There has been much written this season about the homeruns that are flying out of New Yankee Stadium – at a clip of 1.96 per game compared to 1.13 last year (stats courtesy of the fantastic LoHud Yankees Blog). Theories abound, from different wind currents thanks to the more open design of the stadium to the old stadium’s wind influence next door.
I think I have the “solution” to the “problem.” People claim that the dimensions are exactly the same as the old stadium – which they indeed are in the corners, power alleys, and center field where the dimensions are painted on the walls. But thanks to this graphic, it is obvious that in between those measurements the wall is closer in some key areas in the new stadium – particularly right field. Plus, the walls in New Yankee Stadium are shorter than the walls in the old stadium. Compare the famous Jeffrey Maier homerun in 1998 to Jorge Posada’s controversial homerun in 2009:
Result? More homeruns to right field that would have been doubles or outs in the old stadium. Check out the HitTracker for homers this year and note the cluster of homeruns close to the wall in right field.
I’m not saying the bevy of homeruns are a bad thing, but if the Yankees wanted to fix the issue this offseason and return the homerun rate closer to average, make the wall the original height and restore the curve in the wall.