NEW YORK - JULY 06: Jason Bay #44 of the New York Mets connects on a sixth inning two run single against the Cincinnati Reds on July 6 2010 at Citi Field in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
A happy new year to everyone, especially Anthony DiComo of MLB.com, who penned a column today called "New Mets regime ready for year of change", a ten-question Mets primer for 2011. There are plenty of reasonable concerns here, like whether Ike Davis is the Mets first baseman of the future, if Josh Thole is ready to be an everyday catcher, and what's to come for Angel Pagan and R.A. Dickey, each of whom had a career year in 2010.
DiComo misfired a bit on this one though:
8. Now healthy, can Jason Bay overcome Citi Field's dimensions?
Bay indeed struggled last season after signing a four-year, $66 million deal just under a year ago, but DiComo fell into the trap of assuming Citi Field's inhospitable (to home runs, anyway) dimensions had much to do with Bay's offensive regression with the Mets. In fact, Bay hit far better at home than on the road in 2010:
These stats are all courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com. Whatever you make of his 2010 season, it's hard not to notice that Bay was far better at home than on the road last year. When adjusting for park, Bay was 21% better than the league at Citi Field and 6% worse than the league away from Citi. Not only that, but his .830 home OPS was second only to David Wright's .880 among Mets regulars.
Bay certainly needs to hit better overall in 2011 and beyond than he did in his first year with the Mets, and he'd no doubt benefit from not missing two-plus months due to whiplash and concussion-related symptoms, but an inability to cope with Citi Field's dimensions probably wasn't even among the top five things holding him back in 2010.