Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Changes coming to right-field wall at Camden Yards

The Orioles haven't necessarily had an overly productive offseason, but few fans can complain about the planned renovations for Camden Yards next year to honor the stadium's 20th anniversary. The major news -- the addition of six statues to honor the O's current Hall of Famers (Frank Robinson, Brooks Robinson, Earl Weaver, Jim Palmer, Eddie Murray, and Cal Ripken Jr.) -- was announced in November and is arguably something that should have been completed a while ago.

But some more recent renovation news, according to Dan Connolly of The Baltimore Sun, is that the O's are planning to alter the right-field wall. Connolly elaborates:
The flag-court wall in right, which is on top of the out-of-town scoreboard, will be altered. Basically, the wall portion that protects fans that stand there will be removed and be replaced by a railing. That way shorter people – and, specifically, kids – will have a better view of the field of play while standing on the flag court.

Makes plenty of sense. However, that means more balls may end up flying out for homers instead of bouncing off the top of the wall for doubles or long singles. I’m not sure exactly how many fly balls it will affect, but I’ll keep an eye on it next year.
Connolly mentions the possibility of a ball hitting the railing, but the O's aren't sure at the moment whether to make the ball in that scenario in-play or out-of-play (probably the latter).

I think the change is a good idea. If you've ever tried to watch part of the game while standing behind the wall or on the concourse, it's sort of difficult, especially if there's a lot of people (so, basically Yankees and Red Sox games). The move also seems to be rather kid-friendly, which is just fine.

For what it's' worth, Jeremy Guthrie had a pretty funny take on the wall being lowered: