After years of hearing that there was too much room in the outfield in Safeco Field, the Seattle Mariners have decided to do something about it.
Starting with the 2013 season, the Mariners' home will see the fences brought in from the left field corner to the right field power alley. Most of the change will see the fences come in about 4 feet, but in straightaway left field, it will be 12 feet, and in left-center, it will be 17 feet.
The Mariners hit four balls that would likely have gone out in the soon-to-be configuration Tuesday, a few hours after the remodeling plans were announced. Only one ball cleared the ball, that by outfielder Casper Wells
, but Seattle did enough other damage to score a 6-1 win over the Los Angeles Angels.
"Our goal is to create an atmosphere here that won't punish pitching but will create a fair ballpark," general manager Jack Zduriencik said. "We think this park will play fair. There are considerations playing here in the Puget Sound, where the air can be very heavy and very cool in the spring and sometimes all the way into June.
"We thought by making some alterations it would create an atmosphere that might be an awful lot of fun going forward."
As a team, the Mariners hit .195 at home through the All-Star break. They've improved since to get the number up to .218, but that's still not a number that will win championships.
Manager Eric Wedge downplayed the mental issues of dealing with a park so spacious to left and left-center, saying he was proud of the way his hitters wouldn't "use it as an excuse."