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Rockies Hitters Lose 2 Home Runs to Higher Fence but Still Beat Dodgers, 7-5

by The Baseball Observer


Before the 2016 baseball season began, Rockies' slugger Carlos Gonzalez was asked if he thought the new, higher walls in center and left field would cost him any homeruns. CarGo was quoted as being relatively certain that only one of his 40 dingers from the previous year would have been sent bouncing back into the field if the new 15 foot netting had been in place during the 2015 season. Well, Trevor Story and Brandon Barnes may have a different opinion about those extended wall toppers now that they both lost sure homeruns to them in one game. Story sent a line drive high off the new fence, only to be thrown out going into third base. This is especially disappointing because Story is having a record-setting start this season, and a homerun would have added to the legend. Instead, he was left with a double and the second out in the fifth inning.

Barnes came up in the 8th inning with runners at second and third and crushed a line drive that hit about halfway up the new wall, which means it would have cleared the fence by at least seven feet in previous years. So, instead of a prodigous 3-run homer, Brandon was left with a game-winning two-run triple. Still impressive, but not nearly as big a play in the record book or to the fans. It did win the game, though, and these days, that is an increasingly rare and much appreciated occurance.

The Observer's staff is reviewing the films and will keep a running total of the devastation caused by "Bridich's Folly" as we are calling the new wall extensions. We know, of course that second year General Manager Jeff Bridich really isn't making any of the decisions, since the Meat Brothers call all the shots at Rockies' Headquarters. But somebody needs to be held responsible, and we suspect the Monforts will blame Jeff for everything when they fire him in a couple of years.

But maybe the Rockies are right and fans really prefer to see players thrown out at third base rather than hitting homeruns. Perhaps they should put 30 foot tall nets on top of all of the walls and move the fences in 30 or 40 feet so almost every fly ball will be sent caroming all over the park just like in a pinball machine or an arena football game.

Then how about letting the fans reposition the angles of the nets by voting with their smartphones between innings so the balls would bounce straight up or down into the ground?

Wait, are Bridich and the Monforts visionary geniuses who are changing America's Pastime into a new and exciting game that will revitalize and rejuvenate sport as we know it?

Nah, just kidding. Everyone would rather see homeruns.

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