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.

Dodgers plan to tab Clayton Kershaw for Game 1 of World Series

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MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick reports that the Dodgers plan to tab ace Clayton Kershaw for Game 1 of the World Series. Nothing is set in stone yet ahead of Tuesday’s Game 1 of the World Series. In the event Kershaw can’t start Game 1, Rich Hill would start. Otherwise, Hill would start Game 4.

Kershaw, started Game 1 and Game 5 of the NLCS against the Brewers, then closed out Game 7 with a flawless inning. He was hit around to the tune of five runs (four earned) over three-plus innings in Game 1, but rebounded for seven innings of one-run ball in Game 5. He struck out two en route to sending the Dodgers to the World Series in the ninth inning of Game 7.

Kershaw also tossed eight shutout innings against the Braves in Game 2 of the NLDS. Overall, he has a 2.37 ERA in 19 innings this postseason. There was no doubt who would be the Dodgers’ first choice to start Game 1, but it’s a relatively recent situation where the ace of a team also closed out the final game of the previous series.

Hill has put up a 2.61 ERA in 10 1/3 innings this postseason. While he doesn’t have Kershaw’s pedigree, the Dodgers would be confident having him lead off the series. Hill was excellent down the stretch last year, helping the Dodgers reach Game 7 of the World Series against the Astros.

The Red Sox plan to start Chris Sale in Game 1 now that he’s recovered from a brief stint in the hospital due to a stomach ailment. The lefty has a 3.48 in 10 1/3 innings in the playoffs this year. He’s among a handful of candidates for the AL Cy Young award after posting a 2.11 ERA in the regular season, but his lack of innings (158) may hurt him.