Other Side Of The City; Other Side of The Spectrum

Justin June 27, 2009 0

The baseball press has been all atwitter this season trying to figure out why so many homeruns are being hit at the new Yankee Stadium. Is it the wind? Is it the wall? Is it the steroids? Is it making a mockery of the game?

Meantime, across town,  another new ballpark is changing the way the game is being played, and no one is saying a word. Shea Stadium was a pitcher’s park. Citifield is a National Park.

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The Mets top homerun hitter this year is Gary Sheffield. He has 9. That’s good for 40th in the National League.  He also has the most homers at Citi, with 5. In fact, there have been just 59 homeruns hit in Queens so far this year.

But the main evidence comes in the form of David Wright who has hit 27,26,30, and 33 homeruns over the past four seasons. This year, he has four. No one has lost more round trippers than the All Star third baseman, who regularly hits laser shots into the outfield power alleys, only to have them caught on the warning track.

There are obviously some extenuating circumstances. If a traditional power hitter like Carlos Delgado were playing, perhaps he would be having more success clearing the fences than his replacements in the lineup. If Wright wasn’t the only offensive threat taking the field for the amazins for most games, perhaps he would be swinging for the fences more often.

But that does not change the fact that it is exceedingly difficult for players to hit home runs at Citifield.

Is it good for the game? Probably no better or worse than Yankee Stadium’s inflated home run numbers. But, for whatever reason, the issue hasn’t gotten any coverage.

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