Tigers shrinking outfield dimensions at Comerica Park

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One of the biggest outfields in the majors will be a bit smaller next season: the Tigers are shrinking the dimensions at Comerica Park.

The club announced Wednesday that the center field wall will be moved in 10 feet and that the outfield wall will be lowered "in multiple key areas," including in right center field from 13 feet to seven. It will also be lowered from 8.5 feet to seven in right field and center.

The main impetus behind the changes, the Tigers said, was to reward hitters on balls hit to the deepest part of the park. Comerica Park, which opened in 2000 and already underwent one adjustment to bring in the fences in 2003, previously had the deepest center field fence in the majors, laser measured at 422 feet. (It was listed on the wall at 420 feet.) The distance next season will be reduced to 412 feet, second deepest in the bigs behind Coors Field at 415.

Tigers president of baseball operations Scott Harris said in a statement that adjusting the dimensions at Comerica "has been a topic of conversation for quite some time within our organization." Several of the team's former hitters, from Victor Martinez to Nick Castellanos, have publicly bemoaned the deep fences in the past. Castellanos went so far in 2019 as to say, "This park's a joke."

Harris said the Tigers are "confident that this plan accomplishes our goals of improving offensive conditions on the hardest hit balls, while maintaining Comerica Park’s unique dimensions and style of play. These updates come after a great deal of research and feedback from all stakeholders in and around the organization, including our fans, players and front office."

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