After reading the article by the Bergen Record's Ian O'Connor about how Citifield is the wrong field for David Wright, I was thinking that the Mets will have problems signing free agent power hitters in the future similar to the situation that the San Diego Padres are experiencing in their new ballpark.
Here are a few quotes from Wright:
"When you hit it good here," Wright would say later, "you’ve got to put your head down and run."
"It’s a big park," Wright said.
O'Connor goes on to say:
Teams are supposed to match ballparks to stars, and stars to ballparks. Ryan Howard in Citizens Bank Park. Babe Ruth in the Bronx.
Citi Field can’t stand David Wright, and David Wright can’t stand it back. He’d never say that for public consumption, of course, because Wright is the closest thing to Derek Jeter the Mets have ever had.
And that’s why he was standing at second base in the first, shaking his head and crunching his eyes into a pained squint. He was betraying the very Citi Field angst Chipper Jones sensed in him in May.Jones would say on Sirius XM radio that "every time there was a long flyout or a double that hit off the wall or something, David Wright would run by me and go, ‘Nice park.’ He’s a little frustrated with it."
Wright denied harboring those feelings, and said the exchange was just "me and Chipper having a good time."
A better time than Wright’s going to have in this ballpark for the balance of his prime.
Citifield is reducing David Wright to a doubles hitter who has to start stealing bases to add value to the Mets lineup, and for roto owners. Prior to this year, he hit 130 HRs in 4.5 seasons, while driving in 489 runs. Wright was well on his way to a possible Hall of Fame career. But then the beautiful Citifield opened and Wright has had trouble reaching the seats. This season he has 5 HRs, 44 RBI and 20 SBs. The steals are nice, but he is on pace to hit 10 HRs this season. Not what you want from your best player and power hitter.
Unless the Mets management decide to move in the fences, and maybe shorten the outfield walls, the Mets are going to turn into the Padres, a team that can't score runs with the longball and have to rely on good pitching and defense to win ballgames. Should the Mets decide not to move in the fences, they will struggle to entice any power hitter from playing at Citifield. Remember how frustrated Ryan Klesko and Brian Giles were after seeing what would be homers land in an outfielders gloves a few years back.
That's David Wright in 2009.