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View Full Version : Great American Ballpark is a "BandBox"?



GullyFoyle
07-27-2005, 02:32 PM
Hi All! Thanks for letting me post here, I hope this is true even after this long winded rant. I've been lurking here for awhile (and for years over at Sosh, even though I'm a diehard Reds fan) and I finally decided to join the fray. So...

I suspect this has come up before, but I am constantly amazed by the fact that Great American Ballpark is referred to as a "BandBox" by commentators and other journalist. I know I'm expecting too much from them, but what evidence is there for this? According to Baseball-reference.com, GAB has tended to be more of a pitchers park. Granted they usually use three year averages to avoid the statistically uncharacteristic years (which last year could have been), but regardless it is definitely not showing up as a hitters paradise i.e. Coors East.

Could it be that lots of home runs are hit here because:
A: Great power hitting! :thumbup:

B: Really bad pitching! :bang:

and not because of the inherit characteristics of the ballpark.

I thought everyone might be interested in the numbers for both Riverfront and GAB, so I've included information all the way back to 1970. Some interesting areas of note: Riverfront's modifications for GAB construction looks to have made a very friendly place to hit, but any ideas about the high numbers for 2000? Strange weather that summer? drought?

(FYI - if you go to ESPN.com there is something wrong with their Park Factor tables. If you switch the categories all the numbers change so your not sure which is right (if any), so I wasn't able to get midseason numbers for 2005. They also don't do the heavy corrections that Baseball-Reference does, see below)

Hope you find this interesting!


PARK FACTOR (over 100 in either category favors batter)

Park Factor at its simplest is ((Home Runs Scored + Home Runs Allowed)/ Home Games) / (Road Runs Scored + Road Runs Allowed)/ Away Games). At Baseball Reference they adjust these numbers in a number of complicated ways including: using a three year average when available, adjust for innings pitched at home and on road (since the home team might not bat in the ninth), and corrections for other ballparks. Also the Batting Factor and Pitching Factor is adjusted since you don't face your own pitchers and hitters. All this is to say that the formula is very complicated :)

Great American Ballpark
2004 Batting - 92 / Pitching - 93
2003 Batting - 100 / Pitching - 100

Riverfront
2002 Batting - 108 / Pitching - 107
2001 Batting - 99 / Pitching - 99
2000 Batting - 107 / Pitching - 106

1999 Batting - 99 / Pitching - 99
1998 Batting - 102 / Pitching - 102
1997 Batting - 101 / Pitching - 102
1996 Batting - 99 / Pitching - 99
1995 Batting - 99 / Pitching - 98
1994 Batting - 99 / Pitching - 98
1993 Batting - 100 / Pitching - 100
1992 Batting - 103 / Pitching - 103
1991 Batting - 104 / Pitching - 103
1990 Batting -104 / Pitching - 104

1989 Batting -103 / Pitching - 103
1988 Batting -104 / Pitching - 104
1987 Batting -104 / Pitching - 104
1986 Batting -104 / Pitching - 104
1985 Batting -105 / Pitching - 105
1984 Batting -105 / Pitching - 105
1983 Batting -104 / Pitching - 105
1982 Batting -102 / Pitching - 103
1981 Batting -102 / Pitching - 102
1980 Batting -100 / Pitching - 99

1979 Batting -101 / Pitching - 100
1978 Batting -100 / Pitching - 99
1977 Batting -102 / Pitching - 101
1976 Batting -102 / Pitching - 100
1975 Batting -102 / Pitching - 99
1974 Batting -99 / Pitching - 96
1973 Batting -95 / Pitching - 93
1972 Batting -94 / Pitching - 93
1971 Batting -98 / Pitching - 97
1970 Batting -100 / Pitching - 100

Big Klu
07-27-2005, 02:38 PM
Could it be that lots of home runs are hit here because:
A: Great power hitting! :thumbup:

B: Really bad pitching! :bang:

and not because of the inherit characteristics of the ballpark.


Excellent first post! I have also wondered if the reputation of GAB as a launching pad is skewed because the Reds' hitters can mash the ball, and the Reds' pitchers are terrible.

OldRightHander
07-27-2005, 02:38 PM
I do tend to agree that poor pitching and a homer heavy lineup have possibly skewed the numbers somewhat, but it's nice to see that someone not as lazy as me has taken the time to do a bit more research on the topic. Welcome.

westofyou
07-27-2005, 02:39 PM
Park Factor for HR's in 2004 = 110, for 2003 = 118

Chip R
07-27-2005, 02:41 PM
I don't think it's that extreme of a hitters park either. Luke Hudson (and company) and Doug Davis pitched a 3-2 game on Sunday. Granted all of the Reds runs came off of home runs but Hudson is one of the last guys you expect to be involved in a pitcher's duel. The media doesn't want to go into much depth on this because they don't want to take the time to do research. They see all the HRs and say it must be a hitter's park. Ask Roger Clemens and Roy Oswalt if they think GAB is a hitter's park.

traderumor
07-27-2005, 02:52 PM
Pitchers that can keep the ball in the ballpark will excel in GABP, ala Aaron Harang. I don't think that is an oversimplification statement. It should go without saying that good pitchers tend to keep the ball in the ballpark. Of course, there are exceptions to that rule, say a Curt Schilling or the old standby to justify signing Eric Milton, Robin Roberts. In fact, if you have a staff that is stingy on home runs, they could do some great things because of the virtually non-existent gaps. Far be it from the Reds to ever figure that out, but that would seem to be a no-brainer direction for a rudderless franchise when it comes to constructing a prototype pitcher.

GullyFoyle
07-27-2005, 02:52 PM
For a comparison I grabbed these:

Coors Field

2004 Batting -120 / Pitching - 117
2003 Batting -112 / Pitching - 111
2002 Batting -121 / Pitching - 119
2001 Batting -122 / Pitching - 119
2000 Batting -131 / Pitching - 128

1999 Batting -129 / Pitching - 126
1998 Batting -119 / Pitching - 120
1997 Batting -123 / Pitching - 123
1996 Batting -129 / Pitching - 129
1995 Batting -128 / Pitching - 128
1994 Batting -116 / Pitching - 118
1993 Batting -120 / Pitching - 122

redsfan30
07-27-2005, 02:54 PM
Has anyone ever had a more productive first 2 posts than this guy?

73 rep points on just 2 points? That's a pretty good average my man.

GullyFoyle
07-27-2005, 02:57 PM
Park Factor for HR's in 2004 = 110, for 2003 = 118

Westofyou, can I asked where did you find these? The only place I saw was ESPN.com and as I mentioned above there is something wrong with their numbers. They tend to change if you select a different column to order them by. So I'm never sure which numbers are right. Of course, they shouldn't change at all unless you change the year.

It would be great if there was another place to go. :)

Gully

Chip R
07-27-2005, 02:57 PM
Has anyone ever had a more productive first 2 posts than this guy?

73 rep points on just 2 points? That's a pretty good average my man.He's trying to bust into the Redszone 10. ;)

Heath
07-27-2005, 03:00 PM
Stats sure tell a story though....

Even visually to my Optometrist-assisted eyes, the GABP is smaller compared to other venues. This year I have been lucky to go to Detroit's park, White Sox Park, and to our local Fifth-Third Field. I have also been recently as last year to Wrigley and Milwaukee's park. I also have trips to Shea, Yankee, PNC, & Jacobs Field as well planned.

But compare GABP to Comerica in Detroit, and visually you can see how much smaller Cincinnati is. Even Comiskey looks big. Dayton's playing field is larger than GABP.

I don't know if it will happen, maybe someday, but they are going to have to move home-plate back, remove some of the outfield seats, or join the American League in Cincinnati. That ball park is small.

BTW - good post Gully

traderumor
07-27-2005, 03:01 PM
Has anyone ever had a more productive first 2 posts than this guy?

73 rep points on just 2 points? That's a pretty good average my man.Or he's RBA in cognito attempting to prove, once and for all, that the reputation system is inherently flawed ;)

westofyou
07-27-2005, 03:08 PM
Westofyou, can I asked where did you find these? The only place I saw was ESPN.com and as I mentioned above there is something wrong with their numbers. They tend to change if you select a different column to order them by. So I'm never sure which numbers are right. Of course, they shouldn't change at all unless you change the year.

It would be great if there was another place to go. :)

Gully

That's from the breakdown in The Bill James Handbook, which is compiled by Baseball Infosolutions.

Here's what they had for last year

Runs - 88
Hits - 89
2b - 91
3b - 53 (small alley's)
HR - 110 (lh 113, RH 107)
E - 133
BA - 92

Other Ratings

Total Baseball rated it at a 92 last year and a 116 the year before.

BP said this a week or so ago

NL Central


Sample-size issues with the Great American Ballpark notwithstanding, the NL Central looks a lot like the AL West--some nice home-run boosts, but a general drag on batting averages. Minute Maid Park is one of only three stadiums in the NL to boost both home run and batting average (although it has the least impact among the three) while Busch Stadium's recent factors would make it right at home in the NL East. And Wrigley is still the best NL home run park east of the Rockies, although it's not the launching pad it once was or, indeed, that its cross-town rival U.S. Cellular is now.

GullyFoyle
07-27-2005, 03:10 PM
Has anyone ever had a more productive first 2 posts than this guy?

73 rep points on just 2 points? That's a pretty good average my man.

Y'know, I'm just happy to be here and hope I can help the ballclub and good lord willing, things'll work out...

Taking them one post at a time...

;)

GullyFoyle
07-27-2005, 03:15 PM
That's from the breakdown in The Bill James Handbook, which is compiled by Baseball Infosolutions.

Here's what they had for last year

Runs - 88
Hits - 89
2b - 91
3b - 53 (small alley's)
HR - 110 (lh 113, RH 107)
E - 133
BA - 92

Other Ratings

Total Baseball rated it at a 92 last year and a 116 the year before.


NL Central

Great, just the kind of info I was interested in.

And I would agree with you Heath that the optics can be strange. I lived in Boston for a couple of years and sat in a number of places in Fenway, and always had a hard time getting an overall feel for the field. Sitting along the first baseline and thne in the bleachers was very different experiences.

OldRightHander
07-27-2005, 03:17 PM
Y'know, I'm just happy to be here and hope I can help the ballclub and good lord willing, things'll work out...

Taking them one post at a time...

;)

Well, 89 rep points on only 4 posts. That's a pretty good slugging percentage.

Big Klu
07-27-2005, 03:19 PM
Well, 89 rep points on only 4 posts. That's a pretty good slugging percentage.

He's slumping! He had 73 after 1 post! :D

Garrett
07-27-2005, 03:21 PM
I wonder if the time of the season really affects the flight of the ball. Gullyfoil has done a bang-up job, maybe he can check out the months. Marth and Joe and George always mention that the balls travel further when the heat and humidity rise, which seems counter-intuitive to me.
By the way, before Colorado had a team, Atlanta's old ball park was always mentioned as the homerun park, mostly because it was the highest elevation. Is that still holding true for the new park?

Garrett
07-27-2005, 03:22 PM
by the way, how do you add rep points? I can't find a link.

traderumor
07-27-2005, 03:31 PM
And Wrigley is still the best NL home run park east of the Rockies, although it's not the launching pad it once was or, indeed, that its cross-town rival U.S. Cellular is now.

The statement regarding Wrigley begs the question as to the reliability of the Park Factors. How can Wrigley be less of a launching pad but for improved pitching? There have been no configuration changes, so that only leaves a meterological explanation, such as the wind doesn't blow out like it used to. In short, it would seem that the above statement would have nothing to do with the ballpark.

Boss-Hog
07-27-2005, 03:33 PM
by the way, how do you add rep points? I can't find a link. You must have a minimum of 200 rep. points (in addition to some basic minimum posts and registration requirements) before you can post at the ORG and give rep. points to others. For bandwidth purposes, avatars are restricted to those in this category, but that's the only "perk".

SunDeck
07-27-2005, 03:38 PM
by the way, how do you add rep points? I can't find a link.

There's this group, the About 10, or the Redszone 10, which is actually something like twenty people with really foul mouths and who seem to love Adam Dunn for some odd reason. They're the points masters. I've said too much, here they come!

Heath
07-27-2005, 03:49 PM
Y'know, I'm just happy to be here and hope I can help the ballclub and good lord willing, things'll work out...

Taking them one post at a time...

;)

Try breathing through your eyelids and wearing garters..... ;)

Does anyone know what to get Jimmy & Millie for a wedding present?

RBA
07-27-2005, 03:53 PM
Congrats, Less than 24 hours and 5 posts on the board and you are setting at 115 pts. Over half way to ORG status!!! That's impressive. (but one has to wonder of the merits of the system, when someone can climb the ladder that fast. ;) )

LincolnparkRed
07-27-2005, 03:54 PM
I heard candlesticks make a nice gift

RBA
07-27-2005, 03:55 PM
Now 118 pts. Do I hear 128?

Heath
07-27-2005, 04:00 PM
You must have a minimum of 200 rep. points (in addition to some basic minimum posts and registration requirements) before you can post at the ORG and give rep. points to others. For bandwidth purposes, avatars are restricted to those in this category, but that's the only "perk".

I paid woy $50 a month - he said that's what all the newbies had to do???? :help: :bang: :rolleyes: ;) :eek:

OldRightHander
07-27-2005, 04:03 PM
I paid woy $50 a month - he said that's what all the newbies had to do???? :help: :bang: :rolleyes: ;) :eek:

I had to pay $75. You must have gotten a discount.

GullyFoyle
07-27-2005, 04:10 PM
The statement regarding Wrigley begs the question as to the reliability of the Park Factors. How can Wrigley be less of a launching pad but for improved pitching? There have been no configuration changes, so that only leaves a meterological explanation, such as the wind doesn't blow out like it used to. In short, it would seem that the above statement would have nothing to do with the ballpark.

I would agree, that this is a strange statement. As Garrett mentioned, it would be very interesting if there was a way to correlate weather trends with park factor... maybe there has been a change in winds, etc... or maybe he just misspoke... but there does seem to be a lot of variance in this stat. Unfortunately I am limited to stats that are free at the moment :)

(and then I see the free trial of Baseball prospectus this week... Thanks Westofyou for not letting me get anything done!)

KearnsyEars
07-27-2005, 04:23 PM
better hitters park: Jacobs Field or GABP?

Blimpie
07-27-2005, 04:50 PM
He's slumping! He had 73 after 1 post! :DDon't say this too loudly, but I think Gully has also put on a few LB's since his first post.... ;)

Blimpie
07-27-2005, 04:51 PM
There's this group, the About 10, or the Redszone 10, which is actually something like twenty people with really foul mouths and who seem to love Adam Dunn for some odd reason. They're the points masters. I've said too much, here they come! :D

Jesus Freak
07-27-2005, 05:13 PM
Don't say this too loudly, but I think Gully has also put on a few LB's since his first post.... ;)

It's Bob Boone's fault!!

Trade him for Drew Nelson & Richard Hand!! ;) ;)

Cyclone792
07-27-2005, 05:32 PM
I liken GABP to several other ballparks that sort of have this mirage of being a park vastly favoring one side compared to the other despite being relatively neutral in run scoring. It is a very favorable home run hitting ballpark, but like others have pointed out, the tiny gaps cut down on singles, doubles and triples so much that overall run scoring evens out. Still, since it gives up home runs by the buckets, people believe it's a paradise for offense and a fiery hell for pitchers.

One famous storied ballpark that seems to have been painted in a similar light is the Polo Grounds, most known for being the former home of the New York Giants before they moved to San Francisco. The Polo Grounds had a terribly short porch down the lines in both left field and right field. For much of its existence, the left field line was only approximately 280 feet deep while the right field line was a mere 257 feet deep. Think about that for a second, both lines not only below 300 feet, but well below 300 feet, with the right field fence less than 260 feet away down the line. If anything could be described as a home run hitter's paradise, wouldn't that be it?

The dimensions down the lines, however, didn't paint the full picture, and the rest of the picture is as ugly to hitters as the lines are pretty. Of all the parks we've seen still in use in recent years, Tiger Stadium's 440 foot dimensions in center field probably comes to mind as one of the harshest. With the exception of a handful of seasons with a center field fence 430 feet away, the Polo Grounds dimensions in center sometimes reached 500 feet and generally hung around in the 480-505 distance. The gaps weren't pretty, either. We're not talking maybe 380 foot gaps like we see today, but moreso well over 400 feet away, and reaching as deep as 440 feet.

If Jose Guillen and Vinny Castilla played in the Polo Grounds instead of RFK, imagine how loud their gripes would be.

Vastly short down the lines, yet vastly deep in the gaps and out to center, what were the overall park factors, you ask? Relatively neutral. One interesting snapshot of that stadium is to analyze the career of Mel Ott, one of the greatest outfielders in major league history, and one of the game's early premier home run hitting sluggers. In Ott's first two seasons, during which he played a combined 117 games, he hit one lone home run, and it was at home. Giants manager John McGraw had always longed for a dead pull hitter to take advantage of the short porches, and Ott being a dead pull left-handed slugger was McGraw's man. Aided by his high leg kick in the batter's box, Ott honed his swing to take advantage of the porch to meet McGraw's wishes. In Ott's second full season in 1929, he broke out with 42 long balls and was well on his way to the 511 home runs he hit in his career.

Ott's career home/road HR splits? Merely 323 at home and 188 on the road. Some historians mistakingly attribute Ott's high overall production levels to his home park, but IMO that's a gross miscalculation. The park played relatively neutral for his whole career - every season from 1929-1937 it actually played as a pitcher's park - and while he may have had several cheap home runs at home, he lost quite a bit of production at home through doubles and singles due to the odd dimensions. Not only that, but Ott did manage to lead the National League in road home runs five seasons proving he wasn't a slouch away from home, either.

That said, it's just another example that while a ballpark may giveth the occasional cheap home run such as GABP or the Polo Grounds, it is also likely to taketh away an equal amount of production in the form of doubles and singles, or in the case of the Polo Grounds, deep drives to the gaps and center field.

klw
07-27-2005, 06:19 PM
I would agree, that this is a strange statement. As Garrett mentioned, it would be very interesting if there was a way to correlate weather trends with park factor... maybe there has been a change in winds, etc... or maybe he just misspoke... but there does seem to be a lot of variance in this stat. Unfortunately I am limited to stats that are free at the moment :)

(and then I see the free trial of Baseball prospectus this week... Thanks Westofyou for not letting me get anything done!)

I would imagine Wrigley being less of a launching pad has nothing to do with Wrigley but instead all the new parks which are. Reputation as a launching pad is relative to the other stadiums. With Coors in use people view others in comparison to it and the view of Wrigley declines. Unless of course the park factors are all over the place.

GullyFoyle
07-27-2005, 10:36 PM
I would imagine Wrigley being less of a launching pad has nothing to do with Wrigley but instead all the new parks which are. Reputation as a launching pad is relative to the other stadiums. With Coors in use people view others in comparison to it and the view of Wrigley declines. Unless of course the park factors are all over the place.

After doing some research on the temporarily free website Baseball Prospectus, I found an article called "Whats That Park Like" and it basically agrees with you klw. Park Factor is relative to the other parks in the league... if everyone builds a "bandbox" then the old high home run parks become pitching friendly in comparison.

Here is a quote from the article (use link while you can):

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=897

How can it be that park factors could be off by so much? The answer is limited sample size. A park factor for any given year is based on only 81 home games. In many seasons, some teams will play even fewer (due to non-rescheduled rain-outs and so on). Eighty or so games are not enough to eliminate a large error rate. A park with a park factor of 95 one year and 100 the next very likely cannot be said to be relatively easier to hit in the second year. Instead, it is fair to conclude that by random chance, there was a five percent differential in the two seasons (assuming that major changes did not occur with other home parks in the league).

Over 10 or 15 years, the error rate becomes much smaller as the sample size increases. Nonetheless, a 10-year sample is likely to be more accurate than a one-year accounting. Unfortunately, it is problematic to average out a park factor over more than a few years because the conditions of one or more of the ballparks in a league change. New stadiums are built, existing stadiums change their dimensions, and abnormal weather patterns have an impact.Nonetheless, a 10-year sample is likely to be more accurate than a one-year accounting.

Pretty interesting. And it looks like we might have to wait a couple of years to get a clear idea of how GAB is playing.

Cedric
07-27-2005, 10:44 PM
Bonafide star.

Gainesville Red
07-27-2005, 10:47 PM
Gully's gonna set a Redszone record for fastest to 200 if there is a thing. Guy's gotta win rookie of the year.

Gallen5862
07-27-2005, 11:05 PM
He is now up to 176 points. He is one of our top prospects. :) :thumbup:

paintmered
07-27-2005, 11:13 PM
He's 17 points away now. :eek:

So umm.....welcome to redszone.

The high roller suite has been booked for you tonight. :pimp:

wally post
07-27-2005, 11:20 PM
nine pts. to go. This is such a great topic - I've been wondering about this...

Heath
07-27-2005, 11:48 PM
I'll donate some to the cause -

Guy's got a good point...and he didn't even call out the RZ 10 or Jim Coombs. He should get extra credit.

The question is - will he be rushed too quickly a la David Clyde & Ryan Wagner - or will he turn out to have a good career like Tom Seaver did ...

One can only find out.

RFS62
07-27-2005, 11:50 PM
The question is - will he be rushed too quickly a la David Clyde & Ryan Wagner - or will he turn out to have a good career like Tom Seaver did ...

One can only find out.


Nah, Clyde was an overhyped media creation. This guy looks like the real deal.

Gallen5862
07-27-2005, 11:52 PM
Gully is at 194. Who will get him to 200? He is one of our top Prospects.

Cyclone792
07-28-2005, 01:08 AM
I remember I jumped up to 200 exceptionally quick, but it wasn't all in one day, I know that ... ;)

kjwheels15
07-28-2005, 01:15 AM
this stinks, the rest of us young guns have to work our way through the minors before we get called up. This kid is going straight to the pros from high school. :)

Boss-Hog
07-28-2005, 08:54 AM
Just a reminder that besides having 200+ reputation points, a poster must also be registered for at least 30 days and have a minimum of 60 posts before receiving ORG posting access.

OldRightHander
07-28-2005, 09:24 AM
He's only 2 points away now. That was fast. Anyone else want to hit him and get him over the hump? I got him yesterday, so I can't. I think in a couple years people will be clamoring for him to be traded because we won't be able to afford him. We need to lock him up to a long term deal right now.

Heath
07-28-2005, 09:41 AM
Just a reminder that besides having 200+ reputation points, a poster must also be registered for at least 30 days and have a minimum of 60 posts before receiving ORG posting access.

Aha----Gully's not eligible---not enough at bats!!

:D

Blimpie
07-28-2005, 09:41 AM
Just a reminder that besides having 200+ reputation points, a poster must also be registered for at least 30 days and have a minimum of 60 posts before receiving ORG posting access.Wet Blanket.... ;)

cumberlandreds
07-28-2005, 09:50 AM
I put gully over the top. Now we will see if he's the real deal. ;)

OldRightHander
07-28-2005, 09:56 AM
I put gully over the top. Now we will see if he's the real deal. ;)

Just for the record, I was the first one to give him rep, not that it really matters any. We might have to make it the Redszone 11 now by the looks of it.

RBA
07-28-2005, 11:05 AM
Just for the record, I was the first one to give him rep, not that it really matters any. We might have to make it the Redszone 11 now by the looks of it.

I had a feeling nepotism was in play here.

Gallen5862
07-28-2005, 11:31 AM
Way to put him over the top cumberlandreds.

OldRightHander
07-28-2005, 11:36 AM
Way to put him over the top cumberlandreds.

Some set the table and some get to drive the runs in. That was a great piece of situational hitting by cumberland. KRISPY. :)

cumberlandreds
07-28-2005, 11:51 AM
Some set the table and some get to drive the runs in. That was a great piece of situational hitting by cumberland. KRISPY. :)

I have a high RISP. ;) That was always my strength.

GullyFoyle
07-28-2005, 02:06 PM
Thanks everyone!

I'm going to use my time in the batting cage, take my hacks and stick to strict post counts (ah... Dusty doesn't manage here, right?).

Glad to be part of the team! :beerme:

-Rook

BTW, who are these Redzone 10 you speak about ;)

OldRightHander
07-28-2005, 02:40 PM
BTW, who are these Redzone 10 you speak about ;)

You know the rules. If we tell you, we have to kill you, or at least rough you up a bit.

klw
07-28-2005, 07:00 PM
this stinks, the rest of us young guns have to work our way through the minors before we get called up. This kid is going straight to the pros from high school. :)

He's Dwight Gooden, We're Aaron Small