© Cody Glenn-USA TODAY Sports
The Giants, from Farhan Zaidi to Bruce Bochy, are considering modifying the dimensions in Oracle Park, according to a recent report from The Athletic‘s Andrew Baggarly and Eno Sarris.
Yes, the idiosyncratic features of the bayside ballpark could be no longer at some point in the future. That includes Triples Alley, whose 421-foot right-center-field dimension has routinely swallowed up deep shots that would result in home runs in most ballparks.
“It’s worth it, I think, for all of us to sit down and talk about it and do what we think is the best thing for our team,” Bruce Bochy told The Athletic. “(Triples Alley) would be a great place to put the bullpens. There’s room out there. Personally, I feel if you hit a ball 400 feet, it should be a home run. So, yeah, I think we should all be open minded to making a change.”
This has seemingly been a longstanding idea that never really manifested into a serious conversation until this year’s spring training, according to The Athletic.
In today’s MLB, where launch angle and home runs are emphasized more than ever, shortening center field could add some excitement to the game. The change could help fill more seats in Oracle Park, which has been a struggle throughout the current season. Moving the bullpens could also eliminate injury — outfielder Mac Williamson suffered a concussion after taking a head-first dive against the third base-side wall, around where the bullpen area resides, last season.
The Athletic‘s report did not include a concrete timetable for when the Giants would change the dimensions. Below is an excerpt from the story on this facet:
Do not expect the bricks to come tumbling down next week. Any change the Giants make to the dimensions, major or minor, would receive a full workup from their analytics team, an architectural study or three and input from all levels of the organization.
“We’re a long way from having real traction and momentum on this issue, so there would be a lot more we have to do,” Zaidi said in a phone interview last week. “Objectively, how would it impact the type of game played in our park? We’d want to look at how it would affect us organizationally now and going forward. But at this point, for practical issues like the bullpens or broader long-range philosophical or strategic issues about where the game is going, I think we’re at least opening up the discussion on it.”
This topic, of course, will be met with love and hate. Modern-day fans may welcome the change, considering shortening the fences would create an uptick in homers and yield more interest for a sport that needs it. Longtime Giants fans may not. They will point to the park’s dimensions as a defining part of the team’s string of three World Series championships in five years earlier this decade.
For now, the dimensions will remain, but they have become relic features of ballparks from past generations, as the team’s brass has now acknowledged.