Red Sox to Widen Fenway Bullpens, Shorten Porch in Right Field?
Could the Boston Red Sox be getting jealous of the way balls fly out of their AL East rival’s ballpark? It’s no secret that the new Yankee Stadium was built with the dimensions of a Juicy Juice juice box. The right field fence is a mere 314 feet from home plate. Although right center is listed at 384 feet from home, that’s true right center — as in very close to center field. It certainly doesn’t take much to poke a fly ball out of the park if you’re a lefty at Yankee Stadium, or even a righty with minimal opposite field power.
Red Sox CEO Larry Lucchino told the Boston Herald on Tuesday that the Fenway bullpens are “old and substandard compared to the new state-of-the-art bullpens,” and that “there are issues about bullpen safety.” Lucchino went on to talk about how the bullpens are too narrow and make it hard for two pitchers to warm up at once.
You buying that? I certainly am not. I suppose it would be nice to have wider, more luxurious bullpens, but I feel pretty confident in saying the Sox would like to see some more homers in their ballpark. Lucchino even downplayed any talk of the way the upgrade would affect home runs, making the plan even more suspect.
It only takes a 302-foot poke to leave the yard in right field at Fenway, but to accomplish that a hitter needs to hit the ball right at Pesky’s Pole. As soon as you start getting closer to center field from right, the fence darts out in a hurry. David Ortiz had no problem putting it into the bullpens during his Flintstone chewable vitamin days, but the warning track seems to be getting closer these days even for Big Papi. If the Sox brass is saying the change might be made, it’s going to get made. I’m just not buying any nonsense about making it more comfortable for two relievers to warm up.