The Seattle Mariners are bringing in the fences at Safeco Field.
The Mariners announced Tuesday they will move in the fences for the 2013 season after years of debate on the impact one of the more spacious outfields in baseball was having on their offense, as well as free agent sluggers who choose more hitter-friendly ballparks.
The biggest change will come in the left-center field alley, where the fence will move in as much as 17 feet. The left-center power alley is currently 390 feet, but will be at 378 next season. From there, instead of a rounded fence, the wall will move straight out to its deepest point at 405 feet, 4 feet shorter than currently. The straighter line of the fence will lead to the 17-foot change.
Right-center field will also come in 4 feet to 381. The left-field and right-field lines are the only two listed dimensions that won’t change.
The left-field corner will also see a significant change, with the removal of the hand-operated scoreboard that raised the fence to 16 feet. The fence height will now be a uniform 8 feet from one foul pole to the other and the hand-operated scoreboard will be relocated to a yet-to-be-determined location.
The work on changing the dimensions is expected to begin soon after the conclusion of the season.
It’s the first change to the dimensions of the ballpark since it opened in 1999. (AP)