Originally posted on Larry Brown Sports  |  Last updated 10/2/12

The Mariners are planning to move in the fences at Safeco Field for the 2013 season to make it less of a pitcher’s park and more hitter-friendly.


Here are the changes they plan to make, according to the Seattle Times:


- The biggest change will be from left-center to straightaway center, where the wall will be moved in anywhere from four to 17 feet.


- From the left-field corner to the left-center power alley, the wall will come in four feet. Also, the hand-operated scoreboard that currently makes for a 16-foot-high wall to clear will be moved elsewhere, leaving the wall 8-feet-high.


- The distance to the left-center power alley will decrease from 390 to 378 feet.


- Straightaway center will decline from 405 to 401 feet.


- From straightaway center to the right-center power alley will change four feet from 385 to 381.


Safeco Field opened in July, 1999 as the Mariners’ new home ballpark. Unlike the Mariners’ previous home — the Kingdome — Safeco Field quickly gained a reputation as a pitcher’s park.


Safeco Field currently ranks last in ESPN’s Park Factor ratings which measures the stats of a team at home versus on the road to determine whether its home park favors hitters or pitchers. In every year ESPN has measured Park Factor since 2001, Safeco Field has rated as a pitcher’s park. Safeco Field’s Park Factor has never been higher than 18th in a season, according to ESPN’s stats. The Mariners ranked last in the AL in home runs from 2009-2011.


If you look at the splits for many current Mariners players, you’ll see that many of them have an OPS about 200 points higher on the road than at home. That’s just an absurd amount.


Safeco Field has long had a reputation for being such a pitcher’s park that they’ve had trouble attracting right-handed power hitters. Since the Mariners began playing full-time there in 2000, the highest home run total for one of their hitters is 41 by Alex Rodriguez in 2000. Rodriguez hit 13 of his home runs at home that season and 28 on the road. Adrian Beltre clubbed 48 home runs for the Dodgers in 2004 before signing with Seattle. He never topped 26 home runs in a season with the Mariners, but he’s hit at least 28 in every season since leaving Seattle.


Here’s a look at the home run totals for the player who led the Mariners each season since they moved into Safeco Field:



2000 – 41 A-Rod, 37 Edgar Martinez

2001 – 37 Bret Boone

2002 – 25 Bret Boone, Mike Cameron

2003 – 35 Bret Boone

2004 – 24 Bret Boone

2005 – 39 Richie Sexson

2006 – 34 Richie Sexson

2007 – 26 Adrian Beltre

2008 – 25 Adrian Beltre

2009 – 31 Russell Branyan

2010 – 15 Russell Branyan

2011 – 19 Miguel Olivo


About the only player whose power stats were not affected by the park were Richie Sexson’s, who was one of the biggest power hitters in baseball. For nearly everyone else, what would have been home runs elsewhere turned into fly ball outs. Doubles off the wall elsewhere became outs.


It’s awfully tough to win when your park is that big. The Mariners have finally learned that lesson and that is why they’re bringing in the fences. Hopefully that evens things out for their hitters.


For reference, here’s how Safeco Field’s current dimensions look:



Image via Baseball Field Dimensions

This article first appeared on Larry Brown Sports and was syndicated with permission.

MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Odell Beckham pretends to pee like a dog after scoring TD

Jerry Jones explains why he opposes national anthem protests

Marcus Cooper pulls a Leon Lett after blocked field goal

Jadeveon Clowney does the Gronk spike after defensive touchdown

LeGarrette Blount tramples Giants defenders on first-down run

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

WATCH: Whitney Mercilus sacks Tom Brady, Jadeveon Clowney recovers for TD

Aldon Smith reaches plea deal in DUI case, avoids jail time

WATCH: Duke Johnson scores on brilliant 19-yard run

He's back! Jamaal Charles scores first Broncos TD

LeSean McCoy stretched during national anthem

Patriots fans booed, yelled ‘stand up!’ at kneeling players

Sports & Politics Intersect: Mayor Garcetti rolls back the NFL red carpet

The 'Greatest Show temporarily not on turf' quiz

Separating MLS playoff contenders from pretenders

WNBA Finals preview: Lynx look for revenge against Sparks

The 'Chris Sale joins an elite club' quiz

Three Up, Three Down: The home runs just keep on coming

Building on the NFL's positive changes beyond 2017

NFL Week 3 predictions

The 'MLB is as powerful as ever' quiz

After a decade in the WNBA, MVP Sylvia Fowles is ready for the spotlight

College football 2017 Week 4 predictions

10 teams that can unseat the Warriors in 2018

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Yardbarker Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

Sports & Politics Intersect: Mayor Garcetti rolls back the NFL red carpet

The 'Greatest Show temporarily not on turf' quiz

Separating MLS playoff contenders from pretenders

WNBA Finals preview: Lynx look for revenge against Sparks

Three Up, Three Down: The home runs just keep on coming

The 'Chris Sale joins an elite club' quiz

Building on the NFL's positive changes beyond 2017

NFL Week 3 predictions

After a decade in the WNBA, MVP Sylvia Fowles is ready for the spotlight

The 'MLB is as powerful as ever' quiz

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker