In an article originally read on www.espn.com, we learned about some changes happening over at PetCo Park in San Diego. The Padres have made plans to move in the right and left center field fences to make the ballpark more hitter friendly. Since the ballpark was built in 2004 in Downtown San Diego, the park has built a reputation as a “pitchers park” for its huge outfields.
In a quote taken from the article, Padres president and CEO Tom Garfinkel said, “We want the park to play the right away for players and for the fans. That was driven first by baseball operations in terms of the right way to construct the dimensions to make it more fair for players. Players know what’s fair and what’s not. When they crush a ball that would be out in 29 other parks, and it’s not out here, they know that it’s not fair. We wanted to make it more fair from that standpoint.”
Both the right-center and left-center field fences will be moved in about 10 ft from their current dimensions and the right field wall will be lowered to match the rest of the park. The visitors bullpen will also be moved from the right field foul to up above the Padres bullpen in left-center field to improve player safety.
“Our goal is to move Petco Park away from being the most extreme run suppressing ballpark in major league baseball,” said executive chairman Ron Fowler, part of the group that bought the Padres from John Moores in August. “After an extensive study, it became clear to all of us that some change was needed. Petco will still be a pitchers’ park; however, it will no longer be the outlier.”
The damp night air early in the season also affects fly balls.
General manager Josh Byrnes said moving in the fences is just one factor for a team that was fourth in the NL West at 76-86, 18 games behind San Francisco.