The O’Malley ownership team, which acquired the San Diego Padres from John Moores in August for $800 million, followed through with discussed plans to move in the fences at Petco Park.
The team said it will move in the outfield fences in right, right center and left center field in a project that will also relocate the visitors’ bullpen from inside the right field foul line to above the Padres’ bullpen in center field.
Presumably, this will help the home team to hit more home runs, but the visiting teams get to use the same dimensions when they bat so the changes will probably result in a wash. Most likely, games at Petco will average a higher number of runs, and pitchers won’t be as happy.
Padres Chairman Ron Fowler said the intent was to change Petco Park from “being the most run suppressing ballpark in Major League Baseball.”
“After an extensive study, it became clear to all of us that some change was needed,” Fowler said.
The two largest changes are in left center field, where the fence will move 12 feet to 390 feet from home plate, and at the right center field gap that will move in 11 feet to 391 feet from home.
The Seattle Mariners, another run-starved team, also announced moving in the outfield fences at Safeco Field.