There's Less of Citi Field to Love This Year - NBC New York

There's Less of Citi Field to Love This Year

Will lower walls equal more home runs?



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    Perhaps a better view of the home run apple will make hitters want to see it more.

    Power was a problem for the Mets in 2009. Injuries robbed the lineup of several good hitters, David Wright stopped hitting the ball out of the park and the Home Run Apple proved to be about as useful as playoff tickets. How do the Mets address that problem? 

    According to Adam Rubin of the Daily News, they're lowering the wall right in front of the fruit from 16 feet to eight feet, which brings it in line with the rest of the center field fence. That should provide a better view of the apple on its trips to the surface, but there isn't much reason to believe that it will make those trips a lot more frequent.

    We're talking about an awfully small sliver of fence in the deepest part of the ballpark. At the highest point, right in front of the apple, the fence is 16 feet while the rest of the second level is two feet and change. Dropping it all to a uniform eight feet isn't going to turn Citi Field into a launching pad. That's not a spot regularly visited by hitters and there isn't anyone who watched Mets games who found themselves wondering why so many balls hit off the fence right in front of the apple.

    If this were a serious effort to jack up the number of home runs, lowering the fence in left field would make a lot more sense. The problem with that, though is that the Mets would likely start giving up more home runs as well. It would all be so easy if there weren't two teams playing in these games!

    The entire notion that Citi Field was to blame for the Mets' power outage, as opposed to a lineup short on home run hitters, is one that has a lot more basis in myth than in fact. The Mets hit 49 homers at home and hit 46 on the road. If they could bring a fence chopper with them on the road as well, well, then we'd be on to something.

    Alas, that's not likely to happen and the Mets are going to have to continue to rely on themselves for home runs in 2010.

    Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City and is a contributor to and in addition to his duties for