The Orioles’ plan to move back the fence in left field and increase the height of the outfield wall is an opportunity to make the game a more exciting one as well as reducing the number of home runs hit.
Last season, Oriole Park at Camden Yards saw more home runs hit, 277 than any park in the major leagues, and executive vice president/general manager Mike Elias thinks that these changes will make the distances closer to the average park in the major leagues.
“This has been since its inception back in 1992, an extreme park for home runs,” Elias said during a video conference call on Friday. “That has only grown as the style of play across the major leagues has evolved over the past 30 years.”
Elias didn’t offer exact measurements, but said he thought it would be close to those of PNC Park, home of the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Left-center field at PNC Park is 383 feet. Before the Oriole Park alterations began, left-center field was 364 feet from home.
“For any team, for any park to be toward the extreme in either direction, it’s a bit of a challenge,” Elias said. “And it’s posed a challenge for this franchise, and we think this will improve the playing conditions and the style of play in this part of the park and be beneficial towards us and the type of competition that occurs here going forward.”
Elias said that…