I love, love, love this story from Accuweather.com positing that the crazy number of home runs that have been hit in the first few games at Yankee Stadium are a result of the stadium’s less-steep grandstands acting as a wind tunnel that pushes balls out to right field if the wind is blowing out of the west.
I don’t care if it’s true. I love it.
“Although the field dimensions of the new stadium are exactly that of the old stadium,” Gina Cherundolo writes, “the shell of the new stadium is shaped differently. AccuWeather.com meteorologists also estimate that the angle of the seating in the new stadium could have an effect on wind speed across the field.”
Cherundolo goes on to note that the old ballpark had more stacked tiers and a big upper deck, which acted like a big wind baffle. The wind came over the top and dropped into the bowl, where it swirled.
But: “The new Yankee Stadium’s tiers are less stacked, making a less sharp slope from the top of the stadium to the field.” This, she writes, might allow the wind to come over the top of the grandstand and follow the gentle downslope of the seating. Then, depending on the direction of the wind, it would rise back up as it approaches the outfield seats.
And why, class, does the new Yankee Stadium’s grandstand slope at a gentler angle — that is, make the upper deck farther away from the field — than in the old Yankee Stadium?
Without having looked at the plans for the new park in a while, I can answer and so can you. It’s the same answer for every new stadium. The grandstand is shaped that way to make room for luxury boxes.
Take that, free-spending Yankees! I don’t mean on the billion-dollar stadium. The taxpayers mostly paid for that. I mean all that pitching you spent about a quarter of a billion on this offseason. You went and built Coors Field circa 1995 for them!
It only works when the wind’s blowing a certain way, at a certain strength, which it is now, and which Accuweather.com says will happen again in the fall, when the Yankees are watching the World Series. That is, if the meteorologists’ speculation is correct.
But we Yankee haters will take it. It’s the House That Oops Built.