Thursday, June 11, 2009

Going Gone

WELL, THEY FINALLY tried to get to the bottom of what's causing the home runs to fly out of the new Yankee Stadium this season. A report on blames not wind patterns but the height of the outfield walls, specifically in right field. I for one ain't buying it. It's classic meteorological behavior: never blame the weather for anything. I mean, it's not like you need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.

105 homers have been hit in 29 games at the new park, that's both teams, with the home team clubbing 59 of them. According to the report, close to 20% of those HRs would not have left the old Stadium. The notion that weather had anything to do the increase is shot down: "there has been no consistent pattern observed in the wind speed and direction that would lead to an increase in home runs so far this year." Glad to see AccuWeather's resources going to the right priorities. Maybe we can get the CIA involved after the All-Star Break if the power surge continues.

The study also notes that the new right field wall is shorter by an average of 4-5 feet, "but up to 9 feet shorter in spots." But just how do shorter walls account for the broken bat HR hit by Mark Teixeira a few weeks ago? The all-time record for a ballpark is the 303 HRs hit in the thin air of Colorado's Coors Field 10 years ago; Yankee Stadium is slightly off that pace right now.

I'll get a chance to examine the conditions firsthand in a week: I've got tickets to next Thursday's day game against the storied Washington Nationals. Quite a rivalry these two franchises have going for themselves.

The other new stadium, Citi Field, is playing quite differently for the Mets. They've only managed 21 HRs as a team through 28 games, and there are indications it may be getting into the head of some members of the Collapsin's. 3B David Wright confessed to Chipper Jones that he's losing some long balls that are being contained by the new park's spacious dimensions. Wright took it back the next day -- but the numbers don't fib: just 3 homers in 27 home games after hitting 21 in 80 games at Shea last season.

David Wright may not be smacking a ton of homers, but it's not exactly David Ortiz futility (.196, 3 HR) we're talking here; he's hitting a sizzling .354 with 35 RBI and a surprising 16 steals.

Going into tomorrow night's Subway Series opener at Yankee Stadium, Yankees have hit 95 HRs in 2009 compared to 37 for the Mets. Ace Johan Santana will pitch the Sunday night game, coming off a start where he surrendered 4 HRs to the Phils at Citi Field.

Yankees are 0-7 now against Boston this year after losing 6-5 last night at Fenway -- and 34-18 against everyone else. That's gotta be in their heads going into series finale tonight. You'd think New York would have the pitching edge with CC Sabathia matching up against a struggling Brad Penny, who's let on 96 baserunners in his 60 innings so far.

Yanks recently went MLB-record 18 straight games without an error. Then they made at least 1 error in 7 straight before the y played a clean game last night. Some Jorge Posada detractors would point out that the catcher missed most of the 18 games with an injury and returned to the lineup as the errors started.

Mets are playing with a patch on their uniform sleeve commemorating the first season at Citi Field, which would be okay if it didn't look exactly like the Domino's Pizza logo, which is lame. Maybe I'm not the first one who noticed the resemblance; someone going by No-Name247 pointed it out back in January, but he's kind of dismissive of it. I made the connection as soon as I saw the new patch in April. Just want to get that on the record.


ib said...

What is it with you Yankees and baseball ? A game which leaves me scratching my head.

Are you acquainted with Brushback over on One Base on an Overthrow, Warden ? A genuinely nice guy, and a rather nice site too.

The Warden said...

Ah, it's all just another way to kill time before the afterlife when it's all said and done. Not like it's football or something serious.

You know what blog on your roll I do feel a kinship with? A fellow sarcastic misanthrope who, like me, hates Bono with a passion: Swan Fungus. Good link there.

jimithegreek said...

aaahhh, baseball is the american& dominican pastime! looking forwrd to daytime baseball

ib said...

Swan Fungus, yes. Nicely caustic.

I detest Bono too.

A bit late with this reply, but still.