As the Giants get ready to hand the house keys over to the Cal football team following this afternoon’s season finale, there’s a goofy idea floating around AT&T Park that the dethroned World Series champs should consider a stadium reconfiguration to boost their anemic power numbers.
Prompted in part by a recent announcement that the Mets are planning to move in the fences at Citi Field in 2012, some baseball insiders are speculating the Giants will also make their waterfront park more homer-friendly.
Stop right there. The pathetic Mets are shrinking their field mainly because the cross-town rival Yankees are pummeling them at the plate and the gate in their new ballpark.
Besides, Citi Field is just another cookie-cutter ballpark. San Francisco’s waterfront park is a work of art. Nobody chips away at Michelangelo’s “David” and nobody should materially change the look of the Giants’ jewel of a stadium. Messing with an artistic or architectural masterpiece is heresy.
Sure, 421 feet in the deepest part of the park is unreachable for most hitters. But Mark DeRosa’s suggestion to build a fence in front of the right center field wall because, “410-foot fly ball outs are a shot to your ego” is a weak complaint.
Not only is Triples Alley a part of AT&T Park’s quirky charm and appeal, the imposing outfield dimensions are a major reason why the Giants 2.76 ERA at home is the lowest in baseball.
Admittedly, the Giants are also last in the majors with only 42 homers at their home park, but that’s more a function of being a power-challenged team. Last year, when the Giants hit 75 home runs at home and won it all, nobody said a thing about the fences being too far away.
Besides, when your best players are named Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain, Madison Bumgarner and Brian Wilson, it may be a good idea to keep the aces happy and find a couple of hitters who can reach the seats without turning your beloved yard into Sim City.
KGO (810 AM) Sports Director Rich Walcoff can be heard weekdays from 5 to 9 a.m. on the KGO morning news. He can be reached at RichWalcoff@gmail.com.