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The "Down-Lowe" on CitiField

It used to drive me crazy to hear Fran Healy describe pitches as being "down low."

There is no such thing as a pitch being "down high." Healy's use of "down low"was a redundancy, one of several issues that fans had with his broadcast style.

There's talk that the Mets are close to signing a pitcher named Lowe, who likes to keep the ball down. In fact, that's the key to his success. And it could play very well in his new home.

On page 162 of the The Hardball Times 2009 Baseball Annual, writer Greg Rybarczyk, as intense a historian of home run distances as I am of walk-offs, issues a warning about Citi Field to those fans of the New York Mets.

In describing how CitiField's outfield fence distances are significantly greater than the major-league average, Rybarczyk writes:

"In spring 2009, baseball fans are going to get a live demonstration of what happens when a team sets out to design a pitcher's park and overdoes it..."

That bodes particularly well for a pitcher like Lowe, who in his last 64 regular-season innings, allowed one home run. Perhaps even more significantly, it also provides relief to the likes of John Maine and Johan Santana, who may get a few more outs on long fly balls this season.

Of course, what this does to Mets hitters could be an issue as well, though the one area that sounds like it will play hitter-friendly is the right field line, appealing to the likes of Msrs. Delgado and Beltran.

It will also be interesting to see what effect this has on Mets walk-off home runs. As the truly down low Mets fan knows, there have been only three seasons in which the Mets didn't hit a walk-off home run: 1973, 1979, and 1994

For everything you wanted to know about home run distances, go to Rybarczyk's website- http://www.hittrackeronline.com

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