Yankees Prove Power Numbers Aren't a Byproduct of Playing in Yankee Stadium
The Bronx Bombers are bombing away this season.
We're not even halfway through the 2012 campaign, and the New York Yankees have already hit 112 home runs to lead the major leagues. They have also compiled a team slugging percentage of .452, second only to the Texas Rangers.
Truth be told, I'm not one to brag about the Yankees' power numbers. But if I were to mosey on down to local public house and start bumping my gums about their power numbers, it surely wouldn't be long before somebody responded by saying this:
"Well yeah, but half of their home runs are pop flies to right field at Yankee Stadium. My 12-year-old kid could hit one out to right there, and he doesn't even play baseball! Now apologize for your lunacy!"
In my experience, Yankees fans hate it when this point is brought up. They tend to insist that the Yankees can hit home runs anywhere, even if it seems like most of their dingers are pip-squeak fly balls that just barely clear the right field fence at Yankee Stadium.
They're not wrong, you know.
Though the short porch at Yankee Stadium has definitely helped, this Yankees team isn't launching home runs left and right because of its homer-friendly home ballpark. The Yankees are leading the league in home runs because—surprise!—they're a legitimately powerful ballclub with some legitimate home run hitters.
This is a point the Yankees have proven time and time again over the last couple seasons, and they proved it once again this weekend at Citi Field during their three-game series against the New York Mets.
The Yankees hit a grand total of seven home runs this weekend at Citi Field, and the only player who hit more than one was Robinson Cano. According to HitTrackerOnline.com, only one of the Yankees' seven home runs qualified as a "just enough" home run. The other six qualified as either "plenty" or "no doubt" home runs.
To put this in some perspective, the Yankees hit eight home runs during their three-game series against the Mets at Yankee Stadium earlier this month. HitTrackerOnline.com measured two of those home runs as "just enough" home runs, with the other six being either plenties or no-doubters.
In other words, the Yankees hit just as many legit home runs in three games against the Mets at Yankee Stadium as they did in three games against the Mets at Citi Field. Keep in mind that Citi Field is statistically the eighth-worst ballpark for home runs in the majors, according to ESPN.com.
You shouldn't be. Despite the fact baseball fans and pundits alike tend to make a big fuss about the Yankees' supposed home run advantage at Yankee Stadium, the team's home/road splits are remarkably even.
Baseball-Reference.com has the key stats. The Yankees have hit 58 home runs in 34 home games this season, which is indeed a lot. However, they have hit 54 home runs in 37 road games.
Per ESPN.com, no team in the majors has hit as many home runs on the road as the Yankees. Only the Toronto Blue Jays and (shockingly) the Seattle Mariners have hit as many as 50 home runs on the road this season.
So there you go, Yankee fans. Tell your friends.
Don't worry, Yankee haters. I have something for you too.
Despite all the numbers and home run classifications we just discussed, the question remains: Does Yankee Stadium help the Yankees hit more home runs?
Yes it does.
Al Bello/Getty Images
By my count, there have been 25 "just enough" home runs hit at Yankee Stadium this season, and the Yankees are responsible for 15 of them. Russell Martin, Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter have each hit three JE home runs at Yankee Stadium, which doesn't come as much of a shock.
You can get a clearer picture of where these balls are landing by taking a look at the graphic on HitTrackerOnline.com (I'd love to just embed it here, but you have to respect the copyright). You don't need a degree in rocket science or even a microscope to see that a good percentage of the home runs hit at Yankee Stadium are just barely getting out to right field, where they are usually gobbled up by guys like the dingbat who caught A-Rod's homer off Tommy Hanson last week.
If you go up to "Ballpark Overlay" and choose Citi Field, you'll see that all those home runs landing just beyond the right field wall at Yankee Stadium would land on the warning track at the Mets' home ballpark.
So yes, the Yankees do hit a few cheapies when they play at home. You have every right to feel frustrated when one of their hitters pops one out to right field.
But you know what? Even if you take away the 15 "just enough" homers the Yankees have hit at Yankee Stadium this year (not all of which were hit to right field, by the way), the Bombers would still have 97 home runs on the season. Only the Blue Jays would have more.
I don't like the cheapies any more than you do, but you have to give credit where it's due. The Yankees would be a home run-hitting team even if they played on the moon.
Actually, the Yankees would be even more of a home run-hitting team on the moon because the moon's gravity...
Oh heck, you get the point.
If you want to talk baseball, hit me up on Twitter.
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