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Wednesday (Target Field too deep in right?) edition: Wha' Happened?

Posted by: Michael Rand Updated July 16th at 10:26am 267337771

targetfieldWe’re often curious what others think of Target Field since we consider it a top-3 ballpark in baseball (along with the ballparks in San Francisco and Pittsburgh), and the All-Star Game certainly brought its share of opinions from ball writers around the country.

One sentiment, passed along to us by commenter Fasolamatt, comes from Thomas Boswell of the Washington Post. He writes about right field and a hard-hit ball by Chase Utley in Tuesday’s All-Star Game:

Utley’s double was a blast high off the ridiculously high 23-foot right field wall here at the 385-foot sign — a monstrous edifice that extends from the foul line to the 403 sign near dead center field. Utley’s ball would have been an upper-deck homer in Philly and a homer of some sort anywhere else.

Target Field is a lovely downtown home for the Twins, classy and comfortable if not breathtaking. But until that right field wall becomes remotely fair to hitters, especially in the 120-foot-long power-alley expanse from the 385-to-403 signs, this is a badly flawed design. Prevailing winds blow in from right field, too! Ted Williams would have had seven career home runs in this park. Okay, maybe eight. Sanity will someday be established here, just as new Tiger Stadium shortened its left field stands. Until then, the target on Target is about six spots lower on the best ballparks list.

Target Field plays big. We’ve known that since it opened, though we would say the ball seems to carry better there now than it did four years ago. The park has yielded the fourth-fewest HRs per game in the American League this season (though at 1.63 per game it is giving up well more than the 1.26 per game at Nationals Park in Washington, where Boswell presumably seems far more games).

Perhaps it’s a matter of personal preference, but we don’t mind the big wall and home run challenge it offers up. It’s nothing to fix; rather, just another of the many things that makes Target Field what it is.

But maybe you (or Joe Mauer) disagree. Thoughts?

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