A recent news item jumped out at me: The New York Mets will be bringing in the fences at Citi Field, their home park.
First, this highlights one of baseball’s idiosyncrasies — the fact that not all the playing fields are the same size. It’s 90 feet between bases, 60 feet, 6 inches from the pitching rubber to home plate. But the outfield fences? Hey, it’s a home-team decision.
The Mets’ rationale is that the shorter fences will be in their favor over the course of the season. The article says:
” … the analytics team also found that over the course of 162 games last season, home and away, the Mets hit 90 more balls in the air to right-center field than their opponents did.”
There are other examples of such tailoring. In days of yore, the Atlanta Braves erected a so-called sub-fence in front of their already close outfield wall. A ball only had to clear the sub-fence — not clear the actual outfield wall — to be a home run. Of course, the purpose was to help Hank Aaron, who then was chasing the all-time home-run record, hit more round-trippers.
But the Braves in those days were not known for winning — or large attendance figures. They did not become playoff regulars until the 1990s, when they beefed up pitching and had a balanced everyday lineup.
And the Mets, who were a mediocre 79-83 in 2014, don’t seem to have winning in mind with their outfield fence alteration. This article quotes Mets General Manager Sandy Alderson thusly:
“We’re talking about creating a little more excitement. That’s not going to appeal to the baseball purists. But we need more than baseball purists to fill the ballpark.”
Memo to Alderson: Winning brings fans in, too. Nobody ever held a parade for a team that finished below .500
I got a needed motivational cue from this news development.
What have I done today to win? To improve myself? To succeed? Rut r me, sad to note.
Have I just been doing cosmetic, routine things? Have I been eating the same foods, doing the same gym workout, watching the same TV shows? I recently marveled over losing about 10 pounds, yet this week I saw someone locally who had lost far more — and that person is far busier than I am.
Have I been posting the same ol’ tweets and pics (I’m a social media enthusiast), or have I actually been trying to stand out, to innovate? Two of my best Facebook friends recently put on a good Instagram webinar. Me? I was listening to them. You tell me who’s the leader there.
My DVR and/or TV viewing habits are lacking on such cutting-edge shows as “House of Cards” or “Game of Thrones.” Like some gaming, TV plot nuances can induce good thinking.
Have I been “bringing in my fences”? Or have I been making some game-winning moves? You already know my answer.
And this is a blog, not a podium. But hey, you’re reading, so …
– What do you think about such strategy, in sports, business or personal matters? Leave a comment below.