By John Boyle
It’s no secret that Safeco Field has long been a tough place for batters, and this year more than ever, there has been debate about moving the fences in to make the park a bit more hitter friendly. Well, on Tuesday the Mariners announced that, after much deliberation and analysis, they plan to do just that beginning next season.
“Our goal was to create an environment that is fair for both hitters and pitchers,” general manager Jack Zduriencik said in a press release. “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 biggest change will be in left-center field, where the wall will be as much as 17 feet closer to home plate. Also of note, the hand-operated scoreboard will be moved to an out-of-play location in left field, meaning the portion of the wall that’s currently 16 feet high will be eight feet, which is the existing height of the wall everywhere else.
Here are the new dimensions from the press release:
The distance down the left-field foul line remains the same at 331-feet.
Instead of jutting out quickly to 341-feet, the wall will jut out to 337-feet.
From the left field corner to the left field power alley, the wall will be moved in four feet.
The distance at the leftfield power alley will decrease from 390-feet to 378-feet.
From left center to straightaway center field, the distance the wall will be moved in will vary from four feet to a maximum of 17 feet. At straightaway center field, the distance will decrease from 405 feet to 401 feet.
From straightaway center to the right-center power alley, the wall will move in four feet. The distance at the power alley will decrease from 385 feet to 381 feet.
From the right-field power alley to the right-field line, the dimensions remain the same.