Nats impressed with Citi Field
The Nationals arrived at Citi Field on Friday afternoon and came away impressed with the Mets’ new home.
The Nationals took early batting practice around 2:30 p.m. ET, and realized that the stadium is a pitcher’s park, which pleased closer Joel Hanrahan.
The dimensions are as follows: Left field: 335 feet, left center: 379 feet, center field: 408 feet, right center: 383 feet and right field: 330 feet.
“It’s an upgrade from Shea Stadium,” Hanrahan said. “I saw a couple of games on TV and it looked a little bigger. We actually went out for early batting practice and I asked [hitting coach] Rick Eckstein how the stadium was playing and he said, ‘It’s a big ballpark,’ which is not a problem for me.
“Anytime you know that you are playing in a bigger park, you feel you have extra wiggle room. The Mets are a good hitting team. If you make a mistake, they can still hit it out.”
The dimensions aren’t the only thing manager Manny Acta noticed at Citi Field.
“It’s beautiful. It’s a state-of-the-art-facility,” Acta said. “That’s the main thing nowadays. When they build one of these new ones, it’s gorgeous. We enjoyed the stadium out there earlier.”
Left-hander John Lannan grew up in Long Island, and while he loves the new stadium, Lannan has a soft spot for Shea. He remembers watching his father, Ed, drive down the Van Wyck Expressway with Shea Stadium always in sight.
“I miss Shea. It just feels different,” Lannan said. “Citi Field is a beautiful ballpark. I took a run around and saw the Jackie Robinson Rotunda and it’s really cool. I was coming up on the Van Wyck today and not seeing Shea, it was kind of weird because you always saw it. Not to see it this time was kind of weird for me.”