Safeco is huge. But do players adjust their behavior because of it?

Sep 2, 2010, 2:54 PM | Updated: Apr 4, 2011, 7:52 pm

By Mike Salk

Editor’s note: This is Mike Salk’s latest story for USS Mariner. Dave Cameron of USSM writes a weekly column for the Brock and Salk blog focusing on baseball from a statistical perspective.

A few weeks ago, I walked into the visitor’s dugout at Safeco Field and bumped into a player I had covered when I was reporting on the Red Sox. He asked me how I liked Seattle and then started talking about how great the city is and how much he liked the park.

“This place is great,” he told me. “But they need to move the fences in.”

He went on to tell me about an at bat he had had at Safeco where he hit “right on the screws.” Of course, he pulled it to left field and the ball ended up just making the warning track.

“I crushed that ball,” he said as he shook his head. “Unbelievable.”

That’s a quick anecdote to reinforce what you already know: Safeco is huge. And its dimensions, specifically the deep fence in left field (331 feet down the line and 388 feet to the left-center alley) can change the game. I’m sure you’ve seen tons of hard data on how hard it is to generate offense in Safeco, specifically for a right-handed pull hitter. Clearly, the players all know that Safeco is a little different from other parks.

But do they change their behavior because of it?

To read the rest of Salk’s story, go to USS Mariner.


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Safeco is huge. But do players adjust their behavior because of it?