At the crux of the fence alterations is what it could mean to both David Wright and Jason Bay. Wright and Bay have seen their home run production arguably corrupted by the intimidating confines of Citi Field. That is one major reason management gave the O.K. to alter the fences for the 2012 season.
Some would argue that if Bay and Wright get back to what they did prior to having to hit at Citi Field than the Mets might just have a decent squad. Maybe those people have a point.
Prior to playing the majority of their games at Citi Field, Wright’s three-year average home run rate was 29.6 home runs a year, whereas Bay’s was 29.3 home runs a year. While both have battled injuries in the last two years, which of course plays a major factor, the two have combined to hit 61 home runs while playing together at Citi Field.
Now, the field dimensions aren’t exclusively to blame for Bay and Wright’s troubles. That would be a naive approach to look at things. A lot of other factors have gone into their respective swoons.
For Wright, it could be the beaning he took to the head from Matt Cain as the reason for his slide. For Bay, a concussion in 2010 and the high demands of playing in the New York market could explain some of his difficulties.
Nevertheless, with the fences under renovation, so might the careers of Bay and Wright.
If they can provide close to 30-home-run power than the Mets may just have enough offense to be taken seriously next year. Next year they’ll likely have Daniel Murphy and Ike Davis back and perhaps a return to form for Angel Pagan makes this team formidable. It could be wishful thinking. Mets’ fans have been burned before on waiting for stars to come back healthy and rejuvenated.
It’s a lot to hope for, but clearly the effect of hitting in Citi Field has been emotionally draining on Bay and Wright. The dimensions had to psychologically impact both. Why else take such drastic measures that are now being implemented? You could see the frustration on their face when they would wallop the ball only for it to be caught deep or hit high of the walls.
This could be a band aid approach to a much bigger problem, but if the new alterations can resuscitate the careers of Bay and Wright then this could lead to the team being more competitive. In turn, if the team could produce more offense as a result it could lead to more wins and that could mean more tickets sold etc. In this scenario everybody wins.
Sure, that’s an oversimplification of things. But for a team in need of a much needed injection of buzz and enthusiasm, the Mets shouldn’t rule anything out that could help the team in the long run.
If the Mets could also somehow get Jose Reyes to come back on board while getting Bay and Wright going, then suddenly the outlook for the Mets is not so bleak.
It’s a lot to hope for, but at this point the risk is worth the reward here