"For someone attending a game at the new Yankee Stadium or watching on TV, the size of the playing field appears to be the same," AccuWeather meteorologist Tim Buckley said in a statement Tuesday. "The dimensions at select corners of the field are identical - and the posted numbers on the walls reflect that. However, detailed schematics of the park reveal some nuances that have significant implications."
Speculation has centered on whether there is a wind tunnel in right field caused by either the open concourses or the slope of the stands, which is less steep that the original Yankee Stadium.
AccuWeather agreed with the conclusions of Greg Rybarczyk of hittrackeronline.com, who said in April that right field in the new ballpark was shorter. The Yankee insist that the dimensions are exactly the same.
"The wall structure is slightly different than the old park," AccuWeather said. "The main difference involves curvature. The gentle curve from right field to center field seen in original Yankee Stadium has largely been eliminated at the new stadium. This is due in large part to the presence of a manual scoreboard embedded within the wall. Losing this curvature has resulted in a right field that is shorter by four-to-five feet on average, but up to nine feet in spots.
"Not only is the famed short porch even shorter in the new stadium, but the walls themselves are not as tall. In the old ballpark, the walls in right field stood at a height of approximately 10 feet. At this height, it was difficult for outfielders to scale the wall and attempt to rob a home run over the fence. Fast forward to 2009, and the outfielders have been scaling the wall without any trouble. The result? The new outfield fences only rise to a height of eight feet, adding to the ease hitting a home run to right."
Sixty-three of the 105 homers have gone to right or right-center, according to a count by The Associated Press. Monday night's game, which concluded the fourth homestand, was the 10th game with five or more home runs.
The new Yankee Stadium is on pace for 293 homers, 10 shy of the major league record hit at Denver's Coors Field in 1999 and an 83 percent increase from the 160 hit at original Yankee Stadium, last year.
"There has been no consistent pattern observed in the wind speed and direction that would lead to an increase in home runs so far this year," AccuWeather said.
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