Hello! It is a week into the 2015 season, yesterday I posted my first homerun tracking with the new 2015 fences. The layout and design for this year is not yet set in stone, and if you have recommendations for changes to make it easier to read and understand, please feel free to message me.
But! In the spirit of the new changes, and to show my dedication to these Citi Field wall changing shenanigans dates back further than you might be comfortable recognizing, I have dug up an old clip I made regarding the issue. Back in 2011, when they first announced the walls were going to change, but had not yet announced how, I built a few 3d models of the stadium, using my complete lack of 3d modeling talent, and threw a few ideas against the wall. I uploaded flybys to youtube, and although a few of them were pretty primitive, this one, I think, is pretty neat to look at in retrospect.
First off, let me note the current dimensions for Citi Field, including the most recent changes to the fences:
Left Field Line: 335
Left Field: 358
Left Center: 370
Right Center: 380
Right Field: 370
Right Field Line: 330
Now, look at that video above, if you haven’t already, regarding my, perhaps radical, idea to move Home Plate forward 15 feet. Dimensions:
Left Field Line: 328
Left Field: 351
Left Center: 362
Right Center: 399
Right Field: 360
Right Field Line: 321
Few things to note, the distance to left field and left center, although slightly shorter, are compensated by having walls just under 16 feet tall. If the saying is true, that 10 feet of extra wall equal 10 feet of extra travel distance, then having a wall 8 feet taller would add about 8 feet of equivalent distance. So that 551 turns to 559, and 362 turns to 370. And, hey, the current dimensions are 358 and 370! Pretty similar in left field, huh?
In Center field you see 393, but with the same 16 foot fence. So that 393 is more like 401, quite a bit shorter than the 408. But that is made up for in right center, where you have 399, the deepest part of the ballpark. But is 399 (~401 after fence difference) really so bad for the deepest part of the ballpark? Hm.
Moving on, you have a shorter right field, 360 with standard 8 foot wall. Significant drop from the 370 you see today. Then you have the Mo’s Zone at full height, but reduced to 360 feet. That’s a 16 foot wall again, so maybe it is more like 368.
The foul lines are pretty short, but all in all, not too bad. Would moving home plate have been a decent solution to the wall problem? Lets ignore whatever structural problems there may be with moving the plate. I don’t know anything about drainage and all that, lets just pretend none of that is an issue.
Benefits to moving the plate:
You end up with fences approximating the final (or at least current) dimensions in one step.
You keep the character of having oddly shaped walls, weird angles, et cetera.
You increase the foul territory, compensating pitchers for reduced dimensions.
You can add premium seating behind homeplate rather than nonpremium seating in the outfield.
Cons to moving the plate:
You maintain a very deep right center field, at 401 equivalent feet.
You keep some of the weird quirks of tall walls in the power allies.
It might be difficult to work through the logistics of moving the entire infield and foul poles.
Obviously, this is all retrospective analysis about something that did not happen, and never will happen. But, hey, that’s pretty much what baseball is, right? Talking about what might have been or what could be. Every once in a while it is fun to pull out something, dust it off, and see if it had merit given the benefit of all our new experiences and perspective. If you find this interesting, here is another one of those videos: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lkMROwYvstQ