A Tale of Two Parks
So the first seasons for new Yankee Stadium and Citi Field are in the books. What have we learned?
Well, a lot. And then again, not so much.
In looking at the numbers, it’s clear that new Yankee Stadium is a great home run park, while Citi Field is slightly harder to go yard in than Shea was. Yet both parks leaned towards pitchers as opposed to hitters.
To make matters more confusing, it’s just one year of data and the Yankees had one of their best — and most powerful — teams in years, while the Mets struggled with injuries, and had an awful team.
But let’s allow the numbers speak for the themselves. In 2008, old Yankee Stadium was a middling park for long balls, ranking right in the middle of the pack as far as its home run friendliness. This year, new Yankee Stadium soared to the top of the charts. A big change, yes, but not as crazy as we thought earlier in the season. Remember that around the one quarter mark of the season, Yankee Stadium was on pace to yield 306 home runs, a number which would have broken the record for most homers in one year at a Stadium. In the end, 237 dingers were smacked at the Stadium, a far cry from that earlier pace.
Shea, on the other hand, was a home run friendly park in 2008, ranking as the ninth easier stadium to go yard in. This year, it slipped to the middle of the pack at 12th. Not a big change.
Of course, the Yankees led the majors in home runs with 244, while the Mets ranked dead last with just 95, so this isn’t exactly an apples to apples thing.
The Bronx Bombers hit 136 of those 244 at home, while 49 of the Met homers were at home compared to just 46 on the road. While most Yankee hitters loved padding their long ball stats at home, Nick Swisher was probably wondering what the dealio was. Of his 29 jacks, just eight came at home.
Not surprisingly, the Yankees also gave up plenty of homers, with their 181 allowed tying for ninth most in the Show. Again, it was no shock that most of those (101) came at home, compared to just 80 allowed on the road.
The Mets, meanwhile, were a stingy bunch, giving up just 158 homers – one of the lower totals in the majors. A slim majority of those (81) came at home.
Now the kicker is that the perceived disparity between these parks was massively overblown. Yankee Stadium ranked as the 20th easiest park to score in while Citi Field was 22nd.
Okay, now that I’ve confused you…and myself…it’s back to the eggnog for me.