Detroit Tigers president Scott Harris finally spoke about Comerica Park.
While the Winter Meetings may have been disappointing for some of the Detroit Tigers faithful, in some areas, it felt like the Tigers could have done more. While it was not a total travesty, some good came from the trade.
The Detroit Tigers went out and traded for Justyn-Henry Malloy who seems that he may have a bright future ahead if he can pan out in the Motor City. Scott Harris and the new front office brass may not have made as many moves as some hoped.
Now, I'll be the first to admit I'm invested in what Harris can do with this team. While he has said all the right things, as is expected during a time of front office turnover. But I'm bought in and trusting what Harris will do with this team moving forward.
Just because Winter Meetings was quieter than many were hoping (including me), I'm not abandoning ship. He deserves the time to prove himself. But... his comments on the dimensions of Comerica Park did not sit super well with me.
According to an MLive piece, Harris said there was no tangible update on the matter. He proceeded to give a bit more insight into the issue. But he "said something" without "saying something," as I see it.
""My general opinion on dimensions is that I would prefer to be on one side of the aisle or the other, I would prefer to have the opportunity to have some asymmetry in the environments that we’re playing. Whether we are on one side of the aisle as a pitcher’s park, or on the other side of the aisle as a hitter’s park, we have the opportunity to build a team a certain way to take advantage of the dimensions 81 times a year, because we are the only team that plays in our environment 81 times a year. So I would prefer not to be right down the middle.”"- Scott Harris (via MLive, linked above)
This could easily be nitpicking into what Harris is saying. But he said he wanted to be upfront and clear with the fanbase from day one. I'd almost prefer Harris would be on one side of the fence specifically.
Harris isn't wrong for suggesting that being in the middle does not give the Tigers a real 81-game advantage. Being on one side or the other allows the Tigers to build a team to play to the park, as suggested. But not being able to discern which he prefers was slightly frustrating.
It's a minute thing. In reality, writing about the President of Baseball Operations being a bit indecisive about fence dimensions rather than spending $162 million on an eight-year deal with a 29-year-old outfielder is better for the organization moving forward.
But, the field dimensions could play a factor in the team's performance. There's a reason advanced statistics have started relying on Park Factors, and Baseball Savant has a tool to show how many home runs every player would have in each respective ballpark.
While the decision to change the dimensions of Comerica Park has not seen the light of day yet, hopefully, more concrete information will be available as the spring comes into focus over the next few months.