives up 600. In the same number of games at home, they hit 5 and give up 6. Clearly the home park isn't harder to hit home runs in because "other teams don't seem to have trouble hitting home runs there." Right?

    And I never said Target Field was a problem.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Double-A SirLoin's Avatar
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    From a power hitting perspective, haven't the dimensions of Target Field only affected Joe Mauer? Morneau hasn't played a full season at Target Field, so there's no way to really tell if the dimensions have really made a difference. Willingham seems to do ok with the dimensions, and Dozier managed to hit one into the upper deck so at least left field isn't an issue. And considering the dent that Thome put in the right field flag pole, the right field dimensions aren't really an issue either. Maybe certain hitters on the team just like to make excuses for their lack of production as it relates to the size of their contract.....dimensions, pine trees, wind vortexes.... Maybe a better approach would be to work on adjusting your game if you want better power numbers. Speaking of the pine trees, can't we do something with CF? Taking out the trees really took some character out of the stadium. The whole "batter's eye" argument is a load of BS. You can't tell me this doesn't have an impact on the so-called batter's eye........

  19. #19
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    If only the Twins could face their own starting pitchers....

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by mike wants wins View Post
    Was not serious about the line on the wall...
    How about bringing back the baggie? Anyone want the baggie in RF?

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