Reds: GABP dimensions
MLB.com's Mark Sheldon wrote about the dimensions of GABP and how they are so hitter-friendly.
It got me thinking about this piece I wrote below a couple of years ago. Isn't it time the Reds attempt to alter the dimensions of GABP?
Let's not forget GABP was built with visions of Ken Griffey Jr and Adam Dunn cannon shots dancing in the heads of GM Jim Bowden, ownership and architects. Boom! Mission accomplished. GABP is a launching pad for long balls. Honestly, it's a joke.
I could quote Ballpark Factor, weather and wind patterns and offer overlays of all 30 MLB ballparks when it comes home run rates and distances. But it would be analysis that makes even my head hurt. I'll just rely on my eyes. Watch the shoulders of pitchers slump and their heads drop on many of the balls that get out of GABP.
I'm not making excuses for Reds pitching. I am wondering about fairness and the future.
Keep in mind the domino effect of all of this homer-happy ballpark.
1. The difficulty of young pitchers learning to pitch at the ML level AND having to learn at GABP.
2. The task of convincing free agent pitchers to willingly pitch at GABP.
What could be done? How much would it cost? What would it do to the overall look of GABP.
All great and fair questions.
Could the walls be moved back? What if the Reds wiped out the first 10-20 rows of the right field Sun/Moon deck (sections 140-144)?
Or, what if they wiped out the first 10-20 rows of the Terrace outfield seats in left field (sections 101-105), raised the outfield wall, put a bar area behind it with a view and built a patio area on top of it? (See below)
Really, I have no idea. I don't have a hard hat. I don't know how to operate a wrecking ball. I can't come up with a cost analysis.
Granted, I wasn't writing this in 2012 when five Reds starters combined to make 161 starts and the team ERA was 3.34, second-best in the NL.
In reality, the Reds built a softball park 18 years ago. They've watched players swing from their heels ever since. They've also watched their pitchers suffer.
If the Reds draft and develop hitters with plate discipline they will hit....and hit their share of homers. But what about pitchers? Isn't it time to help them?
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Email reaction from James Bryant
I have been thinking about this for YEARS. GABP is way tooooooo small. I think the best way to level the playing field is to do the following:
I would do away with the seats in LF. Currently the wall from LF to LCF is 12 feet.
I'd raise the wall to 20 feet and make a party deck that is open to the public.
Making the wall taller accomplishes two things: it takes away the cheap HR's and adds more advertising space for the team. A win-win.
I would remove the 1st 7 rows in sections 144-140. This would add at least 10-12 feet in RCF which is currently only 370 feet. Plus the wall would be at least 10 feet high.