The Yankee Stadium thing

All three versions of Yankee Stadium have had a short right-field porch. But since the new version opened in 2009, the criticism has mounted and this new park does seem to allow the ball to travel further. Where a 100 score is considered neutral for park factor, Yankee Stadium III is currently rated at 106, a figure that does favor batters. But is the Yankees’ success dependent upon the configurations of their home ballpark? Hardly.

The figures show that the Yankees are more apt to hit a homer at home. But it is not a factor as big as people would lead you to believe. At home, the Yankees’ batters hit homers in 5.2 percent of their at bats. On the road, that figure goes down to 4.1 percent. That seems somewhat significant. But it doesn’t necessarily lead to more runs. The Yankees have scored 186 runs at home in 40 games and 183 in 37 games on the road. There is no major breakdown in the team’s OPS on the road (compare that with the Rockies). The Yankees have a team OPS of .799 at home and .780 on the road. The slugging percentage portion of that OPS is just 23 points different at home than on the road (.467 to .444).

And if this is such a great advantage for the Yankees, why is it that the team has a higher winning percentage on the road (.622) than at home (.600)? And yet, the constant dialogue is that the Yankees are uniquely suited for their home ballpark and have an unfair advantage there. And how come there is never a corresponding dialogue about the Yankee pitchers facing the same problem as opposing pitchers? Probably because Yankee pitchers have allowed a higher slugging percentage on the road! Yankee pitchers have given up only six more homers at home than on the road in three more games played.

It all gets a bit tiresome. But more than that, it denigrates the Yankee batters. They have high home run totals because of their home ballpark. That is only slightly true. But the truth is, the Yankees would have a lot of homers even if their home ballpark was neutral. One player that merits a lot of this discussion is Curtis Granderson. Boy, his swing is uniquely built for Yankee Stadium. But look at his spray chart below captured from TexasLeaguers.com:

Perhaps five of Granderson’s homers have been of the “cheap” variety. But there are a whole lot of them that were bombs too.

There is not much you can do when you are the New York Yankees. The team is good because they spend the most money. They are good because their ballpark favors them. They score all their runs because of homers. They hit homers because of the jet stream to right field. And yada, yada, yada. Success is the best revenge they say. But all this constant talk gets really old after a while.

15 thoughts on “The Yankee Stadium thing

  1. Frank S.

    Maybe Peavy's team should have hit the ball in the air.

    • etom

      Right on, not like they move it in for the Yankees players and back out again for visiting teams. I think the White Sox took advantage of it as well over the weekend.

      • Mike

        Since Peavy's teams don't play 81 games at Yankee Stadium, they are not built for it. Why is this so difficult to understand.?

        • Wait, what? The White Sox play in a home stadium that’s at least as homer friendly as Yankee Stadium and they have Adam Dunn and Paul Konerko in the same lineup? How are they not built to hit home runs to right field, exactly?

  2. uyf1950

    Last time I looked both teams played on the same field. The White Sox have a couple of pretty good HR hitters that are lefties in Pierzynski and Dunn. I don't recall how well Cano hit his shot but as for Chavez's there was no doubt about that one. That was a HR in most any park I believe and certainly wasn't a result of the "short right field porch". Just to add on to what the previous poster said. Maybe Peavy should have just pitched a little better like Phil Hughes.

    • h.sevush

      Cano's Sunday shot was a scorched line drive to centerfield that was out in any park short of Yosemite. The new YS is just making up for 60 years of mammoth blasts settling into the glove of left and center fielders in the original. The only time YS was neutral was in the period from the mid 80"s when they brought in the left field wall for D. Winfield till they finished it in '08. Funny thing, the Yanks keep winning whatever the bias of the park. Must be luck.

    • MIke

      I could never understand this though "both teams play on the same field". Mark Texeira plays 81 games on that field while David Wright plays 3 games. How can you compare them as "HR" hitters? You can't because one player has the advantage of hitting a ball 315 feet for a hr and the other player it's an out at his own ballpark.

  3. Norm

    You know, this gripe about the so-called "short porch" is old news. Hell, if I recall, in the original Yankee Stadium the distance down the right field line was something like 296 feet. If every HR hit to right field was just barely clearing the fence, I could see it. To me, it's just a case of a losing pitcher looking for a excuse to cover his failings.

  4. jay_robertson

    Since the game was "local" to me – I had no choice but to watch on the Chicago outlets….the WGN broadcasting team must have been given the party line BEFORE the game. Not only did they mention the short porch, but they also brought back the "Wind Tunnel." I hadn't heard that since the first season of the new stadium.

    Pretty cool that the Yankees can turn the wind tunnel effect on and off at the half inning.

  5. Meh

    It's almost to the point that I can't watch a non-YES broadcast. The ESPN guys beat the "short-porch" to death whenever they do a Yankee game. I'm tired of hearing it. Is is a factor, yes. Is it anywhere near what uninformed people (including ballplayers) make it out to be without looking at the facts? Absolutely not. With the hysteria about it you would think the Yankees were playing in Coors field circa 1999. I thought this hysteria wopul ddie down when the stadium first opened, but here we are in its 4th season still talking about it.

    • But then what would they complain about? See also: “jetstream”Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

  6. friend

    Perhaps the Yankees have an unfair advantage at home because the name of the stadium is "Yankee Stadium". If the name were changed to "The Seventh Circle of Hell", maybe that would even things out a bit.

  7. Chris

    According to hit tracker, 2 of the HR's hit off of Peavy were "no doubters" and the other one was "plenty". Not a YS cheapie in the bunch. Sounds like Jake is looking for excuses.

  8. iranuke

    I'd like to point out that if there are "quirks" in a ballpark, it is one of the jobs of the GM to find players that can take advantage of their home ballpark because you play half of the season there. Think "Green Monster" if you want to talk about "quirks" in a ballpark. The short porch in right field is there for Babe Ruth.

    Regarding the statement that the Yankees are good because they spend lots of money, I'd like to point out that there are several teams that spend almost as much as the Yankees but are not on a pace to win 100 games. You have to spend your money well or you will end up like the Cubs or Phillies with bloated payroll in last place. Tampa proves that you can win on a shoestring if you get the right players.

  9. renitheking

    lol.

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