April 19, 2009

Yankee Stadium = Coors field east?

Buster Olney's Sunday blog entry addressed what is quickly becoming a concern for the Yankees management: New Yankee Stadium appears to be a launching pad, ala Coors Field in the 1990s. After only 5 games (if you include the exhibition games vs the Cubs), 25 home runs have been hit in Yankee Stadium. This is a pretty small sample size, and could be explained by the fact that the Yankees have a good offense and the Indians (who also have a good offense) teed off on a probably still-injured Wang and the rookie sent out there to take one for the team. Still though, the buzz from scouts and others have seemed to agree with the perception that the new park is playing very differently from the old one.

The Yankees management must be shitting bricks at this news. The Rockies have tried several different things to try to win at Coors and have succeeded only once in recent years, trying to build around a groundball pitching staff, and still only made the playoffs through their miraculous late-season winning streak. Pitchers have already shown an aversion to playing at Coors due to the hitter-friendly conditions - it will be interesting to see the premium the Yankees have to pay to get top free agents to their park. The Yankees have money, and they're generally pretty well run. But if this ends up being true, it drops a huge grenade on their current plans. Good luck to them in figuring out how to win with the high variance that a bandbox of a home ballpark can shackle them with.