The Mets have announced that they will move the fences closer to home plate at Citi Field next year, hoping to address the greatest power outage since, well, the freak snowstorm knocked out much of the Tri-State area last weekend.
That’s good by most Met fans, I think, who envision greater productivity from the likes of David Wright and Jason Bay.
But I doubt the move is getting much support from Ralph Kiner, the former MLB slugger who’s been calling Mets games since the club was hatched.
We got to meet Kiner a few months back for a profile we did and, while sitting in the broadcast booth on a steamy August day, the topic of moving the fences closer came up.
“They’re so close it’s unbelievable,” said Ralph. “It’s ridiculous to say they’re too far back. They talk about big parks today, and it’s ridiculous.”
Kiner, who turned 89 last week, then described some of the large parks he hit in, such as Forbes Field and, of course, the Polo Grounds, where he mentioned short-hopping the fence 480 feet from the plate. Kiner was the premiere power hitter of his era, hitting 369 homers in just ten seasons.
Moaning about the Citi Field fences being too far back falls on deaf ears for Kiner.
“They get no sympathy from me,” he told me that day. “None.”