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The Miami Marlins have experienced somewhat of a power shortage since moving into Marlins Park, but the team has no plans to move in the home run fences in order to boost its home run total. Marlins President David Samson told the Palm Beach Post Tuesday that the team is happy with Marlins Park's reputation as a pitchers' park.
"We want it to be pitcher friendly, but fair to hitters who get all of it," Samson said. "No cheapies. If you get it, we want it to go."
When asked point-blank if the team would consider reducing the park's dimensions, he replied, "Absolutely not." The fences are 386 feet away from home plate in the left-center power alley, 392 in right-center, and 418 feet in straight-away centerfield.
The Marlins' old home, Sun Life Stadium, had dimensions of 361 in both left- and right-center and 404 feet in straight-away center, with a "Bermuda Triangle" just to the left of centerfield that extended 434 feet from home plate.
"We have no reason to think about doing anything with the fences," Samson added. "The park is playing fair."
The Marlins have seen their power numbers drop at home, hitting just 13 homers at home versus 19 on the road. Though part of that disparity can be traced to the fact that the Marlins have played more road games so far this season, Miami is hitting home runs in 2.4% of its home at-bats, compared to 2.8% of road at-bats (all stats courtesy of Fangraphs.com).
Going a little deeper into the stats, just 8.3% of the Marlins' fly balls hit at home have left the park, versus 11.0% on the road.
But as Samson said, the park is playing fair. 5.2% of fly balls hit against Marlins pitchers have gone for home runs, compared to 8.3% on the road.
Besides, the cavernous outfield of Marlins park might also be contributing to the large number of triples the team has hit at home - 8 compared to three on the road.
The Marlins would not be the first team to bring in the fences at a new stadium. The New York Mets did that at Citi Field recently. But with the Marlins hitting better at home in a variety of categories - batting average, slugging percentage, runs scored per game - the team might be better off leaving the fences where they are.