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Tigers to shorten left-centerfield fence

Dec. 5, 2002 at 10:06 PM

DETROIT, Dec. 5 (UPI) -- The left-center field fence at Comerica Park, one of baseball's most spacious stadiums, will be moved in 25 feet, the Detroit Tigers announced Thursday.

San Francisco's Pacific Bell Park was the only ballpark in which fewer home runs were hit last season (114) than Comerica Park (122). The last-place Tigers slugged an American League-worst 61 homers at home, just 12 of which were hit to left field.

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"Our goal is to create an exciting environment that gives the hitter an opportunity to hit the long ball," general manager Dave Dombrowski said. "Even though the left field wall will be moved, Comerica Park will still be considered a pitcher's park. Center field remains big, thus giving our pitchers many places to pitch."

The move comes three years too late for slugger Juan Gonzalez, who struggled in his only year with the Tigers in 2000 and complained of the wide-open spaces at Comerica Park.

The fence will remain 345 down the left field line, 420 feet to center, 365 to the gap in right-center and 330 down the right field line.

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