Re: FENWAY FACTOR - The Great Distortion
posted at 8/3/2011 1:42 AM EDT
harness, I have been distracted and busy travelling near and far recently.
I've meant to address the crux of this thread. I do think Fenway has distorted many stats of individual players and the team as a whole throughout history. Changes made to the park have lessened the impact slightly, but the differentials are still significant.
I remember the Sox teams of old were "built for Fenway": bif RH'd sluggers, no speed, and few LHPs. While many player benefited from Fenway and their wide differentials prove it, I do think some things should be mentioned:
1) I truly feel Fenway has ruined several player's swings and overall production, especially young RH'd hitters trying to pull everything.
2) I truly feel Fenway has hurt several pitcher's careers as well.
3) In every sport, there seems to be a significant "home field advantage". Teams tend to play better at home, and I'd guess this would be true even if every MLB was exactly the same in everyway (wind, humidity, dimensions, etc...)
Certainly Sox teams tend to do much much better offensively at Fenway than on the road. It make total sense. Conversley, most pitchers do worse at Fenway: it makes sense too.
I'm not sure I agree that if you swap the Angels offense (and park) with Boston's, they'd be better than ours (on paper). I also think OPS is closest to the best stat to measure offensive effectiveness, although it too is flawed.
Here are some interesting numbers of eams we play a significant amount of games against this year (keep in mind how good these team's pitching staffs are and who we might have faced at these parks and vs own park with these teams):
@ Bos 2114 .871
@ NYY 248 .867 (NY's home OPS : .811/ @ Fenway: .762)
@ TB 246 .630 (TB's home OPS: .665 / @ Fenway: .923)
@ Balt 237 .793 (Balt's home OPS: .742 / @ Fenway .664)
@ Toronto 227 1.001 (Tor's home OPS: .773 / @ Fenway .619)
@ Cle 226 .703 (.731 Before tonight / @ Fenway: 1.068)
@ LAA 170 .704 (LA's home OPS: .663 / @ Fenway: 847)
@ Det 154 .799 (Det's home OPS: .754 / @ Fenway: 651)
@ CWS 119 .755 (CWS's home OPS: .726 / @ Fenway: 898)
As you can see, the Sox hit better at away parks than those teams hit at their own parks overall. The variables are many, I know, but conversely only 3 of top 8 teams in PAs have better OPS at Fenway than their overall OPS at home.
TB & Cleve us at home or away. Maybe it's their pitching.
Side note: I'd like to see the same thing done with team ERA/WHIP.