Padres Look Into Petco Park Changes, Could Bring In Fences Before '13 Season
Published April 25, 2012
Since stadium opened in '04, it has ranked last four times in MLB's park factor
Padres interim CEO Tom Garfinkel said that the club "plans to study what effects reducing Petco Park's spacious outfield might have on the team's offense," according to Dan Hayes of the NORTH COUNTY TIMES. The team could submit plans to MLB "after the season in hopes of turning Petco into a more hitter-friendly park" for the '13 season. Since the park opened in '04, it "has ranked last among MLB's 30 ballparks four times in park factor, a metric that measures how pitcher-friendly or hitter-friendly each ballpark plays." Garfinkel said, "I think 1-0, 2-0 games can be exciting games. But not night after night after night. I think there are certain elements, the way the game is played here at our park at night, where the ballpark feels too extreme." Garfinkel cited the team's 339-321 all-time record at Petco Park as "not being enough of a home-field advantage." He also cited fan sentiment, "which he believes supports moving in the fences." However, Garfinkel said, "To normalize the park or neutralize it, you'd have to move the fences in so far it would look like a Little League park. ...We're going to study it at length. We want to make sure if we do it, we do it right" (NORTH COUNTY TIMES, 4/25
). Garfinkel said, "I do believe it is too extreme right now. It will still be a pitcher's ballpark. But a hitter should be rewarded if he crushes it." In San Diego, Bill Center notes former Padres Vice Chair & CEO Jeff Moorad "vowed the outfield dimensions at Petco Park would not be altered as long as he controlled the club." Garfinkel said that the outfield dimensions "are but one change the Padres are considering to the facility." WiFi will "come to Petco Park later this season," and the club is "already discussing a new and larger scoreboard" (SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, 4/25
). San Diego Union-Tribune's Tim Sullivan
wrote on his Twitter feed, "Bringing fences in will make Petco Park more hitter-friendly. Not so sure it would make it more Padre-friendly."