Mariners to shrink Safeco Field dimensions in '13

BIV

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Mariners to shrink Safeco Field dimensions in '13

The fences at Safeco Field are coming in.
By TIM BOOTH
AP Sports Writer
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SEATTLE —
The fences at Safeco Field are coming in.
The Seattle Mariners announced plans Tuesday to move in the outfield fences at their ballpark for the 2013 season after years of debate on the impact that having one of the more spacious outfields in baseball was having on their offense.
The biggest change will come in the left-center field alley, where the fence will move in as much as 17 feet. The left-center power alley is currently 390 feet, but will be at 378 feet next season. From there, instead of a rounded fence, the wall will move straight out to its deepest point at 405 feet, four feet shorter than currently. The straighter line of the fence will lead to the 17-foot change.
Seattle general manager Jack Zduriencik said many factors were taken into account when determining whether changes to the field would be made, including Seattle's notoriously chilly April and May.
"Our goal was to create an environment that is fair for both hitters and pitchers," Zduriencik said in a statement. "Considering the current field dimensions as well as the climate in and around Safeco Field, we feel this will be accomplished with this new layout."
The left-field corner will also see a significant change with the removal of the hand-operated scoreboard that raised the fence to 16-feet. The fence height will now be a uniform 8-feet from one foul pole to the other and the hand-operated scoreboard will be relocated to a yet-to-be-determined location.
This is the first change to the dimensions of the ballpark since it opened in 1999. Hitters have long complained of the cavernous dimensions of the outfield and the numbers have shown Safeco Field to be one of the more unfriendly hitter parks in baseball. Pitchers love the vast outfield and fly ball pitchers - like current Mariners starter Jason Vargas - have thrived pitching in Seattle.
Since 2000, the first full season for Safeco Field, the Mariners have scored the fewest runs and have the lowest batting average at home of any team in the American League. They are fourth-worst in baseball in home runs in their home park, but have the second-best team ERA in the AL at home during that span.
http://seattletimes.com/html/localn...nersfences1stldwritethru.html?syndication=rss
 

Pigdango

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It did so much for the Mets this year
 

Lord Zero

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Why are baseball fields not a uniform size? How is that allowed in a professional sports league?
 

Konstantin K

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Those aren't sports, then. If there's no standard field size, then it's just a game.
NCAA hockey doesn't have uniform rink sizes. Some buildings have NHL dimensions and some have Olympic. The NHL didn't have same size rinks everywhere until the 90's.
 

Norm Stansfield

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#12
Other than football, is there any team sport that has exact field dimensions? And by sport, I mean something that involves the practitioners going outside.
 

Stormrider666

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#13
Why are baseball fields not a uniform size? How is that allowed in a professional sports league?
Its only the outfield that varies in size. The infield dimensions are the same.

Those aren't sports, then. If there's no standard field size, then it's just a game.
From wikipedia:

Sport (or, in the United States, sports) is all forms of competitive physical activity which,[1] through casual or organised participation, aim to use, maintain or improve physical ability and provide entertainment to participants.[2] Hundreds of sports exist, from those requiring only two participants, through to those with hundreds of simultaneous participants, either in teams or competing as individuals.

Nowhere in that definition do I see anything about the requirement for a standard field.
 

Lord Zero

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Its only the outfield that varies in size. The infield dimensions are the same.
No one gets a home run by hitting the ball into the infield.
From wikipedia:

Sport (or, in the United States, sports) is all forms of competitive physical activity which,[1] through casual or organised participation, aim to use, maintain or improve physical ability and provide entertainment to participants.[2] Hundreds of sports exist, from those requiring only two participants, through to those with hundreds of simultaneous participants, either in teams or competing as individuals.

Nowhere in that definition do I see anything about the requirement for a standard field.
By that definition, Twister is a sport.
 

Stormrider666

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#15
No one gets a home run by hitting the ball into the infield.

By that definition, Twister is a sport.

Yes certain stadiums are known as "pitcher's ballparks" because they're harder to hit homeruns out of. Its called having a home field advantage and there is nothing wrong with that. The home team just has to make sure that along with great pitching and defense, they're able to score runs through other means.

On the flip side, there are ballparks that are tailored to give the hitter the advantage. The first Yankee Stadium wasn't known as the "House that Ruth Built" for nothing.

Finally, starting in 1992 with Camden Yards, ballparks have become more "fan friendly" to give them a more enjoyable experience when going to the game.

As for the "sports" definition, there's also this:

The precise definition of what separates a sport from other leisure activities varies between sources, with no universally agreed definition. The closest to an international agreement on a definition is provided by SportAccord, which is the association for all the largest international sports federations (including association football, athletics, cycling, tennis, equestrian sports and more), and is therefore the de facto representative of international sport.
SportAccord uses the following criteria, determining that a sport should:[1]
  • have an element of competition
  • be in no way harmful to any living creature
  • not rely on equipment provided by a single supplier (excluding proprietary games such as arena football)
  • not rely on any 'luck' element specifically designed in to the sport
They also recognise that sport can be primarily physical (such as rugby or athletics), primarily mind (such as chess or go), predominantly motorised (such as Formula 1 or powerboating), primarily co-ordination (such as billiard sports) or primarily animal supported (such as equestrian sport).[1]
There has been an increase in the application of the term 'sport' to a wider set of non-physical challenges such as electronic sports, especially due to the large scale of participation and organised competition, but these are not widely recognised by mainstream sports organisations.
 

Lord Zero

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Yes certain stadiums are known as "pitcher's ballparks" because they're harder to hit homeruns out of. Its called having a home field advantage and there is nothing wrong with that.
Other than the fact that it's cheating.

By the way, the sport/game line was mostly a joke.
 

Konstantin K

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#17
How is it cheating if both teams are playing on the same field?
 

Norm Stansfield

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#19
How is it cheating if both teams are playing on the same field?
Let's say I invent a sport in which I get to decide the rules 5 minutes before the match (i.e. I use one on one basketball rules, but depending on whether I'm playing a taller guy or a shorter guy I place the hoop either 1 foot or 7.5 feet off the ground.

Would you say that's a fair sport?

In fact, I have an even better idea: if I'm playing some nerd I'll pick basketball rules, but if I'm playing Kobe Bryant, I'll pick chess rules, etc. etc. I think I could become world champion at this sport.
 

Konstantin K

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Let's say I invent a sport in which I get to decide the rules 5 minutes before the match (i.e. I use one on one basketball rules, but depending on whether I'm playing a taller guy or a shorter guy I place the hoop either 1 foot or 7.5 feet off the ground.

Would you say that's a fair sport?

In fact, I have an even better idea: if I'm playing some nerd I'll pick basketball rules, but if I'm playing Kobe Bryant, I'll pick chess rules, etc. etc. I think I could become world champion at this sport.
If they were moving the fences after every series then you might have a point. The visiting team knows the dimensions of the park, they're perfectly free to put more right handed power hitters in their lineup. Seattle is hurting their pitchers as much as they're helping their hitters in this case.
 

Norm Stansfield

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#21
If they were moving the fences after every series then you might have a point. The visiting team knows the dimensions of the park, they're perfectly free to put more right handed power hitters in their lineup. Seattle is hurting their pitchers as much as they're helping their hitters in this case.
So you don't agree that changing the dimensions of the park can give a team a home field advantage?
 

Stormrider666

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Mar 19, 2005
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#22
So you don't agree that changing the dimensions of the park can give a team a home field advantage?
Of course its a home field advantage. But like I said before, there's nothing wrong with that.

The Mariners have one of the best pitchers in baseball in his prime and they're constantly a below .500 team because of a shitty offense. They're basically doing whatever it takes to make him happy so he doesn't he get pissed and request a trade.

Of course, now the opposition will be able to hit more homeruns out of Safeco as well. So its up to King Felix and the rest of the pitching staff to make sure that doesn't happen.
 

Lord Zero

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#23
The Mariners have one of the best pitchers in baseball in his prime and they're constantly a below .500 team because of a shitty offense. They're basically doing whatever it takes to make him happy so he doesn't he get pissed and request a trade.
They're changing the dimensions of the playing field to placate a single player? How is that normal or okay?
 

Stormrider666

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#24
They're changing the dimensions of the playing field to placate a single player? How is that normal or okay?
That's pure speculation on my part. But when that single player is one of the few things you got going for you, I can see why they would want to move the fences in. Which they hope will have a trickle down effect on the whole team. The Mariners will be able to score more runs, which hopefully leads to more wins, which will hopefully lead to more people in the ballpark.

There is also the endgame of trying to get into the playoffs.
 

Ballbuster1

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#25
Yeah, there's more to it then just making 1 player happy.
Some of these parks just are too big. The home run numbers
drop and players aren't happy about that. (except pitchers)

Plus it makes for more exciting play for the fans.
I hated baseball at Veterans Stadium. It was a huge tidy bowl
that was both a football and baseball stadium. Way too big
for baseball. CBP in Philly is now a great place to see games.

I got to about twice as many games since they built the new
stadium and made it more hitter friendly.