Sluggers hoping that the dimensions at cavernous Citi Field will be more home run friendly in 2010 reportedly are going to be disappointed.
The New York Daily News, citing an unnamed source, reported Thursday that New York Mets general manager Omar Minaya and manager Jerry Manuel recommended no changes be made to Citi Field's dimensions for next season, and the team's owners, the Wilpon family, will abide by that request.
According to the hittrackeronline.com Web site, Citi Field averages 1.67 home runs per game, putting it 11th out of the 16 National League stadiums. Shea Stadium averaged 2.15 home runs per game in 2008.
The Mets, although depleted by injury, are last in the majors with a paltry 77 home runs. Third baseman David Wright, one of the few Mets players who has stayed relatively healthy this season, has just eight home runs (five at home). He averaged 29 per season from 2005 to 2008.
"I would say it's probably built the opposite than for me," Wright said, according to the Daily News. "I think one of my strengths is driving the ball to right field. I sometimes think I have to hit it twice to get it out there. It is what it is. It's not something I'm going to complain about or anybody else should complain about. It's the park and we have to adapt."
While Wright's old home -- Shea Stadium -- was 378 feet in right center, Citi Field ranges from 378 to 415 feet in that area.
Greg Rybarczyk, who runs the hittracker Web site, told the Daily News that Citi Field has deprived Wright of eight possible home runs.
Left center ranges from 364 to 384 feet, but also features a high wall that is 15 feet, 8½ inches tall.
"I don't even think they have to move the dimensions in," Mets right fielder Jeff Francoeur said, according to the Daily News. "In left field, it would be nice just to put a regular wall."
Francoeur said that Citi Field's deep dimensions also might be sapping the team's power on the road.
"Now you go on the road and you feel like, 'Shoot, I've got to get some home runs on the road,'" he said, according to the Daily News. "I wish we would have changed it, to be honest with you. I'm not saying we need to make it a hitters' park."
Manuel said that the Mets needed to see how Citi Field would play in its first season, and now they need to build a team whose style of play will fit their home park.
"We didn't know how the park would play," Manuel said, according to the Daily News. "It might look big but still could have possibly played small. Now that you see, you have to make a decision which way you're going. Are you going to try to go power, and not defense and speed and pitching?"