Asked about New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone and outfielder Aaron Judge’s comments about Camden Yards’ new left-field wall, Trey Mancini, the oldest Oriole, acknowledged it wasn’t the first time he heard such complaints from visiting batters.
“Nobody likes that,” Mancini said with a laugh. “No hitter like that, myself included.”
Boone and Judge both slammed the changes the Orioles made to their iconic ballpark after Tuesday night’s 5-4 win, in which Judge hit twice but lost a potential third homer on a fly ball that would have also left all other major league stadiums. like Camden Yards a year ago. The judge called the changes, which involved moving the left-field wall back nearly 30 feet and raising its height by more than five feet to reduce homerunability at that part of the stadium, a “travesty.”
“It looks like a creation park now,” Judge told reporters, Boone adding, “Build your own park got it.”
Coming in on Wednesday, the judge’s lost home run is one of six balls hit by the visitors that likely would have left Camden Yards with the stadium’s previous dimensions, according to Baltimore Sun tracking. The Yankees were responsible for half of those on the previous two days; no visiting player had breached the wall prior to Wednesday’s game.
Mancini twice lost a home run against the new wall, baptizing it with a padding double in Baltimore’s first homestand. The Orioles lost eight home runs to the wall, with Ryan Mountcastle, Austin Hays and Anthony Santander managing to hit balls on it.
As he and other Orioles hitters have done since plans for the new wall were first announced this offseason, Mancini repeatedly noted that “it is what it is.” Mountcastle, like Judge, hit a ball that only stayed in the park because it was hit at Camden Yards, an explosion that bounced all the way up the new wall. Mancini said players are able to laugh at such things, knowing it’s out of their control.
“There’s nothing we can do to change it,” Mancini said. “It’s nothing you can think about when you’re at home plate. But that doesn’t make it any less difficult when you hit a ball that you think should definitely be a home run.
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Tuesday’s comments mark the second time this month that New York has been embroiled in a talk about approximate dimensions. After Gleyber Torres’ May 8 home run on the short right-field porch of Yankee Stadium, Texas Rangers manager Chris Woodward said the ball would have been “an easy outing in 99 percent of baseball fields.” … He just happened to hit it in a Little League ballpark. In response, Boone joked that Woodward’s “calculations are off” because there are 30 parks, which means 99% wouldn’t be possible.
Since Yankee Stadium opened in 2009, Camden Yards — which is celebrating its 30th anniversary — has been the only major league venue where more home runs have been hit.
Orioles manager Brandon Hyde, however, did not take the plunge when Boone criticized his team’s park, saying he would “get the upper hand”. [road].” He referenced Minnesota Twins manager Rocco Baldelli’s comments about how changes to Camden Yards require right-handed hitters, as Hyde puts it, “to become real hitters.”
“Before, fly balls to left field were home runs, and it was really unfair a lot of times,” Hyde said. “It’s just playing fairer than before.”
Orioles hitters, however, will understandably be more affected by this than those on any other team, so comments like those from Judge and Boone fall a bit flat on Mancini. The changes have come at a bad time for Mancini, who is a potential free agent at the end of the season and whose future earnings depend on a strong 2022 campaign.
“We play half our games here, then,” said Mancini, who passed away before adding: “I know that [Judge’s] the ball should probably be a home run, but yeah, we had quite a few too, it should have been. Like I said, we play half our games here, so not great as a right-handed hitter.
“It’s still our job to go and play there, so complaining about it isn’t going to help us. But that doesn’t necessarily mean we like it either.