Petco Park would probably get alot of votes for best looking ballpark in the majors. There’s a good chance it would also be pretty high on the list of places pitchers enjoy taking the mound. The current dimensions of the park are 322 feet down the right field line, 382 feet in the right field gap, 400 feet in right-center, 396 feet to center field, 401 feet in left-center, 367 feet in the left field gap and 334 down the left field line.
Pitching and defense is good, but it isn’t always entertaining and generally won’t fill a stadium. That was part of the reason why the New York Mets made alterations to Citi Field this past offseason.
The Washington Nationals defeated the San Diego Padres at Petco last night 3-1 in a game that featured nine hits and, not surprisingly, zero home runs. While this might be the game of choice for some baseball purists it doesn’t do much for the casual fan who likes to see a 15-9 score like the one the Red Sox & Yankees put up this past Saturday.
Petco Park wouldn’t become a launching pad or the new Coors Field, just a little more hitter friendly according to the Padres’ interim CEO Tom Garfinkel.
“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. And if a team is down 4-0, they should feel there is some hope. It’s just too extreme.”
“We have to get it right. We are studying everything. There are still going to be some nights when the conditions would still be such that it’s going to be hard to hit a homer no matter what the distance is to the fences.”
“But a solidly hit ball should be rewarded. Baseball is a match between the pitcher and the hitter. We’ve seen a number of times here where the hitter wins that battle and gets nothing to show for it. It should play fair. Four runs should not be an impossible deficit to overcome.”
The right-center field alley at Petco at one time was 411 feet until it was brought in to the current distance after the 2005 season. Any additional changes would take place once this season has been completed.
According to ESPN’s MLB Park Factors, since 2004 Petco Park has finished 28th, 30th, 29th, 30th, 30th, 30th, 26th, and 28th in runs. Over that span it has finished in the bottom third in home runs each year but one, 2006.