Mets say lowering CF wall not for more HRs

A view of Citi Field and the scoreboard A view of Citi Field and the scoreboard from the Pepsi Porch in right field. Photo Credit: Newsday / Audrey C. Tiernan

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Despite their efforts to boost home-run production, which led to the signing of Jason Bay, the Mets insist that lowering the centerfield wall is not part of that strategy. The team confirmed Tuesday that it will slice the 16-foot-high wall in half to make it uniform with the stretch of 8-foot fence that runs along the outfield border.

Sensitive to the perception of their second-year ballpark, the Mets claimed that the cosmetic change will be done for "aesthetic purposes" and not to make up for a lack of homers. Citi Field averaged 1.60 home runs per game and five stadiums hosted fewer long balls: San Diego's Petco Park, San Francisco's AT&T Park, Dodger Stadium, Atlanta's Turner Field and St. Louis' Busch Stadium.

David Wright hit five of his 10 homers at Citi Field and the Mets totaled only 49 there. They had the fewest home runs in the majors with 95, but that had more to do with injuries.

Even with the cutout removed in front of the Home Run Apple, that section of wall remains 408 feet from the plate, and few balls traveled that far last season. Still, Wright was robbed of home runs a few times by the extra-high fence.

Trimming the height of the centerfield wall is one of a number of changes at Citi Field for its second season. The much-anticipated Hall of Fame is under construction where the team store used to be located and the Mets also are remodeling the bullpens to enable opposing teams to have an unobstructed view of the playing field.

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