Maybe this is why Travis Hafner can’t hit home runs

A wise man once said, “What happens when you combine Hit Tracker data with Pitch f/x data? You get a whole lot of data.”

On his Physics of Baseball website, Alan Nathan recently studied home run park effects using data from both Hitf/x and HitTracker. Some of the goodies include how difficult it is to hit a home run at each stadium, using Speed off Bat as a measure of difficulty, and the distribution of “carry” at selected stadiums. Cleveland turns out to be among the worst stadiums for home run hitting across the board, hence the (somewhat joking) title of this post.

He talks specifically about the New Yankee Stadium, and presents evidence that seems to debunk the theory that the new stadium is a veritable wind-tunnel. I’ve been to the stadium twice in the past week, including the 13-6 drubbing of Boston and the walk-off win just yesterday, and it’s so obvious that the walls are different than the old stadium. They’re straight across instead of curved outward, which should be obvious to anyone who’s been to a fair share of games at each, and the walls are lower than they were in the old stadium, which is less obvious. Everyone seems to know this except the weathermen and women who insist that it’s the wind.

Ok, enough of my own rambling. Check out the article for all the gory details.

(hat tip: Tango)

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  1. Jason said...

    What do you mean when you say the walls at the new Yankee Stadium are “straight across?” If the dtat says winds isn’t the factor, so be it. I don’t understand the explanation you’re putting forth, but would like to. Thanks.

  2. Dan Novick said...

    I suppose that’s my fault for not explaining.

    The dimensions in the old stadium were, from left to right, 318, 399, 408, 385, 314 at the foul pole, left center, etc. The new stadium has the same distance markers and they’re all correct, but everything in between those markers is different.

    This isn’t perfect, but picture a semi-circle. Then draw 5 points around the curved part of the semi-circle, equally spaced apart. Then connect those dots. The resulting shape will have a much smaller area than the original semi-circle. That’s essentially what they did with this stadium. The old stadium was the original semi-circle, and the new stadium is the new figure with the straight lines.

    The walls in the new stadium aren’t straight everywhere. But they are pretty straight in most places (where possible, of course), whereas the old stadium had almost exclusively curved walls.

    I hope that does a better job of explaining what I meant to say.

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