The San Diego Padres’ home field, Petco Park is known as a pitchers park. But when you look at the current dimensions, it’s a bit extreme. The Padres offense had been punchless the past few years and management feels that it’s almost a competitive disadvantage to play there.
So management has tinkered with the thought of moving the fences in.
“We’re open-minded and we’re seriously considering it,” Padres interim CEO Tom Garfinkel said Tuesday.
“I do believe it is too extreme right now. It will still be a pitcher’s ballpark. But a hitter should be rewarded if he crushes it. And if a team is down 4-0, they should feel there is some hope. It’s just too extreme.”
Translation: It shouldn’t be so difficult to come from behind since we don’t have to much going for us offensively.
The decision has to be made by the end of the season and the team’s plans have to be submitted to MLB.
“We’d have to submit plans by the end of the season,” said Garfinkel, who said the Padres have not decided on the distance that the fences would be shortened.
“I don’t think a final decision needs to be made until October,” said Garfinkel.
Garfinkel knows that shorter fences would mean more excitement, more ticket sales, and higher television ratings, even though what he says speaks to the welfare of both teams.
“We have to get it right. We are studying everything. There are still going to be some nights when the conditions would still be such that it’s going to be hard to hit a homer no matter what the distance is to the fences.
“But a solidly hit ball should be rewarded. Baseball is a match between the pitcher and the hitter. We’ve seen a number of times here where the hitter wins that battle and gets nothing to show for it.
“It should play fair. Four runs should not be an impossible deficit to overcome.”
Garfinkel is probably tired of seeing long fly balls by the home team come up short. I look for the Padres to go ahead and move the fences in but I don’t know how much it’s going to help their team.