The Mets' franchise legacy has been built upon strong pitching, and they'll need to continue to focus on that aspect of their team-building to be successful in their new home in the future.
Citing a team source, the New York Daily News reported Thursday that the Mets plan to keep Citi Field at its current pitcher-friendly dimensions for the 2010 season upon the recommendations of general manager Omar Minaya and manager Jerry Manuel.
"We're going to try to build a team with speed and defense and pitching," Manuel told the newspaper. "I think that fits that style."
There have been 1.67 home runs per game hit at Citi Field thus far this season, which ranks 11th out of 16 National League parks, and 25th out of 30 parks overall in the big leagues, according to the Web site HitTrackeronline.com. By contrast, there have been 3.09 home runs per game hit at the New Yankee Stadium. Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia leads all NL parks with an average of 2.74 home runs per game.
Shea Stadium yielded an average of 2.15 home runs per game in its final season, which ranked sixth in the NL. Greg Rybarczyk, a former nuclear engineer who runs HitTrackeronline.com, told the Daily News that 38 additional home runs would have been hit at Citi Field this season if it had the same dimensions as Shea Stadium.
Shea Stadium's final configuration was 338 feet to the foul poles, 371 feet to left-center, 378 feet to right-center and 410 feet to center. Citi Field is 335 to left field, 379 feet to left-center, 408 feet to center, 383 feet to right-center and 330 feet to right. The height of the outfield fence at Citi Field ranges from eight feet to 18 feet, 6.5 inches, as compared to the eight-foot high fence at Shea Stadium.
"We didn't know how the park would play," Manuel said. "It might look big but still could have possibly played small. Now that you see, you have to make a decision which way you're going."
Ed Eagle is a reporter and producer for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.