Its an interesting concept when thought about in relation to other sports. Every major league baseball team gets to design their home field dimensions in whatever manner they want. Can you imagine this being the case in any other sport? The Joe Louis backboards ending right next to the goal. The Lions making their field 200 yards so that they could highlight their best player Jason Hanson. Absolutely inconceivable.
In baseball, unique stadium dimensions is just another quirk of the sport, like the DH or the All Star game providing home field advantage. And the Tigers have theirs designed to provide pitchers a distinct advantage. Outside of Houston's absurd 435 foot center field semi circle, Comerica Park has the deepest center field in the majors at 420 feet (most stadiums are around 400). Additionally, left and right center are deep and include a high fence in right center. There is a lot of grass out there.
Because of these vast expanses, there has been an intermittent debate about whether the fences should be moved in to provide prolific hitters such as Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez more places to hit the ball into the stands. The debate was sparked again when JD Martinez, who is trying to become only the 6th Tiger to hit 40 home runs, had 2 home runs robbed by Comerica's dimensions Friday Night. Lynn Henning of the Detroit News lobbied for a redesign of both the outfield fences and center field in general to remedy the issue.
I don't disagree with Lynn's point that additional architecture could enhance the outfield set up. But Comerica Park is already considered one of the nicer ballparks in access and visual aesthetics. And I've grown to love the pitching friendly aspects of the park. Watching Austin Jackson and Curtis Granderson make countless breathtaking plays gave me an appreciation for the sheer size. It may stunt some of Miggy's hall of fame credentials, but it provides highlight reel defense and offers Tigers' pitching with protection, something that its many fly ball pitchers have required.
I'm firmly on the side of keeping the fences where they are, but I'm interested in what the Bless You Boys faithful think. Keep them deep or move them in?
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