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Thread: Great American Ballpark is a "BandBox"?

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    Member GullyFoyle's Avatar
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    Great American Ballpark is a "BandBox"?

    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!

    B: Really bad pitching!

    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

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  3. #2
    Knowledge Is Good Big Klu's Avatar
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    Re: Great American Ballpark is a "BandBox"?

    Quote Originally Posted by GullyFoyle
    Could it be that lots of home runs are hit here because:
    A: Great power hitting!

    B: Really bad pitching!

    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.
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    Resident optimist OldRightHander's Avatar
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    Re: Great American Ballpark is a "BandBox"?

    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.

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    breath westofyou's Avatar
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    Re: Great American Ballpark is a "BandBox"?

    Park Factor for HR's in 2004 = 110, for 2003 = 118

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    Rally Onion! Chip R's Avatar
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    Re: Great American Ballpark is a "BandBox"?

    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.
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    Unsolicited Opinions traderumor's Avatar
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    Re: Great American Ballpark is a "BandBox"?

    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.
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    Member GullyFoyle's Avatar
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    Re: Great American Ballpark is a "BandBox"?

    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

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    Re: Great American Ballpark is a "BandBox"?

    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.
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    Member GullyFoyle's Avatar
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    Re: Great American Ballpark is a "BandBox"?

    Quote Originally Posted by westofyou
    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

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    Rally Onion! Chip R's Avatar
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    Re: Great American Ballpark is a "BandBox"?

    Quote Originally Posted by redsfan30
    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.
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    This one's for you Edd Heath's Avatar
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    Re: Great American Ballpark is a "BandBox"?

    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
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    Unsolicited Opinions traderumor's Avatar
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    Re: Great American Ballpark is a "BandBox"?

    Quote Originally Posted by redsfan30
    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
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    breath westofyou's Avatar
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    Re: Great American Ballpark is a "BandBox"?

    Quote Originally Posted by GullyFoyle
    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.

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    Member GullyFoyle's Avatar
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    Re: Great American Ballpark is a "BandBox"?

    Quote Originally Posted by redsfan30
    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...


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    Member GullyFoyle's Avatar
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    Re: Great American Ballpark is a "BandBox"?

    Quote Originally Posted by westofyou
    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.


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