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The Greatest Game

Friday, January 23, 2004

Sporting News tries to grade the ballparks 

Sporting News writer tries to Grade the Ballparks. Does he know about Park Factor? I commend his attempt to try and get the word out, but Park Factor is an established stat (at least among sabermetricians and fans like me) that gives a very accurate rating of how a ballpark fairs among hitters and pitchers. Here is a history of Yankees Stadium with the Park Factor included. And here is a list of all the teams so you can look up their ballparks.

One problem is that Park Factor is a pretty complicated calculation for the layperson. Here is a page that explains it in all the gory detail.

Back to Roberts' article. He gives an example of Preston Wilson's hitting bias towards Coors Field, but the stat he uses is RBI, which we all (we all statheads) know isn't a great stat to use. Why not use OPS? Or even BA or SLG? Then he uses Cameron as an example of a hitter stuck in a pitchers ballpark. This is what he says: "Seattle's Mike Cameron has batted .224 at unfavorable Safeco Field over the last three seasons; on the road, he has hit a more respectable .278. (Good news; he's now with the Mets.)" Even though in his chart Shea Stadium comes out neutral (his division between "neutral park" and pitchers or hitters park seems a bit arbitrary, too), Park Factor shows otherwise. He's moving from a premier pitchers park to a very-slightly-less pitchers park. He's still going to struggle to put up big numbers at Shea. Should they be better than his numbers at Safeco? Yeah, sure, but not by much. And switching leagues seems to be a coin-toss, too.

I wish that Roberts would have gone the extra step or two that would have made his article that much stronger.
# posted by shawn : 1/23/2004 10:02:00 AM -
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