April 25, 2009
The large number of home runs to right field at the New Yankee Stadium has led many to wonder if it might be too easy for sluggers. Some Yankees officials have blamed the weather, wind currents, or other such nonsense, but the real reason is perfectly clear: The fence in right center field is 10-15 closer than in old Yankee Stadium. Pay no attention to those distance markers, they are too close to center field to be good indicators of the true "power alley" dimensions. A recent article at MLB.com observed,
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the 26 home runs in Yankee Stadium's first six games surpassed the total hit at Kansas City's Municipal Stadium in 1955 for the most hit in the first six games at a new big league venue.
ESPN had a similar article. This situation is simply not acceptable, so I have come up with a proposed alternative design for New Yankee Stadium, moving the fences back about ten feet from left center to right center. This would at least be a modest step toward restoring a semblance of the deep dimensions at the original Yankee Stadium. I would also move the bullpens from their current position to the rear, on either side of that club section in center field, but perpendicular to the outfield fence, rather than parallel to it. This would largely solve the problem of poor sight lines for many bleachers patrons.
John Crozier saw a game at New Yankee Stadium on April 21, and sent another batch of great photos, two of which are now posted on that page. I also included a zoomed-in version of the "grand view," showing a historical mistake on the scoreboard pertaining to Joe DiMaggio. "1921, 1941, what-ever!" They must have got that from Wikipedia. I'm much obliged for the photos, John!