By Mike Steffanos
Note: This is the first of a series of articles on the current state of the Mets.
David Wright has 5 home runs in 327 AB. Of course, only 2 Mets have hit more this season -- the disabled Carlos Beltran and 40-year-old Gary Sheffield. Among all the theories on what has gone wrong for this team, there is a question as to whether the new ball park works for or against them.
I'm inclined to agree with Ralph Kiner's sentiments during Sunday's telecast that Citi Field isn't a huge park dimension-wise. Other than that somewhat gimmicky right-center field configuration, Citi Field's dimensions are fair to the hitter and pitcher.
It's been such an odd year with injuries and the cool, wet weather that it's impossible to say for certain exactly what Citi Field is. It decidedly is not yet another band box built by clubs looking to capitalize on the fan's love for the home run, but I don't think it's the place where home runs come to die, either. For the most part it's a fair park, but I think there needs to be some changes.
I understand the desire to have a pitcher's park, but I think the outrageously high fences in the power allies and that aforementioned death valley in right-center are a bit much. I suspect that certain things about this park will be tweaked over time, and those should be at the top of the list. They skew way too much in favor of the pitcher, and frankly come across as contrivances rather than quirks.
It's nice to have a park that your pitchers like to pitch in, but you don't want to alienate your hitters, either, and some of the Mets hitters seem psyched out. Of course, the good thing about erring too much in favor of the pitcher is that changes are easier to make. You don't have to worry about losing seats and such.
I don't love everything about Citi Field, but it's a nice place to see a game and, if they address the issues mentioned above, has the potential to be a fair park for all. I only wish some of the other problems of this franchise would prove to be so easy to fix.