Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Some preliminary examination of park effects

Ok, calm, deep breath. Repeat after me "Citizens Bank Park is not a homerdome." Say it again and again until you believe it.

It's easy to understand why people think it is. After all, the Phillies hit a lot better at home (#2 in OPS at home) than they do on the road (third from last in road OPS). The team has the second worst OPS against at home. The team has (brace yourself) the BEST OPS AGAINST on the road. The ball hopping aroung like a pinball at home. Peter Gammons saying the Cit Park designer is an idiot. It's a confusing time for those with a weak grasp of statistics. Heck, it is a confusing time for all of us.

So, here's a few thoughts.

1) Citizaens Bank Park ranks #12 in the Majors in park effect for runs (I've used 2004 numbers so small sample sizes won't skew things).

2) The Braves, Marlins, Mets, and Nationals all play in pitcher's parks.

3) The Mariners play in an EXTEME pitcher's park, and the A's play in a more or less neutral park (our two most recent road opponents).

In other words, people, most of the Phillies road games have been played in moderate to extreme pitcher's parks. This accentuates the home/road split we see. Does this mean that the man who designed Cit was an idiot? I kind of doubt it. It's a moderate hitter's park with great hitters and mediocre pitchers, emphasized by every other park in the division being a pitcher's park.


At 7:36 AM, Blogger Tom Goodman said...

Excellent analysis. The thing I have noticed in games I've watched at Citizens BP is that there are a lot more long singles (off the wall, in the gap) than I can recall ever having seen before. This is hardly a scientific analysis; strictly anecdotal.

As for the design of the park, at this point the perception has taken root that it is unfriendly to pitchers. Right or wrong, that will affect the future for the Phillies, not only in terms of free agents but even draft picks. I don't think the Phillies have much choice about changing something at the park.


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