With the news that the Seattle Mariners will be moving in the fences at Safeco Field comes a new debate about whether or not the changing of dimensions will be a good idea. Some are in favor, while others think it's not necessary. Let's take a closer look.
Here's what we know from Jeff Sullivan's analysis over at Lookout Landing:
The foul lines are staying the same, and right field is staying the same. Elsewhere, the fences are being moved in a minimum of four feet and a maximum of 17 feet, and also the hand-operated scoreboard in left field will be relocated and thus will no longer be in play. So the fence height in left field will be dropped from 16 feet to eight feet, making it eight feet high all the way around. The big staggering difference is in the left-center power alley, which will no longer point at right-handed batters and make threats at them.
Although that doesn't seem too extreme, it's enough to make some pitchers and hitters take some different precautions/chances during the game, which can certainly affect the outcome. Some people will love it, some will hate it, but it's going to happen so you might as well get used to it.
Here is Sullivan again with the commentary:
I've been in favor of adjustments for some time, because I like the idea of a more neutral ballpark, and I like the idea of removing the dimensions as an excuse or frustrated talking point. People have been complaining about the deep fences for years and while the deep fences presumably haven't been the problem, as much as talent has been the problem, now people will have to talk about something else, unless the adjusted fences are still too deep.
For a team that hasn't been to the postseason in over a decade, it may be time to shake things up a bit at Safeco Field.