…unless you want the former to be successful. Seriously folks, I’m pretty fucking tired of harping on Citi Field’s unhelpful dimensions and not simply because I’ve been doing it for nearly half a decade. Were the Mets the sort of team that’s entirely built around pitching, defense and speed, there might actually be something approaching a home field advantage (perhaps the park was build for the 1985 Cardinals). Instead —- with an alarming percentage of monied douchnozzles roaming the ballpark’s premium beer stands rather than actually watching game within earshot of the participants — Citi is anathema to Mets hitters ; soon, the you’ll see children at the games too young to remember an era in which David Wright was actually a longball threat.
On Tuesday, Newsday’s Marc Carig cited a number of disturbing trends (ie. at home, the Mets are 25th in the bigs in line drive rate ; away from Flushing, they’re 3rd) but without concluding “reaching Sandy Alderson’s goal (of 93 wins) while shouldering this home-field disadvantage is nearly impossible.”
For some team officials, the ugly truth is that Citi Field has once again gotten in the heads of their hitters. They are trying too hard — swinging harder, pressing, you name it — to conquer the park’s dimensions. Whether or not they’re willing to admit it, they are competitors who have given way to human nature, even though compromising the process has made it even harder to get results.
“It gets to be more of a mental thing than it actually is physical,” hitting coach Dave Hudgens said. “Because the swings get longer, you try to do a little bit more. It’s more about us than it is anything else.”
The numbers seem to back that assertion as well. Mets manager Terry Collins said that the cumulative effect of watching long drives turn sends a destructive message.
“Hey, I’ve got to swing harder to do damage here,” Collins said. “The harder you swing, the less control of the barrel of the bat that you have, therefore the swing and misses are up.”