The Red Sox want to bring the right field fence in by nine feet

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Those Red Sox. Always soooo envious of the Yankees. Now they’re totally copying the whole short porch thing:

The team is seeking approval from the Boston Landmarks Commission to widen Fenway Park’s bullpen by about 9 feet – a double-edged alteration that should make hitting home runs to right field that much easier.

The change – part of an offseason ballpark renovation plan announced today – would shorten the distance from home plate to the bullpen fence from the current 380 feet to about 371 feet.

In case you’re curious, here’s the chart of home runs in Fenway Park for 2010. It obviously doesn’t show the fly balls or doubles off the wall that will be home runs if the change goes through, but there are bound to be a good number. While it still doesn’t make a poke to right a cheapie, this will apparently shorten Pesky Pole homers too*, so yeah, there are going to be more homers in Boston if this goes down.

And that’s what we really need: more slugfests in Boston.

*I think I misread that. The article says that the wall “behind the Pesky Pole” will be shorter. I think that means “beyond” and that the distance down the line itself will remain the same. My bad.

Indians sign Melky Cabrera to a minor league deal

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The Indians have signed free agent outfielder Melky Cabrera to a minor league deal. The pact is pending a physical.

Cabrera, 33, went unsigned this past offseason after putting up a season of .285/.324/.423 with 17 homers and 85 RBI with the White Sox and the Royals.

Cabrera will report to Columbus once he passes his physical and, according to Paul Hoynes, there are no guarantees being made to him that he’ll get playing time. That said, the Indians aren’t getting much outfield production from anyone besides Michael Brantley, and Cabrera’s status as a switch hitter would give Terry Francona some flexibility, so it would not be shocking to see him on the big club after some reps in the minors.