I mean...you couldn't have done this before free agency? I love Comerica Park. It's underrated. It may lack the history and nostalgia of the old Tiger Stadium, but it's a phenomenal park in its own right. But it's always had one huge issue. It's too damn big. It was 420 feet to center field, which I guess was supposed to be an homage to Tiger Stadium being 440 to center, even though most people say that Tiger stadium was never THAT spacious. I have no issue with Comerica being considered a pitcher's park. At their best, the Tigers have always been a team that's tried to build through starting pitching, but the deep parts of CoPa have always been just a little too deep. I think they might be going a little bit above and beyond by lowering the fences in right center, but I give them an A for effort. I think it's good for the Tigers and good for the game. Fans want to see more action. They want to see players get rewarded for balls being hit in play. It's a huge reason they banned the shift (which I'm not really in favor of). Pitchers throw harder than they ever have, and spin rates are higher than they've ever been. Hitting a baseball is hard enough, so hitting a ball 420+ feet should always be a home run.
Now I could choose to be cynical in a moment like this...and that's exactly what I'm going to do. Yes, I'm glad the Tigers are moving the fences in. 420 to center was ridiculous. At the same time, it didn't seem to bother the Tigers when they, ya know, actually had players that could hit home runs. Miguel Cabrera, Prince Fielder, and Victor Martinez never seemed to have a problem with the dimensions when they were in their primes. A huge park is a factor in why the Tigers have been near the bottom of the list in homers over the last six years, but it is not the sole reason. In fairness to Scott Harris and the powers within the organization, they aren't claiming that it is. As massive as Comerica's outfield is, I've seen quite a few balls go over the center field fence, and almost none of them have been hit by the Tigers. Riley Greene is the one exception.
It does say a lot about the state of the organization that the biggest win of the offseason is knowing that the center field dimensions are seven feet shorter. The Twins just signed Carlos Correa. But hey, IT'S 413 TO CENTER! It's kind of like those kids that grew up in the 80s that wanted Transformers toys for Christmas but got GoBots instead. The outfield dimensions are our GoBots. Signing a player with an OPS above .700 would also be acceptable. I can only hope in my heart of hearts that the new dimensions at Comerica Park will prevent Javier Baez from swinging at sliders that land in the left-handed batter's box. I'm aware that I'm coming across as incredibly snarky. I'm trying to have fun. Moving the dimensions in at Comerica has been something that should've happened a while ago. Has it prevented players from wanting to come to Detroit? I don't think so. The team being terrible and Chris Ilitch's inability to spend is what is responsible for that. But this should definitely help. You can expect more home runs in Detroit this year. I just hope the Tigers hit them.