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Phillies move the fences back

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Replacing of outfield wall underway

Left field at Citizens Bank Park to have new look in 2006

By Ken Mandel / MLB.com


PHILADELPHIA -- Despite the cold December afternoons, workers at Citizens Bank Park have started reshaping the left-field wall.

The project, which will be completed well in advance of the April 1-2 On-Deck Series games against the Red Sox, entails removing and relocating the wall, thus changing the dimensions in that area of the two-year-old park.


The team is replacing the wall, 22-inch-high railing and the flower beds that became the final resting place for many home runs. Also gone are 196 seats -- covering two rows -- in Sections 141-146.


The new wall will stand 10-feet-6, or two-and-a-half feet taller than the original wall. The distance to the left-field foul pole will remain at 329 feet, with the new wall angling back five feet and extending straight across to left-center field to Section 146. This will add more area for left fielder Pat Burrell to cover.


"We've decided there's some action that can make the park play better," team president David Montgomery said when confirming the team's plans in October. "It's adjusting fences. We hope to end up with a fair ballpark."


Citizens Bank Park surrendered 201 homers in 2005, the fifth most in the Majors, and down 17 from 2004, when the park allowed the third most. But consider that fewer home runs were hit across the board. According to ESPN, the ballpark had a "park factor" of 1.289. The stat compares the rate of statistics at home versus the rate of stats on the road, with a rate higher than 1.000 favoring the hitter.


Philadelphia's 1.289 mark ranked sixth in the Majors. The Phillies' home turf has been one of the friendliest places for hitters since opening in 2004, and the club has drawn criticism from pitchers around the league, including their own.


The team hopes this will help.


5 feet?!? They should move them back atleast 10-15 feet.

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