The New York Yankees are now only one game over .500 since the last day of July and it has been tough watching the team crawl to the finish line. This really isn't the way you want to watch a team eek into a playoff spot (if you still consider the wild card game a playoff spot). And just two things are on my mind this morning:
- I remember Buster Olney doing a column on favorable schedules after the All Star Break and the Yankees having one of the most favorable because of the number of home games..
- I have to watch Yankee games against the Red Sox on NESN because of blackouts and one of the text questions on their broadcast last night was: "Does the new Yankee Stadium give the Yankees the same home field advantage."
Olney's conclusion did not work out, obviously, because of the nearly .500 clip the Yankees have played the last two months. And if I would have texted my answer to NESN's question, I probably would have said no.
I haven't been to the new stadium. All my memories of going to games were in the old place. That place always seemed to rock. Since I cannot really tell now as I have not actually been there. Watching the games on television, the crowds a the new stadium just seem different...quieter...pensive....reserved.
Jerry Remy answered NESN's question with an unequivocal NO. That doesn't mean he is necessarily right, but he has seen games in both places, so I feel stronger about his response than mine. But what do the numbers say?
I tracked the winning percentage of the team's overall performance versus the home record for all the years in the new stadium and the last few years of the old stadium. At the bottom of the post you can see my results.
One thing easily seen is that the Yankees still had a big advantage at home the first few years of the new stadium. There was a healthy difference between the overall record and the home record. But the last two years have been a different story.
I don't have time to dig into the differences right now, nor do I probably have the skills to discuss this intelligently. But something is different the last couple of years and home has not been as wonderful a place to be as it was in the past. Whether it has to do with the make ups of the teams or the way they are fielded, I have no idea without digging further.
I simply wanted to show what I found and open the discussion. And while these numbers are not as comforting as you would want knowing the one-game-wild card-play-in-Russian Roulette is at home (we hope), it is still more comforting than having to have that game be played away.