Imagine the excitement for the hitters on the San Diego Padres. Their offensive park is no longer a black hole. Their fly balls will no longer sail gloriously into the night, destined for greatness in the bleachers, only to fall victim to the thick air and vast outfield of Petco Park.
Mercifully for the Padres and the rest of the NL West, the fences will be moved in for the 2013 season.
The black fence is the construction fence…The concrete fence represents where the new wall will be… twitter.com/TomGarfinkel/s…
— Tom Garfinkel (@TomGarfinkel) January 3, 2013
From the Rockies perspective…think of all the laser fly balls with which Carlos Gonzalez has peppered the right field wall over the last number of years. Each non home run pushed him one step closer to his unfortunate home/road splits and the consequent reactions from various writers that he is not a real superstar. Every little bit helps, right?
Does this mean we can now get our hopes up when a Rockies hitter launches a shot into the outfield late in a game at the Padres? You know the situation. You know you have conditioned yourself to never get excited that a Rockies hitter might have tied the game with a heroic home run. You had seen too many fly balls die in that thick air and fall harmlessly into an outfielder’s glove. Can we unlearn that skepticism?
Adrian Gonzalez hit in the middle of the Padres lineup for five years. Here are his home run totals from the 2006 to the 2010 season: 24, 30, 36, 40 and 31. I don’t care how subtle the changes are to the fences; imagine what those home run totals would have looked like in this new version of the park.
Ultimately San Diego will still be a pitcher’s park. But to whatever degree it is more offensively friendly, it can only benefit the pitching starved Rockies as they try to play better baseball on the road.