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Tuesday, April 05, 2005
Fenced in?

Buried amidst positive steroid test results, twin victories for Chicago's baseball teams, and wall-to-wall Illini coverage is the revelation that the Sox "thought" about moving the fences back this year. As most of you know USCF played as the most homer-friendly park in baseball last season, so moving the fences back sounds like a good idea.

The reality is they had nowhere to go. There's only a few feet between the outfield wall and the first row of seats in the new configuration of USCF, and moving home plate back would eliminate foul ground both down the lines and behind the plate. That would probably neutralize any advantage gained by the few extra feet it would take to hit a HR.

While it would appear to me that the main reason for not moving the fences would be physical, Kenny Williams indicated that it was psychological also.
Williams feared White Sox hitters would believe they were thought to be weak, and he certainly didn't want to convey that impression. In fact, Williams bristles at the notion that his new-look team will suffer from a power shortage.

There's also conflicting reports as to the effects of the new FUNdamentals deck in left field.
Buehrle said he heard in batting practice that "the ball was not flying out of here like it did last year. I don't know if it's that FUNdamentals deck in left field, but [one player] said he hit a couple of balls that should have gone out, and I said thanks, because that means the ball's not going to be flying out of here like it did last year."

Konerko said he thought the ball was "jumping" in batting practice, unusual when the wind is blowing off the lake as it does in April.

"If anything," he said, "that [FUNdamentals] structure should help [home runs], especially if the wind is blowing in."
Part of me wonders why van Dyck edited out the player who thought the ball wasn't jumping. Was is just because it was hearsay, or were there other motives?