The dimensions of the new Yankee Stadium may not appear as they seem. A new report on what a hitter's park they've landed in is suggesting that the abundance of homers might simply come down to closer fences and lower walls.
With over a third of their home games in the books, the early prognosis of the new stadium as a homer haven has certainly remained true. Monday night's game marked already the tenth time this season (out of 29 played there) that five or more home runs were hit. If the current pace keeps up, the team is looking at 293 balls leaving the yard this season—just ten shy of the record in Colorado's Coors Field in 1999. It's also an 83 percent increase from last year's total of 160.
Accuweather is abandoning their previous suggestion that the high home run tally was due primarily to weather or a wind tunnel being created because of the new shape of the field. Now they're backing the early assessment of Greg Rybarczyk of Hit Tracker Online that the new shape of right field has caused 19 percent of the homers hit thus far this season.
The report says that the dimensions of the new stadium appear to be the same since the posted distances at the corners are identical to the old House That Ruth Built. But those don't account for a wall that used to be ten feet high and now only checks in at eight. And more importantly, in between those "identical" distance markings, Accuweather says:
The AP says
"The gentle curve from right field to center field seen in the original Yankee Stadium has largely been eliminated at the new stadium. This is due in large part to the presence of a manual scoreboard, which requires that the wall be straight. Losing this curvature has resulted in a right field that is shorter by 4 to 5 feet on average, but up to 9 feet in spots."
that sixty-three of the 105 homers have gone to right or right-center in that newfound sweet spot. Johnny Damon, who had a total of 17 homers last year already has 12, 9 of those coming at home.
And in case all of these numbers are making your head hurt, the Daily News is trying its best to keep things fun and focus on finding a homer-themed nickname to christen the new stadium with. Among the fan-suggested possibilities are The Bronx Bomb Shelter and Jack in the Bronx.