Buster Olney still doesn’t understand small samples

Jennings: Wang's locker is empty
Stadium quick hits: Seat sales and Suite views

In his blog today, Buster Olney is back on the “Coors Field East” drum he’s been beating all season. It’s gotten tiresome. Olney ran with the issue after the Yanks’ first homestand — which we’ll get to in just a second — and revisited the topic because of the five home runs the Yanks and Twins hit last night. Both of these instances constitute minuscule samples, and it leads Olney to some wrongheaded analysis.

However, after five homers were hit in the Yankees’ win over the Twins on Monday, there have now been 63 homers in 17 games in new Yankee Stadium: 32 by the Yankees, 31 by the Yankees’ opponents. Last year, the Yankees’ pitchers allowed 68 for the entire season, and the Yankees’ hitters mashed 92, for a total of 160. So at the current rate, there will be more homers hit in new Yankee Stadium by July 17 — the first home game after the All-Star break — than there were during the entire 2008 season in old Yankee Stadium.

First off, extrapolating from a small sample is no better than analyzing a small sample by itself. All it does is magnify the random effects experienced in a sample of just 17 games. As a for-instance, just look at then-Tigers first baseman Chris Shelton in 2006. He hit nine home runs through the first 13 games of the season. If you extrapolated from that small sample, Shelton would have hit over 100 homers that season. Obviously that’s a stupid analysis, and it’s exactly what Olney is doing when he looks at homers in the new Stadium.

Yes, there have been an inordinately high number of balls flying out of the new Stadium, but to look at the numbers now and decide that it’s a bandbox is silly. There are circumstances which can arise in small samples which skew the results. The most notable is the first series at the Stadium. In the four games against Cleveland, both teams hit 20 home runs. In the two games against Oakland both teams hit six, meaning there were 26 homers hit over six games, or 4.3 per game. Now look at the 11 games since, wherein the Yanks and their opponents combined for 37 home runs, or 3.36 per game.

The home run total doesn’t figure to be a statistic which will correct itself. The Yankees have 64 remaining home games, and it’s a virtual lock that more than 97 balls will leave the park in that span (160 balls left Yankee Stadium last season). However, to take the numbers in such a small sample is a fool’s game. The Yankees have barely played a fifth of the total games at Yankee Stadium so far. The first series at the Stadium sticks out to us because of the 20 home runs that left the park, but that’s a ridiculous pace which can never be sustained, even in the most hitter-friendly park. The number has been trending downward since, as any statistician would have predicted.

Olney asks at the end of his bit, “Is it still too early to say the new place plays small?” Again, considering the Yankee Stadium schedule isn’t even a quarter done, the answer is yes. It is way too early. Please, Buster, let’s wait until July to determine how many home runs will leave the park at that point.

Jennings: Wang's locker is empty
Stadium quick hits: Seat sales and Suite views
  • A.D.

    I think this is a bit harsh, but maybe I just read the blurb differently. he even says fair enough on it being small sample sizes, and is merely making an observation, the SSS makes it less likely to be a predictor of future events, however it doesn’t make the current pace not the current pace, just less likely to be the actual outcome.

    The main reason people stick on this is because the ball “seems” to fly out to right or people observe what doesn’t look like a HR off the bat to go out vs a bunch of players tagging no doubters, and thus the pitching just being awful.

    Plus usually writers like to have fun with this, such as a few games in to the ’98 season Shapp had this fun quote “At current pace Mark McGwire will hit 162 HR, and the NYY will lose 162 games. Neither is likely to happen”.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Benjamin Kabak

      Based on the entire piece, I came to the same conclusion as Joe. A few weeks ago, readers told Olney that it was too soon to judge the stadium. He accepted that then but now feels that enough time has elapsed to determine that it’s a launching pad. That’s a misunderstanding of small sample sizes. It looks like it may be a launching pad, but it’s far too early to tell.

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

        There’s no way of knowing yet, because the season isn’t over.

        Theoretical Joe Morgan

      • A.D.

        Yeah, I guess I took it as more of a random aside, than Olney trying to drive home something he beating the drum for as fact.

        Beating the Coors Field East drum would be idiotic

      • Whitey14

        I don’t think there’s any harm in him talking about the pace, as long he continues to revisit it and update on it, regardless of whether it changes for the better or the worse.

        The first batter of a game is a small sample size as well, but a no-hitter is impossible if he gets a hit.

        The sample size issue here is very real, but when it’s all you have to go on, you go with it until the numbers change. Hopefully he’s responsible enough to say he was wrong later if he does turn out to be wrong.

  • Ed

    I have no idea how to check a stat like this, but, does anyone have any idea what the most home runs hit over a 17 game span was at the stadium last year?

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

    So, the past two posts have been about:

    The joy of getting more Wang
    The disappointment of Small Sample Sizes

    Juvenile Juxtaposition FTW!

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Benjamin Kabak

      Nobody likes small Wang. Nobody.

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

        When Wang gets back up to the bigs, I hope he goes deep into the night. Deep and long.

        • jsbrendog

          i hope no one drives the ball hard off wang

          • I Remember Celerino Sanchez

            My fear is this Wang will have a limp performance.

            • ClayBuchholzLovesLaptops

              I fear that Wang gets squeezed by the homeplate umpire.

  • CountryClub

    First, I love the new stadium. I’m not one of those guys that bash the place. But right field plays very small. It is what it is. We can all hope that the trends even out…but they wont. At least not this year. Maybe they can figure out a way to stop the wind tunnel they have in the off season. Until then we’re all stuck with it. But so what. The Yanks have better hitters than almost every team they’re going to play…and better starters for that matter. It’ll work to their advantage more than it wont.

  • JGS

    Even July is too early–I’m pretty sure the minimum sample for determining park effects is something like three full seasons

    • A.D.

      Yeah you see swings, especially since the Yankee pitching has been under performing so far this year.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph Pawlikowski

      I was saying July in reference to Olney’s comment about the Yanks home runs by July. Clearly, you can’t gauge anything without at least one season in the books.

  • Axl

    Who cares if more home runs are hit in this stadium than the other? I don’t get it. 32 home runs hit by the Yankees, 31 hit by the opponents. Sounds pretty fair to me so far. So what’s the point? What’s he going to talk about next? People have been roaming around this stadium at a faster pace than the last one?

    He has a quota or deadline to meet…and he realizes literally anything about the Yankees (preferably negative) sells…so he drags the same old dead horse out and beats it to death in front of us…hoping that we’ll all grab a stick.

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

      Who cares if more home runs are hit in this stadium than the other?

      Well, generally speaking, I’d much prefer a completely neutral stadium rather than a pitchers park or a hitters park.

      If there’s an advantage one way or the other, it minimizes the natural talent advantage we’d have on personnel, wouldn’t you say? A park making hitters better or pitchers better is going to help the inferior team, because the marginal utility increase would likely be smaller for a better player vs. a weaker player. Playing in a bandbox isn’t going to really help ARod or Teixeira that much, because they can hit homers anywhere, but it would help Michael Cuddyer and Denard Span much more by allowing them to better approximate the production of ARod and Tex.

      • Axl

        Very true…but at the same time…I’m sure Babe Ruth (as well as guys like Giambi, etc) didn’t need that short porch made in RF but they made it for him anyway.

        I’d like a much more neutral stadium as well…but all over the place there are weighted ballparks. I just didn’t understand why OURS has to be a big topic.

        And it’s not like even if it were a bandbox…it couldn’t be fixed so it’s not happening as much. There are solutions and some of these articles are as if we’re stuck with it…and they’re trying to rub everyones face in it.

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

          But that short porch in RF was always counterbalanced by deep power alleys in left and right center.

          Babe Ruth undoubtedly benefitted from the short porch, but YS1 largely played neutral for most of it’s history, including Ruth’s years. YSII was neutral as well.

      • Ed

        Playing in a bandbox is our own little ‘roids shot that squeaks past the testing. All those warning track shots have a little more carry and fall on the other side of the fence.

        Who’s more likely to hit one to the warning track, Span or A-Rod?

        • Axl

          That was my argument with Arod before. Wasn’t playing in Arlington for the Rangers a “competitive advantage” in itself??

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

            Absolutely it was. Arlington spiked ARod’s numbers fairly dramatically.

            That doesn’t mean ARod wasn’t a good player, though.

            • Axl

              “Arlington spiked ARod’s numbers fairly dramatically.”

              lol. Jumbo Shrimp!

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

                (golf clap)

        • http://www.teamnerdrage.com leokitty

          That’s all fine and well, except there are plenty of other teams with sluggers on them (like the next three teams the Yankees are facing at home) and a hitter’s park takes a toll on your own pitchers.

      • MattG

        I actually would prefer a pitcher’s park to a neutral park, and a neutral park to a hitter’s park. With a pitcher’s park, you can invest less in pitching, which, compared to position players, is much more erratic and prone to significant injury. Further, although this has changed in a hurry, your fielding ability becomes more important, and fielding (again, until recently) has been undervalued, and is probably the steadiest of all baseball skills.

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

          But, again, while a pitchers park would make our inferior pitchers better, it would also make the other team’s inferior pitchers better.

          Since we’re content to attempt to beat teams by assembling a markedly more talented roster than they are, we should prefer a neutral park over any other type of park.

          • MattG

            Yes, but if they do not play in a pitcher’s park, they will need to invest top dollar on pitchers that stand more risk to getting hurt.

            This is the issue: position players are more reliable and projectable than pitchers. You earn an advantage when you are able to invest in more reliable commodities than your opponent. An extreme pitchers park should help.

            Not that its doing much for San Diego these days.

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

              Yes, but if they do not play in a pitcher’s park, they will need to invest top dollar on pitchers that stand more risk to getting hurt.

              Who, us or our opponents? We’re going to be investing top dollars regardless. Any way you slice it, both extreme pitchers or hitters parks lower the advantage of having a better roster by decreasing marginal utility, IMO.

              • MattG

                You don’t see the strategic advantage in this example: playing in PetCo, or QualComm, or whatever it is called, hiring Dave Duncan and piecing together a staff of reclamation projects?

                Back when ESPN classic was around, I had great success in the pitcher’s parks. I was able to invest all my salary into doubles hitters with good fielding abilities, and go totally cheap on pitching, and rack up 90 wins without a problem. The only time I ran into trouble was when I went with Bakers Bowl, Polo Grounds, etc., or even Fenway, which might be neutral overall (I don’t know) but is actually extreme BOTH ways, dependent on the hitter.

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

                  If every single game were played there, perhaps.

                  Since you also play 81 games on the road, you assemble your cavernous pitchers park full of reclamation pitching projects, and I’ll take my neutral park with CC, AJ. Wang, Pettitte, Joba, and Hughes and we’ll see who wins more games.

                  I’ll always take better and more expensive talent and a neutral park over inferior, cheaper talent and an extreme park.

                • MattG

                  I feel like you are missing a side to your story. As my opponent in a neutral park, you will need to get true value for your investment in pitching. You will do your evaluations, and decide that you can invest 40% of your payroll in pitching, 40% in hitting, and 20% in fielding, or whatever. But your investment in pitching is more inherently risky than your investments in hitting and fielding, so 40% of your payroll is at great risk.

                  I, on the other hand, can invest 30% of my payroll in pitching, 30% in fielding, and the same 40% in hitting. Right off the bat, 10% of my payroll is invested more predictably than yours.

                  But it cuts deeper: I target doubles hitters, who are more predictable, and come at something of a bargain when compared to home run hitters. This allows me to spend my budget for hitting better than you. And the additional 10% you are spending on riskier pitchers, I get to spend on very safe fielding.

                  If our payrolls are even, I’ve got an advantage, because my ROI will be higher. If our teams stay healthy and perform to expectations, you’ll have an advantage in your park, that will be mitigated in my park. But if we both suffer our share of bad luck, you will get hit worse than me.

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

                  If our payrolls are even, I’ve got an advantage, because my ROI will be higher.

                  If the goal in baseball were to get the best possible ROI, maybe you’ve got a point.

                  My expensive team with a smaller ROI still likely beats your inexpensive team with a larger ROI more often than not.

                • MattG

                  My whole point is kind of built on the premise that our payrolls are even…

            • Chris

              You never want an extreme park, because it makes it difficult to gauge what the home-road splits will be and to assemble a team that works both at home and on the road (not to mention the fact that it will depress the trade value of half your team). A slight pitchers park like Yankee stadium would be the best, IMHO. That would lead to slightly less workload on your pitchers during the season, but not skew the results so much that you have to significantly account for them.

        • Axl

          I agree. But then you turn into a team like the Padres…

          Think of how many saves Hoffman got because he mainly pitched there.

        • Tony

          What fun would that be. I feel that most fans want the team to win & also want to be entertained. I love watching hitting in person. I love watching pitching on TV.

  • Matt P.

    I haven’t run the numbers, but you are incorrect to discount 17 games out of hand a small sample. Let’s assume that there, on average, 38 batters per team per game (it’s roughly accurate over time). That’s almost 1300 at bats to use as a sample over a 17 game period. Now, comparing the home run rate per at bat versus all other stadiums this year, you could very likely have a significant result. “Small sample bias” is one of the most frequently misunderstood aspects of statistics. It actually doesn’t take a very large sample size lot to get a statistically significant result. Now, that doesn’t mean that a good model wouldn’t control for factors such as different pitching/hitting abilities, weather, etc. But that’s a different question than whether or not 17 games is sufficiently large. My guess is the real answer is: yes, 17 games is sufficient, but no, no one has run a real model to determine if the stadium is a band box or not.

  • Bob

    Are we counting Gardner’s inside-the-park job in those totals?

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Benjamin Kabak

      I’d bet Olney is.

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

      Don’t know. Would it matter? No.

  • Chris

    I find it hard to believe that this is just a small sample size and we’re going to see it revert to an average park for hitting home runs. There have been about 1500 plate appearances in the new stadium, and they indicate that it gives up home runs at a greater rate than average. I think the only question now is how much of a greater rate that is – is it just a hitters park, or does something really need to be changed.

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

      1500 plate appearances sounds like a big sample size.

      It’s really not.

      • Axl

        I really don’t think sample sizes are necessary here though. The structure is different than the last stadium…and it makes sense with the whole “wind pattern” thing. There are some major differences on this stadium compared to the last. To think everything would just stay the same because the dimensions of the actual field were the same would be naive. Is it a small sample size to make an ultimate decision on the matter? sure. But it’s not a small sample size in regards to wondering what’s going on…and noticing the differences.

        Fact of the matter is…if it becomes a problem…it gets fixed. Who cares.

        • http://mantisfists.files.wordpress.com/2008/10/julius-carry-aka-shonuff.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

          “To think everything would just stay the same because the dimensions of the actual field were the same would be naive.”

          The dimensions of the field are not the same. There was a post about the outfield fences here at RAB a while back. The fences don’t curve out in the corners like they did at YS2, they run in straight lines from the corners out to the alleys, which results in a smaller playing field. The fences are also shorter, at least in the corners.

          • I Remember Celerino Sanchez

            It’s very visible when you are in the new Stadium and look straight on to RF.

          • Chris

            I love the statement that the field dimensions are the same just because they are the same at a couple of points. That’s like saying a square and circle are the same size because diameter of the circle and the side of the square are the same.

          • Axl

            Well, even more so then.

            I did notice that while I was there as well…I was just stating what the dimensions on paper say…

      • zack

        Or, AS Matt P’s points above show with, you know, actual analysis, it really is. Sure, its not a large amount compared to full season, but statistically speaking, it is enough to draw some conclusions.

        Within the same # of ABs for Petco park, it was clear that it was an extreme home run suppressing stadium. You could tell from the #s and from observing games. And the years since have borne that out.

        Will the same hold true for NYS? Who knows, but I don’t think its too early at all to say that the park plays small and that the statistics back it up.

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

          Sure, its not a large amount compared to full season, but statistically speaking, it is enough to draw some conclusions.

          Observations, yes.

          Conclusions, no.

      • MattG

        Especially when Jose Veras was involved in many of them.

      • Chris

        A survey of 1,500 randomly selected individuals is adequate to predict the voting patterns of 150,000,000 voters in an election. Considering that it would take roughly 25,000 years to amass 150M PA in the new stadium, we do have a sufficiently large sample size.

        Of course, there are a lot of variables that you would need to control for if you want to get an accurate prediction. I don’t think we’re looking for an accurate prediction of exactly how much it boosts home runs, just an indication of whether it is playing small. That can be accomplished with a few easy corrections, and the indications so far are that the stadium is playing small.

        I was hoping to find a data set in baseball-reference that would allow me to pull out the HR/FB rates for the Yankees pitchers and hitters on the home and on the road, but couldn’t find the data. That would be a much more accurate measure than raw HR totals or even HR rates.

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

          And that’s the rub, Chris: The 1500 plate appearances we’ve had so far aren’t “random”.

          They’re April and May appearances. If you picked 1500 plate appearances from throughout the year in retrospect, those 1500 would probably accurately predict the total. But picking the first, or last, 1500 would probably give you skewed results.

          • mike

            Of course you can both be right. I didn’t take Chris or MattP to be suggesting that Olney’s is a good analysis. I took their point to be the fairly simple one that sample size may not be the (primary) problem. The problem is not size so much as lack of randomness/controls.

            • Chris

              It’s not good analysis (I really wouldn’t expect good analysis from a newspaper writer), but that doesn’t necessarily mean that the conclusion is incorrect.

              On a side note, you’d think that ESPN would go to UCONN and hire a couple of statistics majors as interns to get some real analysis done to feed good data to all these writers. How many times do you see in their (mostly Neyer’s) blog posts comments about not having the time to do a thorough analysis of the data? That’s what interns are for!

          • Chris

            I understand your point, but 25% of the season is still a significant sample size, even if it’s skewed. It’s possible that the final numbers will show a stadium that is neutral, but that’s not very likely. We’ve already seen somewhat of a correction after the first series from 4.3 HR/G to 3.36 HR/G, but the league average is closer to 2.2 HR/G. To reach league average for the entire season, the HR rate for the rest of the season would have to be roughly half what it’s been so far – that’s not likely to happen. The early data is clear that we have a park that gives up more HR than league average, the only question now is how many HR?

        • Andy In Sunny Daytona

          I no like math. it hurt brain.

  • kimonizer

    I know that this might be stating the obvious but ESPN Yankee sensationalist journalism of all types has really gotten out of control over the last year plus. Before I started reading RAB over this past off season (craving for constant hotstove news of course) I admit to reading a lot of ESPN for my baseball news. There was of course some anti-Yankee commentary with the regulars Stark, Olney, and Gammons taking part. But I feel it has gotten heightened and malicious, especially with the new park (A-rod as well) and this is an example of that. Its also interesting that a lot of these articles could be more objective analysis (which is how RAB has handled the home run question) but it tends to always have some unnecessary biting edge to it.
    I’ve been a Yankee fan all my life so I am kind of used to the anti-Yankee stuff and maybe am a little sensitive to it, but it is amazing how the sports journalists have gotten rabid over trying to knock the Yankees down a peg. Probably just a sign of the media times (trying to generate page hits or sell magazines or books) but it can get really aggravating. Ironically, I can’t believe that I had to turn to a Yankee blog to get objective reporting on my team, you would think that it would be a place for subjective homerism but RAB is so not that. Can’t say how much I love this blog.

    • MattG

      From Neyer’s signature on his chat today, “Never blame on malice what can easily be explained by stupidity.”

      • jsbrendog

        yeah and neyer also agreed with some schlub from hoboken who believes hughes should goto the pen cause hed be lights out.


  • MattG

    If its the wind thing, isn’t the wind going to turn around in the fall? Does that mean the park will play extreme one way in spring, the other way in fall, and neutral all summer?

    You’ve got to wait until the end of the year before pronouncing anything beginning to be definitive.

    • I Remember Celerino Sanchez

      I’m no scientist (really), but it seems to me the wall (shorter and cutting straight from RF to RCF without arcing) is the main culprit, more than the wind. You can really see it when you sit in the Stadium.

      If that turns out to be true, it can be fixed in the off-season.

      • MattG

        But I thought that people are saying that the construction of the stadium collects and propels modest winds into a wind tunnel that pushes out to right field. If that is so, when the winds turn in the opposite direction in the fall, there will be a different effect. Maybe not pushing the ball back in, but something.

        Point being, lets wait a whole season before thinking we know anything.

        • I Remember Celerino Sanchez

          Agreed. I’m not saying there ISN’T a wind effect. I’m saying that while we don’t know for sure that there is a wind effect, we can see the shorter/closer fences with our own amateur eyes.

          • The Lodge

            Could the change in the batter’s eye & OF wall color also be having an impact (i.e., the ball is easier to pick up here than across the street)?

  • Frank

    I agree it’s too soon to call the new YS a bandbox, but after watching Span hit that HR last night when it appeared he barely swung the bat, one has to wonder.

  • Axl

    What do you consider the most well balanced park in the game?

    • Mike Pop


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

      Here’s your middle third of baseball parks, year by year:

      11 AT&T Park (San Francisco, California) 1.045
      12 Yankee Stadium (Bronx, New York) 1.040
      13 Nationals Park (Washington, D.C.) 1.038
      14 Minute Maid Park (Houston, Texas) 1.036
      15 Citizens Bank Park (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) 1.029
      16 Angel Stadium of Anaheim (Anaheim, California) 1.017
      17 Progressive Field (Cleveland, Ohio) 0.995
      18 Rogers Centre (Toronto, Ontario) 0.959
      19 Tropicana Field (St. Petersburg, Florida) 0.955
      20 Dolphin Stadium (Miami, Florida) 0.954

      11 Dodger Stadium (Los Angeles, California) 1.053
      12 Comerica Park (Detroit, Michigan) 1.051
      13 Citizens Bank Park (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) 1.034
      14 Kauffman Stadium (Kansas City, Missouri) 1.033
      15 Miller Park (Milwaukee, Wisconsin) 1.011
      16 Yankee Stadium (Bronx, New York) 0.987
      17 AT&T Park (San Francisco, California) 0.987
      18 Rangers Ballpark in Arlington (Arlington, Texas) 0.979
      19 Safeco Field (Seattle, Washington) 0.948
      20 PNC Park (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) 0.945

      11 Tropicana Field (St. Petersburg, Florida) 1.041
      12 Minute Maid Park (Houston, Texas) 1.034
      13 Fenway Park (Boston, Massachusetts) 1.031
      14 PNC Park (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) 1.008
      15 Miller Park (Milwaukee, Wisconsin) 1.004
      16 AT&T Park (San Francisco, California) 0.993
      17 Oriole Park at Camden Yards (Baltimore, Maryland) 0.985
      18 Comerica Park (Detroit, Michigan) 0.980
      19 Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome (Minneapolis, Minnesota) 0.963
      20 Busch Stadium (St. Louis, Missouri) 0.950

      The park that has played closest to the middle of the pack over the past three years:
      AT&T/SBC/PacBell Park in San Fransisco

  • Mike Pop
  • http://theyankeeuniverse.com Moshe Mandel

    I think the wall in right being shorter and closer by up to 9 feet in some parts of right definitely contributes. (I know, a bit of self promotion, but EJ at our blog looked at this after the last home stand and compared the graph showing the HR distances and the change in the wall- http://www.hittrackeronline.com/detail.php?id=2009_1157&type=ballpark).
    Here is the graph up to date- looks like 10-12 hr’s that may not have been out in the old park.

  • Tank the Frank

    Having been to the Stadium three times now, I can honestly say that it definitely feels more like a hitters park than the old stadium. Every time there’s a fly ball – to left or right – everyone seems to hold their breath hoping that it won’t carry. If the dimensions are the same as they say they are, it sure doesn’t feel or look like it… in my opinion. I think the look has a lot to do with how close the fans are to the wall.

    On one hand, if you take away the series vs the Indians – which got this whole conversation started in the first place – I think a majority of the home runs have been no-doubters. Throw in your right field, Yankee Stadium HR here and there.

    On the other hand, there have been a few HR that seemed as if they weren’t hit well or hit off the end of the bat that found their way out. The ones that stick out in my mind were by Even Longoria and Grady Sizemore; two hitters with good power to all fields. So I think you have to tip your cap to some of the hitters as well.

    To me, it’s been a combination of bad pitching (at least early on), good hitting, and the ever-present short porch in right. Nothing more. It’s just one more thing for the media to latch on to. The new stadium may be a bit more hitter friendly than the old park, but there obviously will be a regression to the mean.

    I’m not a scientist or an engineer; just a fan. Just my opinion.

  • Lanny

    Small sample size or not they stadium is obviously a homer happy place that will only get worse when the weather warms up.

    • ClayBuchholzLovesLaptops


  • http://theyankeebomber.blogspot.com Conan

    Has anyone factored in that the ball carries better in the summer months, too? Most of those HRs hit have been in some shitty weather this year.

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