Fukudome noticed it.
"As long as I'm aware of where the mound is, I don't think it will be a factor," he said, through interpreter Ryuji Araki. "You don't see that in Japan, so it's going to take more than one game to get used to it."
What was his first impression of Wrigley?
"It's cold," Fukudome said.
It was a chilly 43 degrees for Sunday's workout. The forecast for Opening Day on Monday calls for rain late in the afternoon -- hopefully after the Cubs and Milwaukee Brewers are finished.
The Cubs' bullpen also seems closer to the field than before because of the addition of the 71 Chicago Board Options Exchange seats near the dugout. The tarp also has been moved from the left-field line to the right-field side, closer to first base. Derrek Lee will want to be careful with popups in foul territory. Lee did notice the changes.
"It's a lot more level," Lee said of the field. "It's not as drastic a change as I expected in my mind. It's definitely different. I think in the summer, the field will play even better."
That's because the grass is a little short now, and the infield dirt is soft, but the infield grass is much faster than it has been in years past at Wrigley.
"The field is good," Piniella said. "The grass needs to grow a little bit. The cold weather has prevented that. They've done a nice job. From the dugout, you can see the whole field now."
Before, Piniella could barely see the right fielder from his dugout perch. When 5-foot 10-inch Sam Fuld was in right, Piniella could only see his hat.
There is one more change at Wrigley that Piniella was happy with.
"They put some padding on the seats in the dugout so it's a little more comfortable," he said of the dark green cushions on top of the wooden dugout bench.
However, there's no padding on the visitor's dugout.
"I like that," Lee said, laughing. "That's good."
Let's see if Milwaukee's Ned Yost notices.