. . isn’t it? We all know the new Yankee Stadium in leading all of Baseball in Home Runs allowed this season, and the Yanks are #2 only to Texas in HRs as a team. The Park Factor for HRs is 1.430, which leads all of Baseball in that category. So I think we can safely call the new place a bandbox, and just admit the place is a joke with the way it gives up Home Runs.
But there’s just one problem. Those stats I just cited are from 2005, not 2009. Yes, the old venerable ballpark led all of Baseball in HRs allowed just a few short seasons ago. It was actually MORE of a bandbox that year than the current facility, with a HR Factor of 1.430 wheras the new facility stands at 1.320. Further, if we estimate the annual number of Home Runs based on how many have been hit so far this year (as of 8/10) the Yanks should hit about 243 HRs for the season. In 2004, the Yankees hit 242 HRs as a team. How is this possible?
Turns out that Park Factors and Home Runs vary wildly from season to season. Here’s a list of the recent Yankee Stadium HR numbers, from the old facility to the new:
Year-HR Park Factor-Ranking
A quick and easy explanation would be same park, but different team playing in it. But varying weather patterns could play into it as well. The Yanks certainly have good hitters up and down the lineup, but the 103 Home/73 Away for 2009 tells us that clearly the new facility has been more friendly to the Yankee lineup when they’re at home. Comparing that to other seasons, the Yanks posted a 107 Home/94 Away in 2007, a 111 Home/99 Away in 2006 and a 126 Home/116 Away in 2004. So the Yanks will often hit more dingers at home than they do on the road, but clearly the spread is bigger this year than it has been in years past.
So while the new facility is clearly playing small, it’s FAR too soon to say if this is related to the facility itself, or just another seasonal statistical anomaly. We will need a few years of data to make that assertion one way or the other.
NOTE-A very happy birthday to the Melk man, who turned 25 yesterday.
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