Tuesday, April 21, 2009

More Homers Will Be Hit at New Yankee Stadium

The New York Yankees organization is, by its nature, arrogant and duplicitous. So it should come as no surprise that their claims that the new Yankee Stadium has the same dimensions as the old Yankee Stadium turn out to be false. So says Greg Rybarczyk, of the Hit Tracker website, as documented at Was Watching:

The old Yankee Stadium outfield wall is in red; the new one is in blue. Says Rybarczyk:
I created this by using actual prints from the new stadium, and by using high resolution satellite photos for the old stadium. You may have heard that the dimensions at the new park are the same as the old park, but that is not strictly true. In certain spots the distances are the same or similar, but there are significant differences in the fence line. As you can see in the diagram, most of right field is shorter in the new park, by as much as 9 feet, but more typically by 4-5 feet (the blue dotted lines in the corners are scale markings that are 4 feet apart.) In center field, the new park is actually a bit deeper, and in left field, the parks are very similar. From some analysis I’ve done on home runs, these differences would tend to increase home runs overall, and particularly in middle-to-lower power hitters.

The fence distances are not the only difference: in a few places, the fence is shorter (particularly the right field corner). A typical conversion factor for fence height to distance is that lowering a fence by 1 foot is roughly equal to moving it 0.84 feet closer to home plate. So, with the right field fence being a couple feet shorter in the new park, this is like moving it in a foot and a half or so.
Note that right field is closer to home plate to begin with, and already had the most homers hit to that part of the field in the old stadium; so moving that wall in closer will surely cause a greater marginal increase on homers hit there than the decrease in homers caused by the left-center wall being moved farther out, where many a fly ball will continue to go to die. And indeed, according to the New York Times, the new Yankee Stadium has seen the most homers per game in the majors so far this season (in an admittedly small sample size of four games).

Looks like good news for lefty sluggers and bad news for the Yankees pitching staff.


Anonymous said...

i love the fact that more homers are being hit at the stadium. makes it more interesting to watch the games. did anyone else see that msg is airing the bronx is burning series now?? (http://www.msg.com/summerof77/) its on sundays at 9pm with post show commentary from reggie jackson, ron guidry, and many others. i wasn't really old enough to appreciate that, so im glad that i get to witness the beginning of everything in the new stadium.

Chachy said...

The games might be more exciting, but I have a theory that good hitter's parks are bad for teams, for a few reasons. 1) The inflated offensive stats cause teams to over-value offensive players, which cause them to overpay for offense; 2)The inflated ERAs cause teams to under-value their pitchers, which cause them to underpay for pitching. 3) Every young pitcher has to go through a period of establishing confidence in their own ability - a very brittle thing, given the nature of the game. Hitter's parks make that process more difficult, and in the worst cases can destroy young pitchers' careers. I think this is one of the reasons that the Rangers have been lousy ever since moving into their hitter-friendly park, and why the Rockies have (mostly) been lousy as well.

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i love the fact that more homers are being hit at the stadium. makes it more interesting to watch the games. did anyone else see that msg is airing the bronx is burning series now??

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