More homers? Blame the seats


Stadium wind pattern
Much has been made of the way balls are flying out of the New Yankee Stadium, with Buster Olney going so far as to call it “a veritable wind tunnel that is rocketing balls over the fences.” In four games the Indians and Yanks combined for twenty homers, and everyone’s wondering why in the hell this is happening. Thankfully, AccuWeather’s Gina Cherundolo took a look at how the Stadium’s layout may be affecting things (h/t THT):

The old Yankee stadium had more stacked tiers and a large upper deck, acting like a solid wall in effect, which would cause the wind to swirl more and be less concentrated. The new Yankee stadium’s tiers are less stacked, making a less sharp slope from the top of the stadium to the field. This shape could enable winds to blow across the field with less restriction. In addition, the slope of the seating would also lead to a “downslope” effect in the field which, depending on wind direction, would tend to cause air to lift up in the right field. Fly balls going into right field during a gusty west wind would be given more of a lift thus carrying the ball farther out into right field.

The pictures above come from the AccuWeather article, and illustrates what they’re trying to say in meteorologist jargon. Ben and I had a good vantage point yesterday, and we noticed how balls hit to right and right-center field just seem to float up there for longer than usual. That certainly fit the “veritable wind tunnel” theory that Olney thinks is a good fit for describing the New Stadium, but the good news is that this problem might not last all year:

If the stadium seating tier shape is indeed the issue, games will only be affected during times with the winds are from a westerly direction and above 10 mph. This typically occurs during the spring and the middle to late fall. The calmer weather during the summer should lead to a smaller number of home runs. In the meantime, the home run derby may continue.

Well that’s welcome news. Of course the cat’s already out of the bag, so every time a homer is hit in The Stadium, it’s  because it’s a bandbox. A-Rod comes back in May and hits 35 homers the rest of the way to lead the Yanks to the postseason? It’s because he plays in a bandbox. Jorge Posada has a bounceback year and hits 23 homers? Bandbox. Austin Jackson hits a homer in his first game? Bandbox. David Ortiz hits two homers off a long reliever? He’s healthy and back in ’03-’07 form.You know how it goes.

Assuming the weather holds up, tonight will be the first night game played in the new digs, so we have yet to see how the place plays under the moon. No matter what the studies show, we need a much bigger sample than four games to see how this place really plays. But what’s life without knee jerk reactions?

Categories : Yankee Stadium
  • Andy In Sunny Daytona

    Hhhhhhmmmmm. Maybe they knew what they were doing 85 years ago after all?

    • huuz

      no. people knew almost nothing about aerodynamics 85 years ago.

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        Damnit, where in the hell is Old Ranger to weigh in on this?


        • Andy In Sunny Daytona

          He remembers Hilltop Park.

          • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

            Jack Chesbro used to drive the bus that took him to school during the offseason.

      • Brian

        Especially since the Loge and upper deck in the old stadium really only date back to 1976 or so…

  • John S.

    That’s very interesting, thank you for the link.

    I agree about the knee jerk reactions, but I also don’t blame Yankee fans for freaking out. It was kind of a shock to see it play the way it has so far.

  • http://thebatshatters.blogspot.com the artist formerly known as (sic)

    “David Ortiz hits two homers off a long reliever? He’s healthy and back in ‘03-’07 form.You know how it goes.”

    Well put, sir.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      The old “baby on the corner” trick, eh?

      Not gonna fall for that shit.

      • http://thebatshatters.blogspot.com the artist formerly known as (sic)

        I have no idea what this means.

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

          Forget it. Too convoluted to explain.

          • kunaldo

            I got kids to feed!

            chappelle is awesome

            • Frank

              I’m sellin’ weeeeeed!

  • Matt M.

    and look at how much shorter the wall is. compare it to the shots they were showing during the jeffrey maier game. they’ve shaved a lot off of that wall

  • Jake H

    It will be interesting to see if this actually does happen.

  • GG

    Buster just loves to make it look like the Yanks do everything wrong, and the sawx do everything right. Guess thats what happens when you spend too much time working with Gammons.

    • Bo

      More ESPN conspiracy theorists. Im sure Olney who was a Yankee beat writer and wrote a great book on the dynasty is a deep down Sox fan who hates the Yanks. You cant be serious.

      • Andy In Sunny Daytona

        Yeah, we all know that beat writers are all fans of the teams that they report on. According to Olney he grew up a Dodger fan in Vermont.

        • Frank

          Yeah, but BTW ESPN really does have a conpsiracy of bias against the Yankees. They feed the national hatred of the team for ratings. That’s not even in question…

          • Whitey14

            Yeeeeaaaaahhhh, everybody is out to get the poor Yankees.
            Funny enough, this is what Red Sox fans used to sound like when we had a complex about the Yankees. I wake up and thank God for 2004 every day ;-)

            For the record, I never liked it when Sox fans were crying all the time either.

  • TC

    According to Tyler Kepner, there was a four game span at Yankee Stadium during July of 06 that saw the Yanks and their opponents hit 26 home runs.

    I would give it a few more games before we start calling this stadium an amusement park.


  • Andy In Sunny Daytona

    Why dont they let go of some air-filled balloons from the roof and see where they go?

    • Chris

      They would probably interfere with the baseball games that have been going on.

      • Andy In Sunny Daytona

        Oh yeah!

  • KP

    “David Ortiz hits two homers off a long reliever? He’s healthy and back in ‘03-’07 form.”

    That post made me laugh out loud and tell my roommate. Brilliant, Mike.

  • Andy In Sunny Daytona

    a lightweight usually cylindrical box for hats; New Yankee Stadium

  • Kilgore Trout

    It would be nice if this analysis was done by someone with credentials, not a girl who graduated from Penn State last year with a degree in communications.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      Is she hot?

      If so, I respect and trust her analysis.

      • http://www.new.facebook.com/home.php?ref=home#/profile.php?id=594331910&ref=name Jamal G.


    • http://thebatshatters.blogspot.com the artist formerly known as (sic)

      Background research FTW.

    • Thomas Gionet

      In defense of the article, Gina Cherundolo writes “AccuWeather.com meteorologists also estimate that the angle of the seating in the new stadium could have an effect on wind speed across the field.” In no way does she suggest she did any of the calculations and meteorological work. She may just write articles for the website since she has a degree in communications. Of course, I could be completely wrong and she did do all the calculations.

      Also, Penn State does have a top meteorology program.

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        Also, Penn State does have a top meteorology program.

        … full of hot chicks?

        I refuse to have my weather information delivered to me by an unattractive woman.

      • Kilgore Trout

        Meteorologists are like chriopractors anyway.

    • Jake D

      Credentials? Ms. Cherundolo’s job description is to write news stories for AccuWeather’s website. She is graduating Penn State this year with two degrees, one of which is in public relations – a very respectable degree from a very respectable university. She is more than qualified to write about the effects of quickly-moving wind on a small airborne object. Besides, it is not as if she is sitting in front of a computer running models and simulations and cooking up meteorological theories. She is not a meteorologist. It’s not even a question of her credibility. The meteorologists do the research, form the theories, and then have staffers like Ms. Cherundolo write it up in a professional manner suitable for publication.

      Unless, of course, you’re claiming that AccuWeather.com itself has no credibility, in which case your shortsightedness transcends mere ignorance and enters the realm of what could only possibly be intentional idiocy.

    • CAS


      You’re a complete idiot. She works for the meteorologists who do the analysis. I think she’s a fantastic writer. Next time don’t be so quick to make your judgments. You just make yourself look dumb.

      • RichYF aka sooooo tired of the “namedrop says hello” meme

        Pot, meet kettle.

  • Tony

    “Austin Jackson hits a homer in his first game? Bandbox. David Ortiz hits two homers off a long reliever? He’s healthy and back in ‘03-’07 form.You know how it goes.”

    So true…

  • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

    More homers? Blame the seats


  • Steve B-BALL

    By the way , stick a fork in Fat Boy Ortiz…. he looks Well Done

    • Sweet Dick Willie

      2 for 4 today w/ 2 RBIs to raise his BA to .196. Of course, that was against the O’s vaunted pitching staff.

      • Thomas Gionet

        Ortiz is getting back into his 2008 form.

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

          “Ortiz is getting back into his 2008 form.”

          Yup. Round and blubbery.

  • Sweet Dick Willie

    What about when the old stadium is torn down. Might that affect the “wind tunnel”?

    Talk about small sample size.

    • steve (different one)

      Cashman specifically said that it could.

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        Cashman specifically said that it could.

        Is he a scientist? He measures the fucking air?

        (nickel to whomever gets that movie reference)

        • Sweet Dick Willie

          Harlem Nights.

          (But I cheated, so you can keep your nickel.)

          • http://www.new.facebook.com/home.php?ref=home#/profile.php?id=594331910&ref=name Jamal G.

            You’re a gentleman and a scholar.

          • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

            Well done.

            (I wasn’t really going to give you the nickel anyway.)

    • A.D.

      Safeco suddenly gave up more HRs when the Kingdome was blown up

  • dkidd

    i don’t blame people for freaking out. i’m freaking out. i don’t want my team to have spent billions on a stadium that plays like pre-humidor coors. also, i find the empty seats and corporate atmosphere extremely depressing. can they turn up the fan mics or something? i know i’m being a debbie downer, but so far i love the team, hate the stadium

    • Andy In Sunny Daytona

      Did someone hit the ball so far out of the stadium that it hit and broke your capital key? jk

      • dkidd

        broken capital key?


      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside


        Shit, at least he’s familiar with the comma, period, and apostrophe, that’s more than some people around here…

        • Andy In Sunny Daytona

          RAB readers are informed and grammatically correct.

          • dkidd

            thats what i should of said

            • Andy In Sunny Daytona

              Don’t change dkidd, it’s your schtick.

  • A.D.

    I rather have “wind tunnels” instead of having the great hall dedicated to a player that never played for the Yankees, or even in the Bronx.

    That said I’m not worried either this small sample will prove to be just a small sample, the weather will change, or the Yankees will find a way to alter the wind around the stadium.

  • Paulie

    “This typically occurs during the spring and the middle to late fall.”

    Interesting, playoff baseball is played in the fall. If this theory is true does that mean we will be having this conversation about, “how the ball flies out of the stadium”, when a pitcher gets bombed in Yankee Stadium in the playoffs?

    • ClayBuchholzLovesLaptops

      No, because those are night games and we have no idea how the stadium will play at night.

    • A.D.

      Depends both on their definition of “late” and “fall” since fall can go a fair amount into November.

  • Bo

    Whatever it is they need to try and fix it.

  • cult of basebaal

    looks like tonite won’t be the first night home game.

    game called.


    • ClayBuchholzLovesLaptops

      I blame A-Rod.

      • Gary

        LOL…Alex is going to hit some real blasts in this park! We have to fix the problem.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      Hmm… hope this doesn’t push CMW back into a start in Boston, I wanted him to get skipped.

      • A.D.

        If they want they can always bring Hughes up to make a spot start and push the rotation around.

      • ClayBuchholzLovesLaptops

        The A’s are flying back to the West Coast after Wednesday’s game. I hope the Yankees can avoid a doubleheader or a game on Thursday.

        After Saturday I thought it couldn’t get worse, but Wang in Boston? I don’t want to even think about it.

    • Joe R

      Anyone know if this pushes the starters back? I was supposed to go CC tomorrow. Hope that doesnt change :(

      • 27 this year

        i think Andy will pitch tomorrow just because he has been pitching well and there is no reason to skip him. Plus, CC had a pretty tough start last time (not that bad for him) but I don’t think he had any sort of momentum that could be broken right now but Andy has been in a groove in his two starts.

  • josh

    i dont get why everyone is harping on thw wind thing. the big difference is the straight rf wall. with the curve there is a difference of like 5-10 feet. posadas hr would have been a fly out in the old stadium. no big deal. the opposition benefits just the same.
    i dont get why they put the seats right on the wall though. remember after the jefery meyer thing how crazy they got keeping everyone away from the wall. remember the police. to go through such lengths and then construct a trillion dollar stadium with the same issue as before. the fence being shorter in height wont help with this either. just wait until the playoffs and see what happens. i personally like the fans right up against the wall because it gives the stadium some character but the hoopla surrounding posadas hr will be going on all summer repeatedly

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      No. This is not about Posada’s homer, it’s about the other eighty homers that were hit.

      Asdrubal and Melky Cabrera were depositing homers in the RF stands 10-15 rows deep. That has nothing to do with the curvature of the wall.

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  • Tom

    Does anyone know how much further a ball will travel with a 10 mph tailwind over 350 feet or so?

    • Tom

      I just read that the ball will go 30 feet farther with a 10 mph tailwind, and 30 feet less far with a 10 mph headwind. That’s pretty significant. Enough to push a long fly ball into a homerun. http://www.straightdope.com/co.....h-altitude

  • Gary

    I went to the game Sunday. We walked all the way around the park and from the back of the bleachers at about 12 noon Sunday, it was very windy, with the wind blowing across from left field to right and also blowing in, I thought. Anyway, here are my thoughts on the Stadium: it’s magnificent; we have to fix the problem of too many home runs by perhaps raising the height of the outfield walls. It was perhaps one of the best ten days of my life; I was making homemade buttermilk pancakes for a group of eighth grade girls when I received a call at 9:30 from someone who offered me a ticket to the game; Robert Merrill’s rendition of the National Anthem: 10; the public adddress announcer: 6 (not as clear as I thought he should be); Girardi: 9 (he handled the bullpen like a charm, even though I lost about a month off my life when the Indians loaded the bases and were almost ready to put the game out of reach; food: 9; Girls at the park: 10; I am an Italian American and the entire Stadium on the middle level I was on smells like a sausage sandwich, which can never be bad; the entire day was rather perfect. The Yankees put on the best entertainment value in town. After seeing Kerry Wood throw Posada three 99 MPH bee-bees right down Broadway for a punchout to end the bottom of the eighth, I said, what exactly were the Cubs thinking in not re-signing him? And wouldn’t Wood have made a great Yankee pitching the eighth inning and spelling Mariano Rivera? The day was marred by the simple fact that I never did get to eat any of those buttlemilk pancakes!

  • Brick Tamland

    I don’t get two things… 1) why is it the MLB’s rule to prohibit making stadium alterations intra-season? and 2) Are there potential alterations to the stadium that the Yankees could make that could fix the problem? I really don’t believe that this stadium is somehow now doomed to the fate of Coors Field or the Rangers’ stadium…

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