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
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