We still don’t have a ton of data, but I think that we can start to make some statements about how the new park is playing. Small sample size and self-selected data caveats should apply here. However, the numbers are pretty interesting.
Hit Tracker gives us the following spray chart:
[image title="newyankeestadium_2009_scatter" size="full" id="3285" align="center" ]
We can see that a lot of home runs are being hit very close to to the fence in right field. Now, look at the chart by hit tracker comparing the fences of old and new Yankee Stadium.
[image title="nys_vs_rys_overlay1" size="full" id="3287" align="center" ]
It looks like quite a few home runs would be questionable hits in that location in the old Yankee Stadium. A relatively small change in the outfield dimensions of the new ballpark seem to have created a fairly big impact. Hit Tracker also gives us the number of home runs hit per game in each ballpark:
1. Citizens Bank Park – 3.43
2. New Yankee Stadium – 3.38
3. Ameriquest Field – 3.29
4. Camden Yards – 2.59
5. Coors Field – 2.55
Yankee Stadium is right up there with four other parks that are traditionally home run havens.
Now, some more concrete data tells another story:
Yankee Pitching Staff Away: 15 HR (18th in MLB) 5.15 ERA (21st in MLB)
Yankee Pitching Staff at Home: 24 HR (28th in MLB) 6.59 ERA (Dead last in the MLB by a full run)
Yankee Hitters At Home: .274/.365/.479, 23 home runs
Yankee Hitters Away: .276/.349/.449 18 home runs
We have two contradictory pieces of data. Yankee hitters play Yankee Stadium basically as a neutral ballpark. They’ve hit a little bit better in Yankee Stadium, but not enough to be statistically significant.
Yankee pitchers on the other hand have been absolutely blasted in the new ballpark. They are a slightly below average pitching staff when away from its confines, but one of the worst in recent memory inside it. There is no reason that Yankee pitchers should be seeing a different ballpark from their hitters.
The only explantions for that data: luck, sample size error, or nerves. I think that the logical explanation at this point is still luck. But, luck runs both ways. While the batting splits seem to suggest that the home runs given up at Yankee Stadium are more a product of pitching than the ballpark, but there is plenty of evidence to the contrary. I think that this data is statically significant enough even at this point in the season to conclude that Yankee Stadium is going to have some kind of permament hitters park tilt, but right now it looks a lot worse because our starting pitching is allowing too many fly balls.
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