The New Yankee Stadium opened this past week to mostly positive reviews. The complaints have to do with the loud public address system, and the cave below the restaurant in center where Monument Park now resides. But this kind of stuff is to be expected for the grand-opening of any massive facility like this. They'll get it sorted out. They have to, they have a Joel Osteen event coming up!
If you listen to the media hype (especially from the ESPN clowns--thankfully, we now have the MLB network and don't have to listen to Kruk et al), the real shocker is that the new stadium is some sort of launching pad. The home run count has made countless sports headlines of late, even among the saner types like Buster Olney. Here's the supposed evidence.
* In the recent four game Yankee-Indians series, there were a combined 20 home runs.
* The Elias Sports Bureau reports that the 17 homers (during the first three games) are the most ever hit over the first three games for any stadium, passing the previous mark of 13 hit at Cashman Field in Las Vegas in 1996 (the A’s played their first six games there because of construction delays at the Oakland Coliseum).
Lets put this in perspective. There were 20 home runs hit at the old Stadium from July 31-Aug. 3, 2007 during a Yankees-White Sox series. There were also four-game, 20-HR binges during the 2000, 2003 and 2004 seasons. Also according to the Elias Sports Bureau, there were eight four-games spans of 20 or more homers at the old Yankee Stadium.
This says more about the quality of pitching in baseball than it does about the new stadium, or even PEDs. I read somewhere that home run numbers are way up so far this year, all over baseball. This time its not the rhoids . . .
Meanwhile, there's poor Chien-Ming Wang, a very solid pitcher who has twice won nineteen games in a season. Suddenly, he cannot get anyone out. He's given up 23 earned runs in six innings over three starts. He's not hurt--the coaches say it is in his head. How a seasoned, veteran athlete can just lose it is a very strange thing.
I know a minister, who after years of preaching, suddenly developed "stage fright" and could hardly bring himself to preach. He was just terrified to get in the pulpit. The human psyche is a mysterious and fragile thing.