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Balt Sun: Orioles altering Camden Yards’ left-field dimensions amid ballpark’s historic home run binge


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#1 BSLChrisStoner

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Posted 11 January 2022 - 06:59 PM

Balt SunOrioles altering Camden Yards’ left-field dimensions amid ballpark’s historic home run binge

 

 

The Orioles hope their pitchers feel that way less often going forward. The club told The Baltimore Sun it began construction this week to alter Oriole Park at Camden Yards’ left-field dimensions to try to reduce the stadium’s propensity for home runs. The changes — the first to the size of the iconic ballpark’s playing area in two decades — will raise the wall’s height from 7 feet to about 12 feet and move it back as much as 30 feet, according to information provided by the team. Major League Baseball approved the adjustments, which will cover the area from the left-field corner to the bullpens in the left-center field.

The new measurements fall in line with other major league parks. As of 2020, Camden Yards’ 333-foot distance from home plate to the left-field corner was about average for the 30 major league stadiums, though its 364-foot distance to left-center was one of the league’s most reachable for batters. Oriole Park was one of only eight ballparks with a wall shorter than 8 feet in left and had the shortest wall in left-center field of any venue. A 12-foot left-field wall would be tied for the sixth-tallest in the majors.


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#2 BSLChrisStoner

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Posted 11 January 2022 - 07:09 PM

Of note: The Orioles are making these changes at a time when eight of their top nine prospects, per Baseball America, are left-handed hitters (including switch-hitting Adley Rutschman) or pitchers.

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#3 BSLMikeRandall

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Posted 11 January 2022 - 08:32 PM

I don’t like tall walls. I like seeing homers attempt to get robbed.

Curious how the construction works. To move the fences back 30 feet is a lot of lost seats. 10 rows across 4 or 5 sections. That is a lot of concrete demolition too. Hauling it out of there, laying the sod, new warning track. Or is it easier to move the infield closer to the backstop? And if too close, your only demoing like 30 seats to put a new backstop in.

I don’t know. Seems like a lot to get done, and done right in only 2 months.
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#4 TwentyThirtyFive

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Posted 11 January 2022 - 09:32 PM

I like it. From a competitve standpoint it was needed to help the pitching here. 365 power alley with a short fence is ridiculous
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#5 BSLMikeLowe

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Posted 11 January 2022 - 09:44 PM

30 feet back and adding 5’ on the wall sounds pretty significant. Curious to see the impact, not just on HRs but the ripple effects too. Puts more of a premium on LF defense.



#6 hallas

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Posted 11 January 2022 - 10:05 PM

I don’t like tall walls. I like seeing homers attempt to get robbed.

Curious how the construction works. To move the fences back 30 feet is a lot of lost seats. 10 rows across 4 or 5 sections. That is a lot of concrete demolition too. Hauling it out of there, laying the sod, new warning track. Or is it easier to move the infield closer to the backstop? And if too close, your only demoing like 30 seats to put a new backstop in.

I don’t know. Seems like a lot to get done, and done right in only 2 months.

They tried this in 2001 I believe. They moved home plate back by 7 feet. It screwed up the batter's sight angles with the batter's eye wall which had unintended consequences to hitting. OPACY was a moderate pitcher's park for those 2 years, and it's hard to know whether that change was due to the sight line change or the distance change.

I think this is extremely drastic. Increasing the wall height on its own would likely reduce HR park factors by at least 1-3%. I've got to think that Increasing the wall distance by an average of even 5 feet IMO would reduce HR park factors by at least 5%. But up to 30 feet? It's going to be death valley in the left field power alley. I think they should have done the fence first, then worried about the distance.

Also, I agree with your stance on HR-stealing catches.
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#7 TwentyThirtyFive

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Posted 11 January 2022 - 10:23 PM

Just in general we should play in bigger parks IMO. Make a HR very legit. Make the fences deep enough youll put more emphasis on line drives vs fly balls and likely see more contact and less Ks. In other words, balls in play and more action.

#8 hallas

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Posted 11 January 2022 - 10:25 PM

I drew some hypothetical distances in Google Maps and I think I have a decent guess as to what they're planning. They are probably going to relocate the lower bullpen to the spare grass area beyond center field, and extend the field out to the top bullpen. That would make for about a 30 foot difference at the farthest point.

If this is correct, then it will also increase the deepest part of the ballpark to 424 feet, and increase the distance at the power alley from 364 to about 393 feet. This is going to turn left field into no man's land.

During the last renovation project, they reduced the height of the out of town scoreboard by about 3-5 feet, and I think that was a mistake. That just increased the HR park factors.
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#9 Ricker Says

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Posted 11 January 2022 - 10:27 PM

That’s one way to solve the issue of developing pitching I guess. Agree it feels drastic, but I’ll keep an open mind.

Interesting, the things they have money for.
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#10 BSLMikeLowe

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Posted 11 January 2022 - 10:33 PM

Interesting, the things they have money for.


Probably cheaper than paying for good pitching.



#11 Ricker Says

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Posted 11 January 2022 - 10:36 PM

Sitting in LF was one of the few remaining good reasons to go to the Ballpark.

But winning is the ultimate draw, so if this master plan of theirs works, it won’t matter.
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#12 hallas

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Posted 11 January 2022 - 10:41 PM

I drew some hypothetical distances in Google Maps and I think I have a decent guess as to what they're planning. They are probably going to relocate the lower bullpen to the spare grass area beyond center field, and extend the field out to the top bullpen. That would make for about a 30 foot difference at the farthest point.

If this is correct, then it will also increase the deepest part of the ballpark to 424 feet, and increase the distance at the power alley from 364 to about 393 feet. This is going to turn left field into no man's land.

During the last renovation project, they reduced the height of the out of town scoreboard by about 3-5 feet, and I think that was a mistake. That just increased the HR park factors.

 

 

https://imgur.com/a/XElRW3v

 

^ That's a quick doodle of what I think they're doing.  It would be 390 to the LF bend, about 393-395 to the power alley behind the 364 sign, and 424 to the deepest part of the park.


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#13 Pedro Cerrano

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Posted 11 January 2022 - 10:55 PM

Sitting in LF was one of the few remaining good reasons to go to the Ballpark.

But winning is the ultimate draw, so if this master plan of theirs works, it won’t matter.


Any reason to go to the park is a good reason. Watching baseball. In the warmth. Sipping on a beer. BSing with your buddies.

Sign me up
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There is baseball, and occasionally there are other things of note

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#14 Pedro Cerrano

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Posted 11 January 2022 - 10:56 PM

https://imgur.com/a/XElRW3v

^ That's a quick doodle of what I think they're doing. It would be 390 to the LF bend, about 393-395 to the power alley behind the 364 sign, and 424 to the deepest part of the park.


I’m gonna go out on a limb and say you’re better with computers than I am :-)

There is baseball, and occasionally there are other things of note

"Now OPS sucks.  Got it."

"Making his own olive brine is peak Mackus."

"I'm too hungover to watch a loss." - McNulty

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#15 Ricker Says

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Posted 11 January 2022 - 11:01 PM

Any reason to go to the park is a good reason. Watching baseball. In the warmth. Sipping on a beer. BSing with your buddies.

Sign me up

I still go to plenty. But live near DC now and most of my friends either don’t care much about baseball at this point, or are Nats fans.

Nice job, Hallas. That, combined with the height of the wall feels like a huge change.
“We have a shot at a wild card right now. But it is not a probability that we're going to win a wild card.” - Mike Elias

#16 TwentyThirtyFive

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Posted 11 January 2022 - 11:05 PM

https://imgur.com/a/XElRW3v

^ That's a quick doodle of what I think they're doing. It would be 390 to the LF bend, about 393-395 to the power alley behind the 364 sign, and 424 to the deepest part of the park.

Maybe. Dont think itll be a straight line like in LF all the way to CF but I have no idea how the math of it works.

#17 ivanbalt

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Posted 12 January 2022 - 06:41 AM

Have the Yankees filed a protest with the league yet?


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#18 jamesdean

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Posted 12 January 2022 - 07:20 AM

For those of you who enjoy baseball and the Orioles, I would consider this some of the best news in years. Its bad enough they continually send a parade of talentless hacks to the mound but the dimensions of this outfield were a joke right from day one. I've beaten it into the ground for years. You can't make a short right field and then come back with another chip shot in left. The pitchers don't stand a chance. I fully expect this alteration to shave a run off their team E.R.A. by the end of the year.

#19 mweb08

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Posted 12 January 2022 - 08:24 AM

I haven't read the article, but I am guessing this may be much more strategic than a matter of the aesthetics of the game.

Regardless, I mostly like this on both fronts.

For strategic purposes, not only is the system tilted toward pitchers and left handed hitters, but this also creates an opportunity to get more talent that specifically fits the park (lefty power and righty contact/speed) as well as just more talent in general (pitchers) while minimizing the power that many of our divisional foes tend to have.

Aesthetically, the 3 outcomes version of baseball that we have is far from ideal and this should alleviate that some.

My only issue is the raising of the wall height. As Randall said, this robs us of seeing homers robbed. I also worry that it may cause an issue with the view for fans in left.
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#20 weird-O

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Posted 12 January 2022 - 08:38 AM

Personally, I love this news. Setting aside for a moment, the fact that the O's will never pay for premium pitching, it had to be a hurdle to get any pitcher to come to OP, if he had any other remotely decent options. It was a band box. Not only will it help the in-house arms, but it may attract FA arms to the Yard. Someone mentioned the affect it could have on how righties approach hitting, which could lead to focusing on line drives rather than launch angles. That can only help. Plus, the O's seem to have a surplus of speedy, defensive OFers. Won't it be nice to see them running down warning track hits, rather than watching balls soar into the seats?

 

And these changes, while extreme by OP standards, won't make the Yard a pitchers park. It's just bringing it in line with league averages for dimensions. OP was built to cater to the roid era when all anyone wanted to see was a slug fest and lots of souvenirs in the stands.    


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Good news! I saw a dog today.





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