The New York Mets have recently agreed to terms with Jason Bay, and the signing is official pending a not so much of a formality physical. With this signing, and even earlier, comes the speculation regarding Bay's power numbers and how Citi Field will ultimately degrade them.
I once read the book "Freakonomics," a book who much like "Moneyball" asserts to some extent that the power of pure human observation is weak. Or rather without much data, or without flawed data our capacity to make completely accurate observations is not at it's fullest. The same theory applies to the effect that Citi Field has on power numbers.
News paper writers, fans and bloggers alike all like to say that Citi is a place where homeruns go to die. Jason Bays 20% fly balls hit into play will likely land somewhere in left field, short of the wall. The Mets also hit the least homeruns in the league last season, 27 less than the second worst power team.
IT MUST BE CITI FIELD CAUSING THIS!
Nope, sorry thats not exactly true at all- or at least we cannot possibly know yet if this is a true statement. Think about it, last season the Mets were without Carlos Delgado who is good for at least 25-30 homeruns last season, Carlos Beltran who averages 28 homeruns a season, though lately is closer to 31 and Jose Reyes who averages 15 homeruns per 162 games played. Furthermore, David Wright, another 30 homerun threat had a bad season.
Those who buy in to the idea that Citi Field kills power may look at Wright's numbers and say SEE! LOOK AT WHAT CITI DID TO HIM! I say hold your horses. It is completely possible that Wright simply had a poor season, did he not apparently "change his swing" to prematurely adjust to the so-called "strengths" of Citi? It is completely plausible- perhaps more than plausible that Wright's diminished power numbers are of his own doing.
Consider this, if Wright hit just 20 homeruns this season, and Delgado hit a total of 30, which would add 14 homeruns to Murphy and Delgado's combined output, thats 24 additional homeruns right there, even if Wright fell 10 homer's short of his career averages (appox 27-30). This does not account for the missing production from Beltran or Reyes, not to mention the production of the additional players we lost during the season.
Additionally consider that the Mets hit more homeruns at home than on the road this season. Perhaps, Citi keeps homeruns alive? I doubt that, but if I said so I would only be doing what most main stream media guys are saying about the power sapping abilties of the stadium; making a poor observation from incomplete statistics.
You cannot say a stadium robs you of power if the team never had power to begin with. That would be like saying Bernie Madoff stole my million dollars when I only had 5 dollars to begin with.
Maybe, Citi Field does have this effect, maybe it doesn't. In the end, people jump to such conclusions too quickly, based on relatively weak data.