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02/09/10 8:31 AM EST

Mets to lower center-field wall at Citi

Section in front of Home Run Apple to be cut by eight feet

Spacious Citi Field will be slightly less intimidating during the 2010 season.

The height of the stadium's center-field wall will be sliced in half, according to a report in the New York Daily News on Tuesday.

Last season, the wall in the Mets' new ballpark measured 16 feet in front of the famous Home Run Apple. But the second level of padding is being removed, putting it at a height of eight feet.

The report added that the rest of the stadium's dimensions -- 335 feet down the left-field line, 371 and 384 to left-center, 408 to center field, 415 and 378 in the right-field power alleys and 330 feet down the right-field line -- will not be altered.

The Mets hit the fewest homers in the Major Leagues last season with 95.

The ballpark averaged 1.60 homers per game during that '09 season, which was more than five other National League parks -- PETCO Park in San Diego, AT&T Park in San Francisco (1.59 each), Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles (1.57), Turner Field in Atlanta (1.52) and Busch Stadium in St. Louis (1.48).

The Mets not only hit the fewest homers at home, but they also ranked last in the Majors in road homers, hitting 46 in 81 games away from Queens.

A lot of that had to do with injuries sustained by sluggers Carlos Delgado and Carlos Beltran, but it was also due to a power outage by third baseman David Wright, who went from an average of 29 from 2005-08 to just 10 in '09.

To help that cause, Mets general manager Omar Minaya signed left fielder Jason Bay, who has averaged 30 homers and 99 RBIs per season the past six years, to a four-year, $66 million contract.

Perhaps a shorter center-field fence could help matters, too.

Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.