Bandbox. Launching pad. A joke. That’s how people describe Citizens Bank Park. And for good reason. It is really, really easy to him homers in Philly.

How easy?

Citizens Bank ParkESPN keeps a stat called “park factor”, which compares teams’ rate of stats at home vs. the rate of stats on the road. A rate higher than 1.000 favors the hitter. Below 1.000 favors the pitcher. Citzens Bank Park has a rate of 1.395 for homers — the highest of all the MLB stadiums. That’s higher than Coors Field AND the Great America Ballpark in Cincinnati.

The prevailing wisdom is that the fences at Citizens Bank Park are too close. But the stadium has almost the same demensions as Veterans Stadium. So it can’t be that. Plus,before the 2006 season, the Phillies moved the left-field fence back five feet, just for good measure. And it hasn’t made much of a difference.

Until recently, we haven’t had any idea why homers are so common at the new Philadelphia baseball venue.

But now along comes Philadelphia Inquirer weather blogger Tony Wood, who says he has done some research and has concluded that it’s not the short fences that are helping the baseballs leave the yard in a hurry. It’s the wind.

From the Philadelphia Inquirer:

Here’s why: In contrast to hulking Veterans Stadium, winds pour through Citizens Bank Park like water through a flow-through tea bag. Balls that get airborne are lifted up, up and away.

The most obvious suspects are the prevailing southwest and south winds of summer, which blow straight out to center and right-center fields. Those winds increase with height. Other factors might also be at work.

What is clear is that the atmospheric environment in the new park is utterly different from that of its predecessor, even though it is across the street from the old park.

Phillies president Dave Montgomery says that “the structural mass of Veterans Stadium – totally enclosed save for the exit-ramp openings – had a blocking effect on the movement of air” and Jim Eberwine, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Mount Holly, agrees.

Other reasons the Shitizen might be prone to more home runs: a heat island effect, the big gap in left-center, and strong winds originating from the confluence of the Delaware River and the Schuylkill.

Or it could just be that Ryan Howard is a super-freak home run hitting behemoth.


No Responses to “Citizens Bank Park blows.”

Leave a Reply

    Recent Comments

    • planet hobbywood: This is very interesting.
    • Bren: He is a awesome player and a good man.. sweet.. polite.. friendly.. down to earth.. he never acted as though he...
    • HADAJUN( Japanese): Okajima a Japanese hero?
    • Rickt: I am the biggest Cal Jr fan around but one of my good friends played minor league baseball in the Orioles...
    • HADAJUN: I wish for play in Japan. The death is regrettable.


    Subscribe via email

    Enter your email address:


Featured posts

December 5, 2011

Will anybody get elected to the Hall of Fame this year?

Last week, we asked you to vote for who you would like to see enshrined in baseball’s Hall of Fame. The verdict? If it were up to UmpBump readers, nobody would make it in. The leading vote getter (so far) is Jeff Bagwell, who has 60% support. Of course, in the real voting, players need […]

January 5, 2011

Annual UmpBump Hall of Fame Balloting: 2011 Edition

In what has become an annual tradition, we here at UmpBump cast our ballots for the Hall of Fame on the eve of the announcements of the voting for the real Hall of Fame. Voters can vote for anyone ever who has been retired from baseball for at least five years and is not already […]

October 19, 2010

Crowdsourcing the Greats: The Top 10 Managers of All Time

Now that we’ve looked at every position on the diamond, as well as relief pitchers, we are nearing the end of our “Crowdsourcing the Greats” series. But before we finish, let’s turn one more time to the internet hoi polloi for answers on who the greatest baseball manager of all time was. As usual, we […]