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Teams will have to wait and see on the Ballpark's impact

As assistant general manager of the Braves, Frank Wren has seen as many major-league exhibitions at the Ballpark at Disney as anyone.

By MARC TOPKIN
Published May 15, 2007


LAKE BUENA VISTA - As assistant general manager of the Braves, Frank Wren has seen as many major-league exhibitions at the Ballpark at Disney as anyone.

But even Wren doesn't know how the stadium will play for major-league regular-season games in mid May.

"I think it's a very fair park, but not having seen major-league players there in the summer, it's anyone's guess, " Wren said. "Every part of the state has its little nuances as far as things like the prevailing winds at that time of year, and how heavy the air is at night. ... You're not going to know whether to use a flyball pitcher or a groundball pitcher. That's a variable you don't have in the dome."

Wren said the grass playing surface and lights are excellent and the hitters' background "as good as you'll find outside the 30 major-league stadiums."

The Ballpark is longer down the foul lines than Tropicana Field - 340 feet vs. 315 to left and 330 vs. 320 to right; and about the same in center - 400 to 404.

"The wild card is the wind, " Wren said. "In spring time, the balls usually fly out of there, but there are other days when the wind comes in from center and you can't drive a ball out."