The Orioles’ decision to change the distance from home plate to left field and left-center and to raise the height of the wall was perhaps the biggest offseason news since Mike Elias was hired in November 2018.
The changes should help the Orioles. Last season, 277 home runs were hit at Camden Yards, the most in the major leagues. Watching the New York Yankees’ Gleyber Torres, Toronto’s Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and many others, hit home run after home run to left-center had to be annoying to Elias. But the move is one that has been speculated by fans for years.
Elias and the fans know how difficult it has been to lure free-agent pitchers to Baltimore. Not only do the Orioles play in baseball’s toughest division, the American League East, but pitching in home run-friendly Camden Yards makes it even harder.
The change in dimensions isn’t going to magically lure free agents for 2022, but it could help convince an undecided starter to give Baltimore a try.
Having a better team would help, too.
The decision seems to be popular with fans who are tired of watching long fly balls turn into home runs.
Elias said the the new dimensions also could add excitement, leading to more doubles and triples. Centerfielder Cedric Mullins, who hit two of his five triples at home, might have an opportunity to hit more. Mullins, who became an exclusively left-handed hitter in 2021, hit 22…