Safeco Field fences
Like many of you in the cold dreary Pacific Northwest my thoughts today drifted down to Peoria Arizona wondering what’s going on as the Seattle Mariners start camp for the 2013 season. There are quite a few questions lingering in the air this year as Eric Wedge tries to put together a starting lineup that will compete in the tough AL West.
One of the biggest questions on the minds of fans here in Seattle is which Justin Smoak will show up for 2013, will it be the Justin Smoak who looks slow and awkward, or will it be just the Justin Smoak that ended the 2012 campaign on a roll? Manager Eric Wedge said today: “Of course, playing against Morales, I know what he’s all about. Right here, sitting here today, we’re lined up where Smoak is going to get the bulk of the time at first base and Kendrys is going to get the bulk of the time DHing. But we’ve got enough flexibility and versatility where we can change off that if we need to.”
So it looks like first base is Justin Smaok’s to lose so to speak, and frankly I would love to see the kid finally break loose and hit 25 or 30 homers in 2013, if not Wedge has some options at first including Kendrys Morales or possibly Michael Morse or even Jesus Montero. Though the media and fans around Seattle like to refer to guys like Justin Smaok, Dustin Ackley, Kyle Seager and Michael Saunders as “Kids” the truth is it’s time to put up or shut up for these guys, especially Justin Smoak who came over in the Cliff Lee deal in 2010.
In other news apparently Kendrys Morales, Raul Ibanez, Jason Bay and Mike Morse put on quite a show at the batting cage on Sunday. If these four guys can produce like they are capable of, coupled with the fences at Safeco Field being moved in, we may just have something to cheer about in 2013 after all. Of course camp is just opening up and we have a long way to go before we get down to the 25 man opening day roster, I look for some surprises and wish I was down there again this year to see the players both young and old competing for jobs with the Seattle Mariners. In other news today :
PHOENIX — Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik said Monday he was engaged with a “good number” of teams about Mike Carp, the outfielder-first baseman designated for assignment last week, and was closing in on a trade.
“I would say there’s a good chance we get something done in the next 24-48 hours,” Zduriencik said
So there it stands as we speak, things are looking up and with the addition of the Houston Astros into the tough AL West I’m hoping we can at least stay out of the cellar, and if things come together right maybe even finishing the year with a .500 record. That’s not too much to ask for all of us long – suffering Mariners fans, stay tuned folks lots of baseball to come at Jeff’s Mariners Fan Blog “Where the fans call the plays” Go M’s! http://jeffsmariners.com
The Mariners lost to the Texas Rangers 3-1 tonight thanks in large part to a couple deep flys caught up against the wall in the early part of the game by Josh Hamilton that would have been home runs in most other Baalparks. The First one a deep blast to left-center by Casper Wells came with the bases juiced and would have changed the complexion of this game and Hector Noesi who pitched a great game would have probably gotten a win for his work tonight. We can go on forever about its a pitchers park and that is a good thing but I would ask ” Hows that been working out lately”? The answer is obvious as we suffer through another sub-500 rebuilding year and teams like Texas with a hitter friendly park march on to the playoffs again.
I am thinking that an easier fix may be to finally come to grips with this whole “Safeco is a pitchers park” concept which has proved to be a real bummer for the team and it’s fans over the years.
Therefore I would like to propose that we move in the fences before next season starts. As we all know Safeco Field is considered a pitcher-friendly ballpark. In addition to the heavy moisture laden air, the fences as you can see on the left are deep. In order to entice a real Power Hitter to come to play for the Mariners it may help if we make it a little easier to actually hit 30-40 homers here. I have done a little research into the official rules for Major League Baseball and found the following under rule 1.04 The Playing Field : a) Any Playing Field constructed by a professional club after June 1, 1958, shall provide a minimum distance of 325 feet from home base to the nearest fence, stand or other obstruction on the right and left field foul lines, and a minimum distance of 400 feet to the center field fence.
b) No existing playing field shall be remodeled after June 1, 1958, in such a manner as to reduce the distance from home base to the foul poles and to the center field fence below the minimum specified in paragraph (a) above.Major League Baseball Rules (2008)
So there you have it, we can indeed move in the fences as long as we follow the parameters contained in the above rules. I suggest we move dead-center into 400 feet and the left field foul pole into 325. This will enable the Mariners to take 8-10 feet out of the no-mans land in left center as well as moving in the fence in right center a little as well. The Mariners fans like fans everywhere love the home run, it is probably the most exciting aspect of the game of baseball. Yes I know bringing in the fences applies to both teams and the advantage is not strictly in favor of the home team, but the current mind-set of building a team around pitching and defense has proven to be a bust. Maybe I’m alone on this idea but I figure if we are going rebuild let’s do it right and start with the things we can control.
Now I’m sure Howard Lincoln and Chuck Armstrong will say it costs too much. My response is that this project will probably cost about half as much as we spent on Jack Cust‘s salary, if that. And since we most likely won’t be playing much ball in October, we could start drawing up the plans now and begin construction on September 29th. This article is a remake of a post I put up last season as I figured that a persistent push for a solution like this will have to come from us the fans rather from the Top brass, not that they listen to us much anyway…. http://jeffsmariners.com