Source: Citi Field changes on tap

Updated: October 21, 2011, 5:08 PM ET
By Adam Rubin | ESPNNewYork.com

Substantial dimension changes to Citi Field will be announced after the World Series, in an effort to make the 3-year-old ballpark more hitter-friendly, a team official confirmed.

Citi Field allowed 1.33 homers per game last season, which ranked 14th among 16 National League ballparks, ahead of only San Francisco's AT&T Park (1.00) and San Diego's Petco Park (1.23).

New York Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said last month that the intention was to make Citi Field more neutral -- not to tilt the balance in favor of hitters.

Alderson added at the time that offense sells. And the Mets need to fill seats, having experienced three straight seasons of declining attendance.

"We're not looking for an advantage with respect to home runs versus visitors' home runs," Alderson said last month. "At the same time, I think there is some sense that the park is a little more overwhelming to a team that spends half its time there as opposed to a team that comes in for three games and doesn't really have to alter an approach or think about it too much and leaves."

The 16-foot wall in left field will remain because it is structural, but a new 8-foot wall will be erected in front of it, a team source said.

The new left-field wall will not be constructed exactly parallel to the old wall. That would make it too close down the left-field line. Instead, a more modest reduction in depth will occur at the left-field foul pole, with a wider gap between the new and old walls in left-center.

Additional seating is expected to be added between the new and old walls, although there cannot be the same number of rows added throughout that area because of the different space between the walls in the corner versus in left-center.

In right field, where the "Mo's Zone" nook currently exists, the fencing will be moved closer to eradicate that crevice.

A dramatic change will occur in right-center, which had measured 415 feet from home plate. The new depth is expected to be 390 feet -- a 25-foot reduction. That should particularly benefit third baseman David Wright, whose natural power is to right-center.

Adam Rubin covers the Mets for ESPNNewYork.com.

Adam Rubin has covered the Mets since 2003. He's a graduate of Mepham High School on Long Island and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He joined ESPNNewYork after spending 10 years at the New York Daily News.
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