Petco Park Led to Internal Scuffle
Reliever Mike Adams, tired of hearing hitters complain about the field’s considerable dimensions, lashed out in a postgame rant. According to multiple sources, Ryan Ludwick and Chase Headley were among the targets of the tirade, and a scuffle broke out.
We have talked about the issues that hitters have with Petco over the years, but this is a side that most fans are not able to see. The frustration that hitters face playing half a season in Petco National Park
A former member of the Padres’ front office says, “If you combine the marine layer with the dimensions of Yellowstone, you’ve got a problem. They can’t attract hitters to that park. Why would you want to go there, hit .240 with no bombs and kill your chances to get a big contract? I doubt an arbitration panel is savvy enough to take into account ballpark factors.”
Baseball is a numbers game for fans, and a business for the players. With the exception of Mark Loretta and Milton Bradley, Padres hitters have dramatic home/road splits which at the end of the day will effect future pay outs.
The problem is heightened by the Padres’ struggle to attract fans. Paying customers like to believe the home team has a chance to come back late in games, but Petco makes the prospect of the Padres — especially these light-hitting Padres — popping a three-run, late-inning long ball an illusion.
Oh, yes. The entertainment value for fans. This is what should get the attention of the bean counters. Fans are not the only ones that feel as though the game is lost if the Padres are down a few runs by the sixth inning. In the words of the great Yogi Berra –
“Baseball is 90% mental, the other half is physical.”
Additionally, fans love scoring and lead changes. Case in point, after the May 4th loss to the Marlins (9-8), Padres fans on twitter and facebook were vocal about how exciting the game was. I’m not asking for a ball park that gives us 17 runs a game, but a few lead changes and the feeling that a comeback is possible would be a big hit at the box office.
One last thing, although Alderson did move the fences in at Petco in 2005, the move was minor and hurt run production. It appears Alderson figured things out at Citi field. The article states that the changes Alderson made to Citi Field this season have netted eight additional homeruns in the 16 games played this season.