How will Yankee Stadium play in 2010?

What it means to cover baseball in 2010
Game Seven: Home Sweet Home

Last April the Yankees were targets of widespread criticism. It wasn’t because of their lavish off-season, though, but rather because of their new palace in the Bronx. While the old Yankee Stadium was known as a haven for left-handed hitters, who could pop home runs over the short porch in right, the new Stadium seemed to exaggerate that effect. Both the Yankees and their opponents cleared the fence frequently last April, with the Yankees hitting a home run every 19.87 PA, while opponents hit one every 23.92 PA. The effect persisted in May, with only slight changes in the home run rates. Many thought that the Stadium was clearly hitters’ park, and some went so far as to call it an embarrassment.

Photo credit: Kathy Willens/AP

In The Star Ledger, Marc Carig tackles the topic of how Yankee Stadium will play in 2010. He notes the trends that I wrote about a few weeks ago on ESPN. Once June hit the home run rate dropped. Opponents felt the brunt, dropping to one home run every 41.83 PA, and staying in the mid-30s for the rest of the season. The Yankees only saw a slight drop-off, though. Their June, July, and August numbers were only slightly worse than the April and May ones. I think this illustrates the issue.

The perception of Yankee Stadium as a bandbox started in April, and was based mostly on a game where Cleveland hit six home runs. Tampa Bay also had a game where they hit four homers. Remember, though, that opponents only came to the plate 311 times in April, hardly a meaningful sample. Opponents hit 13 home runs, but six of them came in that Cleveland game, where Chien-Ming Wang and Anthony Claggett served up the taters. May isn’t quite as explainable, as opponents hit 29 home runs in 672 plate appearances, a slightly quicker pace than April. But, again, their rate dropped off considerably after that.

As I noted in the ESPN TMI article, the Yankees hit a ton of home runs at the Stadium because the team was built to do just that. In addition to the three lefties — Matsui, Damon, and Cano — the lineup featured four switch hitters: Teixeira, Cabrera, Posada, and Swisher. Those four have all hit for more power from the left side in their careers. The plan worked, too, as each of them outpaced their career slugging numbers from the left side. Combined with the raw power of Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter’s excellent power numbers to right, the team was not only built for its home park, but was also well-rounded enough to succeed on the road.

We still don’t know if the early season power numbers from last season were an aberration or if they represent some kind of weather pattern at the Stadium. That’s why park factors are best examined using three-year samples. We just don’t know what caused the balls to leave the yard. Were the pitchers just not used to pitching at the park, as Joe Girardi says? Or is there an environmental effect that pushes the balls out? We’ll have a better idea after this April and May, though we still won’t have the full picture. That will take another year or two to determine.

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What it means to cover baseball in 2010
Game Seven: Home Sweet Home
  • Chris

    The most interesting thing about the stadium is that while it was a very favorable park for hitting home runs, it was actually slightly a pitchers park. I expect that it will always remain a good place to hit home runs, it’s just a matter of how good it is.

    • Rose

      Right, it drastically cut its numbers of hits, doubles, and triples (SSS of 1 season though and only one set team of players thus far).

      • http://Youcan'tincreaseyourrange TLVP

        Cutting down on balls in play makes a lot of sense since the Yankees don’t care about defense.

        Neyer’d

  • Andy in Sunny Daytona

    It will play like a Bangbox.

    • Rose

      It will play like a Bangbox.

      That might not be so bad once Heidi Watney is in there…

    • http://www.thematrix101.com/ Thomas A. Anderson

      So will opposing players have to take the Bangbus to the stadium? I thought that was reserved for the home team.

  • Rose

    We may see a similar line…I think Granderson and Damon will have very similar numbers and HR might be down for Nick Johnson as Hideki “Chop”sui had more power and knack for hitting them. This of course could change…this is just simply judging the book by its cover at the moment.

    • Andy in Sunny Daytona

      No one is buyong the nickname, Rose.

      • Andy in Sunny Daytona

        or buying…

      • Rose

        You don’t have to buy it…but I ain’t gonna stop sellin’ it!

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Your Favorite Pundit’s Favorite Pundit
          • http://twitter.com/JoeRo23 The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

            Ah… Back in the days when I hadn’t yet tired of fighting the good fight.

            Le sigh.

            • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Your Favorite Pundit’s Favorite Pundit

              My favorite line from that convo (which nobody either got or laughed at, apparently):

              Seriously, dude, I admire your passion, but Oscar Pistorius has more legs than your hackneyed Chone Figgins joke.

              http://www.instantrimshot.com

              • http://twitter.com/JoeRo23 The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

                Ha, very well-done… Definitely had to wiki it.

                • Rose

                  Your butts probably get quite sore constantly patting each other there…

                  to each their own though…

          • king of fruitless hypotheticals

            TJSC you chonin’!

    • A.D.

      Figure A-Rod should hit more HR this year & Cano could develop more power then last year, but will Gardner/Thames/Winn out HR Gadner/Melk

      • Rose

        but will Gardner/Thames/Winn out HR Gadner/Melk

        Probably…but that’s assuming Gardner/Thames/Winn last the full season in LF this year…which probably has a 25% chance of happening haha

    • Jerkface

      Chopsui? Are you kidding me? Do you know how unbelievably racist that is? Chop Suey is a chinese dish. The japanese hate chinese anything. This is a disgrace to Yankees baseball.

      • Jerkface

        I meant to reply to Rose’s comment stupid nested comments >:(

        The point stands. Do not dishonor Matsui by giving him some crappy chinese nickname

      • http://mystiqueandaura.com/ pete

        moreover, CHoP is chop. Matsui is HazMat or Hitdeki

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Your Favorite Pundit’s Favorite Pundit

          Matsui is HazMat

          Repeated for emphasis. HazMat is a plus-plus nickname. ChopSui is tres banal.

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Your Favorite Pundit’s Favorite Pundit

        Chopsui? Are you kidding me? Do you know how unbelievably racist that is? Chop Suey is a chinese dish.

        Meh, I’d say that Chop Suey, just like most “Chinese” food we eat here in America, is an American dish, not a Chinese dish.

        Almost all Chinese food is fairly non-authentic in it’s chinese-ness. Chop suey, chow mein, lo mein, fried rice, crab rangoon, General Tso’s chicken, etc… they don’t eat that shit in China. It’s American fast food with a quasi-Asian pastiche.

        /nitpick’d

        • charles poet

          NICE!!!!!

          TSJC just made someone his biaaaach

        • Jerkface

          Chop suey is widely believed to have been invented in America by Chinese immigrants, but in fact comes from Taishan, a district of Guangdong Province which was the home of many of the early Chinese immigrants; the Hong Kong doctor Li Shu-fan reported that he knew it in Taishan in the 1890s

          Suck it down.

        • Tom Swift

          It’s still racist. Imagine that the Yankees had a black outfielder named John Waterman. And that someone on this board started calling him “Watermelonman.” That is obviously racist, and the moderators of this board would not stand for it. That would be true even if you could prove to me seven ways to Sunday that most black people hate watermelon and are allergic to it (for all I know, that might be true).

          So my question to Ben and Mike is, why haven’t these offensive posts been deleted?

    • bexarama

      stop trying to make “Chop” happen. It’s not going to happen!!!!

      /Mean Girls‘d

      • bexarama

        …to Matsui, anyway.

      • http://twitter.com/Cnight_UP Coach6423

        that is so fetch…

    • Stryker

      you’re really pushing that “chop” nickname for matsui, aren’t you?

    • A.D.

      Did anyone actually ever call him “Chop” but you?

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Your Favorite Pundit’s Favorite Pundit

        BANGWAGON

    • http://twitter.com/JoeRo23 The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

      Well you got quite the reaction out of that one, huh. Seriously, though… This Matsui/Chop thing is clearly pretty annoying to just about everyone but you, what say we just put it to rest so we don’t have to have/read this conversation all the time.

      • Spaceman.Spiff

        Seconded.

      • Rose

        It’s only a big deal because you guys made it a big deal. It was something I used and said innocently that I wouldn’t partake in calling Chan Ho Park something because for 7 years I called a long time Yankee the same thing.

        You all made it a big deal and now are trying to put all the blame directly on me because of something I did in the confines of my own home and brought up rarely on here.

        Lesson for next time. Instead of salivating and seeing something like this as an opportunity to put somebody down like usual…you could ignore it, which in turn will not blow it out of proportion and ironically cause what “annoys” you so much.

        It’s pretty simple…

        • http://twitter.com/JoeRo23 The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

          Dude I didn’t put you down or blow anything out of proportion, I asked you to stop saying something that clearly is amusing to you but annoying to everyone else. I was trying to help.

          Don’t listen to me, go ahead and continue annoying people… But stop with this martyr routine. Of all the people who reacted to your comment (most very negatively) you chose to respond to me as if I’m coming down on you. Read the comments in this conversation again, please. Your reaction is mistaken.

          • Rose

            You asked that I stop using something I rarely use on this board and mainly use in my own home. It was rather bizarre. There is no “martyr routine.” The only routine seems to be you inaccurately blaming things on me that I have no control over.

            Like I said, I innocently explained why I won’t call Chan Ho Park the same name I called Matsui for 7 years and all hell broke loose. It’s not something I did…it’s something that everybody else did. My intentions weren’t to start controversy over something stupid and personal because quite frankly, I don’t give a shit what any of you think about it, hence me not really bringing it up. For the most part, it’s people trying to be clever saying something similar in a ‘joking’ fashion adding the always hilarious “Rose’d” at the end to certify the laughter. Then it goes from there.

            I’m not singling you out I just don’t know any of these other clowns commenting about it. “Jerkface”? I read a few comments of his and my head almost exploded. Anything I say to him would probably end up being a waste of time as I’m almost positive I’ll never see him again.

            I just didn’t understand how someone like yourself could ask me to stop saying it when I might have brought it up a total of two times on my own which is infinitely less than everybody else trying to gather a few cheap laughs at my expense. That’s all.

            If everybody doesn’t like it then it’s quite simple to stop bringing it up yourselves AND (get this…) to ignore me when I bring it up. Me posting “Chop” doesn’t automatically cause or allow everybody to go crazy and get annoyed. The people who willingly bring it up and continue to argue and whine about it are the ones who bring it upon themselves.

            As I’ve said before, my intentions weren’t to start an uproar. Just like the Chone Figgins thing before. I brought it up…you all played the role of Dictator and reacted in a very similar fashion bringing it all upon yourselves…and it went away. Now we see it happening on an even more innocent and personal thing like this.

            Everyone should really ask themselves “Is this really worth it??”

  • Jersey Mike in LA

    I’m a Yankee transplant in LA and cannot watch today’s game at work thanks to MLB.TV’s blackout restrictions (Angels). Does anyone know where I can find the game online? channelsurfing.net and justin.tv don’t seem to have any links for the game today. Thanks!

    • A.D.

      You can listen to it, that doesn’t have blackout.

  • Accent Shallow

    What about OYS coming down?

    I’m interested to see what, if any, effect that will have.

  • charles poet

    So if you hit a HR in your first AB at Yankee stadium, are you allowed to continue with Miley Cyrus as your intro song?

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