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Parker Hageman
05-24-2012, 01:04 PM
If the Twins ever do decide to move the fences in at Target Field, they’ll join two other teams to contemplate the shift to improve offensive output. The season began with the Mets altering their fences in order to attempt to inflate their scoring at home. Now, both the Padres and the Mariners are weighing the pros and cons.

The Seattle Mariners, whose lack of home run power appears to derive from the quality of personnel just as much as the home confines, are bandying the idea around this season. Per Larry Stone of the Seattle Times (http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/mariners/2018272894_marinotes24.html):


The question of whether the Mariners should move the fences in at Safeco Field is again a hot topic, and Wedge was asked about it before the game.

"Like I've always said, Jack (Zduriencik) and I talk every day. Jack talks to the powers that be on a daily basis. When the season's all said and done, we're going to evaluate everything. I mean, everything. Both on and off the field, both in regard to the field or anything else regarding that. I'll leave it at that.

"The longer I'm here — nothing's going to happen this season, that's obvious — but it does allow me to give it another four months to take a peek at it, too. I have my thoughts, of which I will not let you in on. Safe to say we will evaluate everything when the season's done."

Last month, the San Diego Padres, who have hit 166 home runs at home from 2009 through 2011 (in comparison, Toronto hit 146 at home in 2010 alone), acknowledged that they will be making a strong consideration to move their fences in at Petco Park (http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2012/apr/24/padres-could-bring-fences-petco-park/):


“We’re open-minded and we’re seriously considering it,” Padres interim CEO Tom Garfinkel said Tuesday.

“I do believe it is too extreme right now. It will still be a pitcher’s ballpark. But a hitter should be rewarded if he crushes it. And if a team is down 4-0, they should feel there is some hope. It’s just too extreme.”

This comes on the heels of the New York Mets’ decision to alter Citi Field’s dimensions this past offseason (http://www.nypost.com/p/sports/mets/new_look_citi_field_gets_some_nips_x2HSkYZDyAHXU2F Q6pioxJ):


Dave Howard, the Mets’ vice president of business operations, talked about the changes.

“We are bringing the wall in and lowering the height to eight feet from foul pole to foul pole with the intention of making the ballpark play more fair, more neutral,” he said. “Certainly we know that David Wright and Ike Davis and Jason Bay and Lucas Duda and the rest of our position players are excited about it. We think our fans are very excited about it, and we are looking forward to seeing how the field plays starting [tomorrow].”

The new dimensions in the outfield are 358 feet in left field (down from 371 feet last year), 398 in center field (previously 408) and 375 in right field (previously 378). The walls from last year — including the 16-foot high one in dead center field — will remain in their same positions, but the new, eight-foot wall will be placed in front of them, slashing the dimensions as well as making home runs more frequent since anything that clears that first wall will now be a home run.

How has the new configuration fared in Flushings? So far, the returns have not been that favorable as the Mets have hit just 8 home runs at Citi Field, the second-lowest home total in baseball. Clearly, simply moving the fences in is not a cure all for offensive woes.

So the Twins wouldn’t be alone in bringing the fences in. However, as we see with the Mets, just moving the fences in is not necessary a boost to the bats.

Twins Fan From Afar
05-24-2012, 01:10 PM
It sounds like this could become an issue in Miami, too (if you ask Giancarlo Stanton, anyway). Way to early to tell there, though, because it's going to get pretty warm there this summer and the ball should start flying a little better.

ashburyjohn
05-24-2012, 01:32 PM
I'm not sure if Target Field is way out of the norm for the rest of the league. While I don't like cookie-cutter stadiums, I fear that a too-unique stadium tempts the team to acquire players that "fit" it, and to me this risks being uncompetitive at playoff time if it lowers the odds of winning at the away-field. There's a balance that can be aimed for. So, if the changes are intended to reduce some kind of unfairness versus most parks, I'm in favor, but if for instance we're just moving in the fences to make for more offense in general, I don't see the point.

Curt
05-24-2012, 01:49 PM
I'm not advocating changing the dimensions. I kind of like the status quo. The current dimensions do not seem to affect the competition too much. However, if it were done, I would suggest moving home plate out rather than putting up new fences in the outfield. Those temporary fences look ridiculous and Target Field currently has really small foul-territory. It would probably mess up sight lines though. I guess I'm back to rejecting the idea. Never mind.

mike wants wins
05-24-2012, 01:51 PM
Not a fan. Draft, develop, and sign better hitters. Oh, you could paint a line on the RF wall to turn some doubles into HR, I guess.....

Boom Boom
05-24-2012, 01:51 PM
I think the Twins lack of power has more to do with the team they've assembled than the ballpark.

Craig in MN
05-24-2012, 01:56 PM
Target field is fine as is. It is below average for HRs but above average for doubles & triples, and just about average in overall run scoring. If you start bringing in the walls, it could get crazy really quick. Park factors are more than HR rates. Target field is close enough to average scoring. There are probably ten stadiums that suppress run scoring more.

jokin
05-24-2012, 02:00 PM
Not a fan. Draft, develop, and sign better hitters. Oh, you could paint a line on the RF wall to turn some doubles into HR, I guess.....

Bravo! on Part One! Uggghhhh on Part Deux, there's something satisfying about a homerun actually leaving the field of play.

To keep the park's aesthetics, I would advocate extending the RF "overhang" out to right center. This would give the Twins another 1000 or so quality seats and reward a hitter for crushing a ball to the power alley, w/o making it a pitcher's nightmare like Yankee Stadium.

One more point, bring back the trees, the numbers tell us that Twins hitters hit for higher average and more power with them in 2010, plus it gives them a CF background home field advantage combined with a more beautiful park.

mike wants wins
05-24-2012, 02:21 PM
Was not serious about the line on the wall...

IdahoPilgrim
05-24-2012, 02:26 PM
I don't think the problem is the Twins ballpark being too much a pitchers park. It's just that we don't have a good enough lineup. Other teams hit here just fine.

Oh, and if this was such a pitchers park, what does that say about our pitching, with a rotation as bad as it is...

CDog
05-24-2012, 02:37 PM
The "other teams don't have any trouble at Target Field" meme is extremely simple-minded, lazy, and mostly just wrong. Other teams have out-hit the Twins at Target Field about the same as they have on the road.

USAFChief
05-24-2012, 02:55 PM
The "other teams don't have any trouble at Target Field" meme is extremely simple-minded, lazy, and mostly just wrong. Other teams have out-hit the Twins at Target Field about the same as they have on the road.

Speaking of lazy, simple minded analysis, wouldn't the above prove the point that it's not Target Field that is the problem, it's the Twins punchless lineup?

CDog
05-24-2012, 03:02 PM
Speaking of lazy, simple minded analysis, wouldn't the above prove the point that it's not Target Field that is the problem, it's the Twins punchless lineup?

Nope. But I'm not surprised you missed that. (Worth noting that I wasn't planning the second sentence, but there is a minimum number of characters, and that was the truest and most applicable I could come up with.)

nicksaviking
05-24-2012, 03:11 PM
Whether Target Field plays fair or not for hitters doesn't change the fact that the perception is that it is a pitchers park. Seeing as Jason Kubel was interested in leaving last year due to his view that it was a difficult park to hit the ball out of, the Twins may have a difficult time recruiting and keeping sluggers who have the same feelings about it.

USAFChief
05-24-2012, 03:20 PM
Nope. But I'm not surprised you missed that. (Worth noting that I wasn't planning the second sentence, but there is a minimum number of characters, and that was the truest and most applicable I could come up with.)

So the Twins are outhit on the road at roughly the same rate as at TF--your claim not mine--but TF is the problem?

striker_86
05-24-2012, 03:26 PM
Was not serious about the line on the wall...

LOL, I was kind of hoping you were. Just the thought of them drawing a line from center all the way over to right field is halarious.

CDog
05-24-2012, 03:29 PM
So the Twins are outhit on the road at roughly the same rate as at TF--your claim not mine--but TF is the problem?

I thought I could give you a mulligan and you could get there on your own. Apparently not. I'll hold your hand...

On the road, team A hits 500 home runs and gives up 600. In the same number of games at home, they hit 5 and give up 6. Clearly the home park isn't harder to hit home runs in because "other teams don't seem to have trouble hitting home runs there." Right?

And I never said Target Field was a problem.

SirLoin
05-24-2012, 03:57 PM
From a power hitting perspective, haven't the dimensions of Target Field only affected Joe Mauer? Morneau hasn't played a full season at Target Field, so there's no way to really tell if the dimensions have really made a difference. Willingham seems to do ok with the dimensions, and Dozier managed to hit one into the upper deck so at least left field isn't an issue. And considering the dent that Thome put in the right field flag pole, the right field dimensions aren't really an issue either. Maybe certain hitters on the team just like to make excuses for their lack of production as it relates to the size of their contract.....dimensions, pine trees, wind vortexes.... Maybe a better approach would be to work on adjusting your game if you want better power numbers. Speaking of the pine trees, can't we do something with CF? Taking out the trees really took some character out of the stadium. The whole "batter's eye" argument is a load of BS. You can't tell me this doesn't have an impact on the so-called batter's eye........
https://encrypted-tbn1.google.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcS8wicmE4VA4aSCxYMnIwqpdZNM6jlQ6 wKmnDiS3FA8DyDl36D_

cr9617
05-24-2012, 04:02 PM
If only the Twins could face their own starting pitchers....

deanlambrecht
05-24-2012, 04:23 PM
Was not serious about the line on the wall...

How about bringing back the baggie? Anyone want the baggie in RF? ;)

Curt
05-24-2012, 04:31 PM
The "other teams don't have any trouble at Target Field" meme is extremely simple-minded, lazy, and mostly just wrong. Other teams have out-hit the Twins at Target Field about the same as they have on the road.

Jeez... OK, if you look closely at last year's stats, you will see that Twins pitchers gave up 81 home runs on the road and 80 at home. That is pretty much the definition of the other team not having any trouble at Target Field. I'll grant you that 2010 was much more lopsided but I don't think that "meme" is as "extremely simple-minded, lazy, and mostly just wrong" as you do.

CDog
05-24-2012, 04:40 PM
From a power hitting perspective, haven't the dimensions of Target Field only affected Joe Mauer? Morneau hasn't played a full season at Target Field, so there's no way to really tell if the dimensions have really made a difference. Willingham seems to do ok with the dimensions, and Dozier managed to hit one into the upper deck so at least left field isn't an issue. And considering the dent that Thome put in the right field flag pole, the right field dimensions aren't really an issue either. Maybe certain hitters on the team just like to make excuses for their lack of production as it relates to the size of their contract.....dimensions, pine trees, wind vortexes.... Maybe a better approach would be to work on adjusting your game if you want better power numbers. Speaking of the pine trees, can't we do something with CF? Taking out the trees really took some character out of the stadium. The whole "batter's eye" argument is a load of BS. You can't tell me this doesn't have an impact on the so-called batter's eye........


So we'll throw out Morneau because he hasn't played a full season there, but we'll throw in Dozier as an example of how easy it is because of 30-40 PA at home and away where he's hit one each? Or Willinghams's 1/4 season? Or we could focus on Thome who just happens to be one of the all time strongest players ever. ORRR...we could not cherry pick counter examples. There's information out there on every ballpark that actually uses...you know...all the data available.

CDog
05-24-2012, 04:41 PM
Jeez... OK, if you look closely at last year's stats, you will see that Twins pitchers gave up 81 home runs on the road and 80 at home. That is pretty much the definition of the other team not having any trouble at Target Field. I'll grant you that 2010 was much more lopsided but I don't think that "meme" is as "extremely simple-minded, lazy, and mostly just wrong" as you do.

Keep going, you'll get there.

twinswon1991
05-24-2012, 04:57 PM
When is Mauer gonna run out of excuses? Trees, dimensions, injuries, on, on, on. He cant hit homers on the road either.

Leave the fences alone and get some real MLB hitters!

powrwrap
05-24-2012, 05:24 PM
Bring 'em in. Add more seats.

In 2010 Target Field was 3rd lowest in HR/game in the AL (Seattle, Oakland) Twins hit 52 HR at home, 90 on the road.
In 2011 Target Field was 3rd lowest in HR/game in the AL (Oakland, KC). Twins hit 46 HR at home, hit 57 HR on the road.
In 2012 Target Field is 4th lowest in HR/game in the AL (Seattle, Cleveland, Anaheim, Pujols choking otherwise Target Field would again be 3rd). Twins have hit 13 at home, 15 on the road.

http://www.hittrackeronline.com/stadiums.php
http://espn.go.com/mlb/stats/team/_/stat/batting/split/33/sort/homeRuns/order/true

SirLoin
05-24-2012, 05:30 PM
So we'll throw out Morneau because he hasn't played a full season there, but we'll throw in Dozier as an example of how easy it is because of 30-40 PA at home and away where he's hit one each? Or Willinghams's 1/4 season? Or we could focus on Thome who just happens to be one of the all time strongest players ever. ORRR...we could not cherry pick counter examples. There's information out there on every ballpark that actually uses...you know...all the data available.

Then quit bashing everybody else's opinion and put your money where your mouth is. Show us this data that apparently makes you feel far superior to everyone else who are just trying to have some fun talking Twins around here.

USAFChief
05-24-2012, 06:00 PM
Bring 'em in. Add more seats.

In 2010 Target Field was 3rd lowest in HR/game in the AL (Seattle, Oakland) Twins hit 52 HR at home, 90 on the road.
In 2011 Target Field was 3rd lowest in HR/game in the AL (Oakland, KC). Twins hit 46 HR at home, hit 57 HR on the road.
In 2012 Target Field is 4th lowest in HR/game in the AL (Seattle, Cleveland, Anaheim, Pujols choking otherwise Target Field would again be 3rd). Twins have hit 13 at home, 15 on the road.


http://www.hittrackeronline.com/stadiums.php
http://espn.go.com/mlb/stats/team/_/stat/batting/split/33/sort/homeRuns/order/true

Which means only that the differences between the Twins on the road and at home are evening out, and the Twins don't hit many HRs, home or away, which is factor #1 on why TF doesn't give up many HRs.



There is no need to mess with TF's dimensions. Get some better hitters.

stringer bell
05-24-2012, 06:35 PM
While I don't favor changing the dimensions of Target Field, there has been a real disparity in homers between home and road. In the two completed seasons of Target Field, the Twins were outhomered by dramatically more at Target Field than they were outhomered on the road. In 2010, they were close to even on the road and got outhomered by quite a bit at home--an oddity in that almost all teams do better at home. Last year, they were outhomered by a lot both home and road, but they were outhomered by more at home than on the road.

Shane Wahl
05-24-2012, 06:38 PM
I would like to see data on how many warning track flyballs and off the wall hits the Twins have had vs. how many opponents have had. Then I'll answer the question!

asmus_ndsu
05-24-2012, 06:53 PM
I havnt read all the posts so maybe this has been said.. But moving fenses in to help our offense is also helping the other teams offense who dont seem to have much a problem hitting homeruns in target field. (maybe we are better off hiring players like willingham who are good at pulling the ball and hitting homeruns in the field instead of tayloring the field for our current lack of power)

powrwrap
05-24-2012, 06:58 PM
Which means only that the differences between the Twins on the road and at home are evening out, and the Twins don't hit many HRs, home or away, which is factor #1 on why TF doesn't give up many HRs.



No, it means that Target Field is not a HR park. It means that Target Field has the 3rd lowest HR rate in the AL. The Twins project to hit about 52 HRs at home, 60 on the road. Looks a lot like last year's numbers, except with Willingham in the lineup this year.

Alex
05-24-2012, 07:27 PM
Parker did a good analysis some time back that showed Target field rewards pull hitters more than power alley hitters with regard to home runs. The Twins hitters in the past have not been pull hitters.

The fences aren't the answer, IMO because any change made for your hitters negatively impacts your hitters.

nicksaviking
05-24-2012, 07:52 PM
All these numbers are fairly vague for a reason. Two years is too small of a sample size. Let's wait five years and see what kind of patterns emerge. Turning Target Field into a hitters park when your 2013 opening day pitching staff may have less than 100 career starts may not be great for confidence building either.

Ultima Ratio
05-24-2012, 10:19 PM
I don't see the wisdom in bringing in the fences because we have a light hitting team. Would you lower the basket to 9 feet if you only have a couple guys over 6 ft.? I love being able to dunk, but when playing against guys that are taller than me... it's all the easier for them -- not pretty.

stringer bell
05-24-2012, 10:41 PM
It looks like the Twins will have some speedy, rangy guys playing OF in the near future. They would probably be well served to keep the outfield large.

CDog
05-24-2012, 11:16 PM
Not that it matters all that much, but it would really bum me out if they moved the fences at Target Field.

powrwrap
05-25-2012, 07:57 AM
any change made for your hitters negatively impacts your hitters.

Could you elaborate?

powrwrap
05-25-2012, 08:07 AM
All these numbers are fairly vague for a reason. Two years is too small of a sample size.

Why is it too small? The stat is HR/game. We have over 175 data points. Thousands of at bats, at least 16 visiting teams, various different batters and pitchers. The trend is clear--Target Field is not a HR park.


Turning Target Field into a hitters park when your 2013 opening day pitching staff may have less than 100 career starts may not be great for confidence building either.

As the subject of the oringinal post the goal is to improve the Twins' offense. These pitchers have to pitch in smaller parks all over the league, they better simply buckle up and deal with it. If the worry is pitcher's performance with a smaller park, loosen the wallet and go out and get some groundball out type of pitchers.

powrwrap
05-25-2012, 08:09 AM
It looks like the Twins will have some speedy, rangy guys playing OF in the near future. They would probably be well served to keep the outfield large.

And that improves the offense....how?

Boom Boom
05-25-2012, 08:27 AM
Bring 'em in. Add more seats.

In 2010 Target Field was 3rd lowest in HR/game in the AL (Seattle, Oakland) Twins hit 52 HR at home, 90 on the road.
In 2011 Target Field was 3rd lowest in HR/game in the AL (Oakland, KC). Twins hit 46 HR at home, hit 57 HR on the road.
In 2012 Target Field is 4th lowest in HR/game in the AL (Seattle, Cleveland, Anaheim, Pujols choking otherwise Target Field would again be 3rd). Twins have hit 13 at home, 15 on the road.

http://www.hittrackeronline.com/stadiums.php
http://espn.go.com/mlb/stats/team/_/stat/batting/split/33/sort/homeRuns/order/true

Again, it's the players, not the park.

The Twins as a team don't hit many home runs anywhere. And the Twins have played in every Major League baseball game at Target Field.

The stats you should really be looking at is road teams at Target Field and how it affects them.

Curt
05-25-2012, 09:12 AM
Again, it's the players, not the park.

The Twins as a team don't hit many home runs anywhere. And the Twins have played in every Major League baseball game at Target Field.

The stats you should really be looking at is road teams at Target Field and how it affects them.

Agreed. As I noted earlier, in 2011, Twins' opponents hit (or Twins' pitchers gave up) about the same number of home runs at Target Field as they did away from TF. Here are the AL stats for home runs allowed per game, comparing home and away:



Team
Away
Home
Home /Away


Kansas City Royals
1.173
0.840
0.716


Detroit Tigers
1.049
0.790
0.753


Oakland Athletics
0.938
0.741
0.789


Cleveland Indians
1.037
0.852
0.821


Tampa Bay Rays
1.037
0.951
0.917


Los Angeles Angels
0.901
0.852
0.945


Boston Red Sox
0.975
0.951
0.975


Minnesota Twins
1.000
0.988
0.988


Seattle Mariners
0.872
0.917
1.051


Baltimore Orioles
1.259
1.333
1.059


Toronto Blue Jays
1.037
1.173
1.131


Chicago White Sox
0.827
0.988
1.194


New York Yankees
0.802
1.074
1.338


Texas Rangers
0.840
1.259
1.500


Average
0.982
0.979
1.013



You can see Minnesota is extremely average.

Boom Boom
05-25-2012, 09:18 AM
Thanks for doing the footwork on that, it's Friday so I didn't feel like it. :)

powrwrap
05-25-2012, 09:22 AM
Again, it's the players, not the park.

It's both, but it's mostly the park. If it's the players explain the home/away split of 2010. For that matter explain the home/away split every year.


The stats you should really be looking at is road teams at Target Field and how it affects them.

That data is a part of HR/game at Target Field. Target Field has the 3rd lowest HR rate in the AL. That's with 15 other teams coming in there to play.

Boom Boom
05-25-2012, 09:29 AM
It's both, but it's mostly the park. If it's the players explain the home/away split of 2010. For that matter explain the home/away split every year.



That data is a part of HR/game at Target Field. Target Field has the 3rd lowest HR rate in the AL. That's with 15 other teams coming in there to play.

When I say it's the players, it's also the pitchers. Did you know that despite playing half their games at Target Field, the Twins pitching staff led the league in home runs allowed in 2011?

And I don't see how moving in the fences is going to significantly increase Twins home run hitting when 56% of their lineup is Mauer, Carroll, Span, Revere, and Casilla.

powrwrap
05-25-2012, 10:04 AM
Agreed. As I noted earlier, in 2011, Twins' opponents hit (or Twins' pitchers gave up) about the same number of home runs at Target Field as they did away from TF. Here are the AL stats for home runs allowed per game, comparing home and away:



The number of HR's Twins pitchers allow at home vs. on the road is not the stat we are looking for. We're looking for the HR's hit per game by individual teams at Target Field vs. all other parks.

Examples:

Kansas City hit 4 HR at Target Field in 9 games for a HR rate of .444 per game. They hit 125 HRs everywhere else in 152 games for a rate of .822 per game.
Chicago hit 8 HR at Target Field in 9 games for a HR rate of .888 per game. They hit 146 HRs everywhere else in 152 games for a rate of .960 per game.
Cleveland, at Target Field, 1.000 per game; elsewhere .953.
Detroit, at Target Field, 1.000 per game, elsewhere 1.052.

Boom Boom
05-25-2012, 10:27 AM
Those stats are too limited to tell me anything over a 9-game sample size. Even if they were significant, Chicago, Cleveland, and Detroit's home run totals look awfully similar at TF versus all other parks.

Boom Boom
05-25-2012, 10:33 AM
I guess we'll have to agree to disagree.

In my opinion, the first two years of Twins baseball at Target Field had many carryovers from the Metrodome years. They were built to hit at the Metrodome, with gap-to-gap power and a mostly left-handed lineup.

Other teams who had played in outdoor parks forever have loaded up on pull-hitters and a more balanced righty/lefty ratio. That style plays better in any outdoor park. That's where the Twins lagged behind in home run hitting.

powrwrap
05-25-2012, 10:42 AM
Those stats are too limited to tell me anything over a 9-game sample size. Even if they were significant, Chicago, Cleveland, and Detroit's home run totals look awfully similar at TF versus all other parks.

Yes, it is a small sample size and the data is not easily compiled. I used the AL Central because they played 9 games at TF. I would have liked to have done all teams and to have done 2010 as well. My main point is that tracking how many HRs that Twins pitchers give up on the home and road is not the stat that we should be concerned about. It is HRs/game at Target Field vs. HR/game elsewhere.

James
05-25-2012, 10:43 AM
The number of HR's Twins pitchers allow at home vs. on the road is not the stat we are looking for. We're looking for the HR's hit per game by individual teams at Target Field vs. all other parks.

Examples:

Kansas City hit 4 HR at Target Field in 9 games for a HR rate of .444 per game. They hit 125 HRs everywhere else in 152 games for a rate of .822 per game.
Chicago hit 8 HR at Target Field in 9 games for a HR rate of .888 per game. They hit 146 HRs everywhere else in 152 games for a rate of .960 per game.
Cleveland, at Target Field, 1.000 per game; elsewhere .953.
Detroit, at Target Field, 1.000 per game, elsewhere 1.052.
That's not completely accurate either. If you're going to compare HRs at Target Field vs. every other park, you need to break out every park. Because now you're comparing one hitters park to the average of all other parks. But hitter friendly parks (as well as other pitcher's parks) will skew the data. The only way that the data won't get skewed is if the park factors equaled out, which they don't. So, say a team like the Yankees play in a division where they see a lot more hitter's parks (which I don't know off of the top of my head, but I believe this is true), their HRs are going to be greatly skewed to show they hit way more HRs in other parks besides TF. I know you're trying to average it out per game, but it doesn't really matter. Your data is getting confounded.

Sorry for the rant. This is just a statistics issue for me. They are a wonderful thing, but if you look at them incorrectly, they can lead you to the wrong conclusion. I'm probably not conveying my message very clearly either. This might be a good blog post though...

stringer bell
05-25-2012, 10:46 AM
And that improves the offense....how?It improves the team. If they have speedy, rangy guys that cover a lot of ground they will be well-served to have a big outfield since, compared to their opponents, they would be able to get to more balls in the outfield. Also, compared to their opponents, it would appear likely that the Twins wouldn't have much power, so keeping the fences where they are would make sense. Of the Twins near ready for regular play in the middle of this decade, you would include Hicks, Benson, Revere, Span--all speedy and only Benson has ever hit for plus power.

StormJH1
05-25-2012, 10:56 AM
I would say no, for the time being. We went through this in Detroit with Comerica...the team paid a bunch of money for Juan Gonzalez in the early 2000's and absolutely sucked while McGwire, Sosa, and Bonds were breaking records. Plus, even when the Tigers were terrible in the 90's, they usually could hit a bunch of homers at Tiger Stadium (Cecil, Tettleton, Higginson, etc.). So they basically drew a straight line from the 345' LF foul pole to an area in CF, whereas it used to jut out even deeper, extending to 432' at one area of the power alley.

But Comerica did not change the right field fencing at all, and it's right field where the problem allegedly lies with Target Field. Just off the top of my head, I recall right handed hitters like Willingham, Delmon, GoGoMez (for the Brewers), Plouffe, Dozier, etc. hitting absolute BOMBS to LF. And Thome obviously had no trouble at all going to RF because Thome is a beast. I still do not consider Target Field to be a "pitcher's park". I think the Dome was definitely a slight hitter's park, and fans and players were accustomed to that. Target Field doesn't have massive foul territory like Oakland's park, and the dimensions are reasonable.

Before Morneau got wrecked, he did have 14 HR's away versus 4 at home in 2010. But just like with evergreen trees, I hate doing anything remotely permanent to a facility that can hopefully serve us for another 30 to 100 years because a couple of headcases like Mauer and Morneau have issues with it. The idea that Mauer would have 20+ HR's in a different home park, or that he routinely hits these moon-shots that land just short on the warning track is patently absurd. And even if the park were to blame, I can't even imagine that a park deterring home runs would have done anything but HELP this Twins team that routinely gives away outs with bunts and slap-and-run strategy, and pitches to contact more than any other team in baseball right now.

Curt
05-25-2012, 10:58 AM
The number of HR's Twins pitchers allow at home vs. on the road is not the stat we are looking for. We're looking for the HR's hit per game by individual teams at Target Field vs. all other parks.

Examples:

Kansas City hit 4 HR at Target Field in 9 games for a HR rate of .444 per game. They hit 125 HRs everywhere else in 152 games for a rate of .822 per game.
Chicago hit 8 HR at Target Field in 9 games for a HR rate of .888 per game. They hit 146 HRs everywhere else in 152 games for a rate of .960 per game.
Cleveland, at Target Field, 1.000 per game; elsewhere .953.
Detroit, at Target Field, 1.000 per game, elsewhere 1.052.

As the table I posted earlier points out, ALL teams that played at Target Field hit .988 home runs per game there. The entire league average was .981. That indicates that, at least in 2011, any deficit in home runs at TF was due to Twins hitters. Twins hitters were inept at hitting home runs at TF (.568 hr/g) but were almost as inept on the road (.704). You can cherry pick the teams you want but that indicates that other teams off set those that you chose.

It is obvious it takes some mighty pokes to get the ball out of the park at the gaps but it is too early to tell what the impact of the park will be in the long run.

nicksaviking
05-25-2012, 11:57 AM
Why is it too small? The stat is HR/game. We have over 175 data points. Thousands of at bats, at least 16 visiting teams, various different batters and pitchers. The trend is clear--Target Field is not a HR park.

As the subject of the oringinal post the goal is to improve the Twins' offense. These pitchers have to pitch in smaller parks all over the league, they better simply buckle up and deal with it. If the worry is pitcher's performance with a smaller park, loosen the wallet and go out and get some groundball out type of pitchers.

As soon as Comerica Park opened, Tigers fans cried about it being imposible to hit out of. Everyone agreed with this and only after two years they moved the fences in for the 2003 season. Although 2002 saw the Tigers with a poor total of ony 124 HR, only 63 were hit on the road while a similar 61 were hit at home. When 2003 came around the Tigers increased their HR total by 29. Unfortunately for the fence moving crowd, they still only hit 67 HR at home while they hit 86 on the road.

On the flip side, the pitching was actually worse. 2002 saw a terrible Tigers staff with a team ERA of 4.92 who gave up 61 HR at home. The 2003 version with the fences in moved in, had a team ERA of 5.30 and they gave up 95 HR at home. The 2003 team was the historic club that lost 119 games.

We can't go about solving a problem without having a firm understanding of the cause. The actual dimensions are fair, so is the problem caused by the wind current? Is it due to the game-time humidity or temperature? Or is it due to the fact that Mauer and Morneau are line drive hitters and the RF wall is higher than the trajectory of the balls they hit regardless of how hard they stroked it?

For the Tigers, moving the fences in didn't have much affect on the offense until they got better players like Maglio Ordonez, Carlos Guillen, Placido Polanco and Curtis Granderson, while the already poor pitching got rocked on historic levels. The fences at Target Field may need to be moved, but two years is not a long enough time to evaluate the situation. At this point there is no way we can even think of every factor that could be affecting offensive output, but we can be reasonably sure that soft tossing flyball pitchers will not benefit from a change.

Thrylos
05-25-2012, 12:03 PM
How has the new configuration fared in Flushings? So far, the returns have not been that favorable as the Mets have hit just 8 home runs at Citi Field, the second-lowest home total in baseball. Clearly, simply moving the fences in is not a cure all for offensive woes.

So the Twins wouldn’t be alone in bringing the fences in. However, as we see with the Mets, just moving the fences in is not necessary a boost to the bats.

Well... based on the Mets' record, compared to their record in 2011, I'd say it has worked for them :)

I don't think that the Twins should bring in the fences, unless they bring in a totally different pitching staff...

twinswon1991
05-25-2012, 12:04 PM
If Gardy preaches hitting it the other way with piranahs and preahes pitch to contact closer fences would make this team even less competitive than they are. Power hitters can hit it out anywhere. Mauer, Carroll, Casilla, Butera, Span, Revere, Parmelee, etc couldnt hit homers in most high school parks because they have zero power.

The Twins shouldnt move the fences in until they sign and develop more power prospects or bring back the HGH Mauer was on when he had his Brady Anderson season.

USAFChief
05-25-2012, 02:09 PM
Yes, it is a small sample size and the data is not easily compiled. I used the AL Central because they played 9 games at TF. I would have liked to have done all teams and to have done 2010 as well. My main point is that tracking how many HRs that Twins pitchers give up on the home and road is not the stat that we should be concerned about. It is HRs/game at Target Field vs. HR/game elsewhere.

HRs/game at Target Field includes, for every game, a home team that doesn't hit many HRs. Is it so difficult to understand that having half the data coming from a team with little power is going to result in fewer HRs?

Again...TF isn't the biggest issue. The dimensions aren't outrageous. There is no reason to think TF is unfair, that there is any reason to move the fences, or that a lineup with more power would have any real trouble hitting HRs there.

Its a nonissue hiding, for some, what has been a pretty punch less lineup over the short history of the park.

Alex
05-25-2012, 02:53 PM
Could you elaborate?

Heh. Mistype there. Meant changes that help your hitters hurt your pitchers.

CDog
05-25-2012, 05:44 PM
Just a crazy thought here...Is it possible that the Twins have been a team that doesn't have a lot of home run power the last two years AND at the same time that the park is more difficult than the average to hit home runs in? Maybe? Being overweight is still bad for you even if you're a smoker (half-baked analogy alert).

Curt, I'm wondering why you decided to use only 2011 in your "home runs given up road vs home" instead of 2010 and 2011 together? Also, I had someone much smarter than me once warn me to always make sure if I'm interested in a count or a rate. Pretty certain we're talking about a rate here and in 2010 the opponents had nearly 200 extra at-bats at Target Field compared to their own parks. Using your metric (home runs by Twins' opponents), at Target Field there's 40.4 AB/HR. Away from Target Field is 31.7. That's leaving out 2012 since the opponents haven't had a chance to even out.

In general...I don't get how "remember that time so-and-so hit one in the upper deck" has anything to do with the discussion. Those extreme bombs are out everywhere and don't really have anything to do with this topic. It would be like going the other way and pointing out the time Revere tapped out to the pitcher as an example of how big the park plays.

Alex
05-25-2012, 06:02 PM
Just a crazy thought here...Is it possible that the Twins have been a team that doesn't have a lot of home run power the last two years AND at the same time that the park is more difficult than the average to hit home runs in? Maybe? Being overweight is still bad for you even if you're a smoker (half-baked analogy alert).



Are people really arguing it's not a pitcher's park? Based on the data so far, I think it's clear it is. How much of one is debatable. Now, the question is, would moving the fences in help anything? I really don't see how, and I don't know why such a big deal is being made of it, as if it would solve this team's problems.

powrwrap
05-25-2012, 06:11 PM
Just a crazy thought here...Is it possible that the Twins have been a team that doesn't have a lot of home run power the last two years AND at the same time that the park is more difficult than the average to hit home runs in? Maybe?

That is my contention. One needs only look at the HRs hit by the Twins at Target Field vs. HRs hit by the Twins away from Target Field. There's a huge gap, especially in 2010.

CDog
05-25-2012, 06:20 PM
Are people really arguing it's not a pitcher's park? Based on the data so far, I think it's clear it is. How much of one is debatable. Now, the question is, would moving the fences in help anything? I really don't see how, and I don't know why such a big deal is being made of it, as if it would solve this team's problems.

People who have implied it is not in this thread alone are, Curt, sbknudson, USAFChief, SirLoin, asmus_ndsu, and Boom Boom. And as I said earlier in the thread, I don't think they should move them. Rather strongly opposed, actually.

darin617
05-25-2012, 09:23 PM
Why do they need to move in the fences? Teams like Toronto and NYY don't seem to have a problem hitting HRs at Target Field. The only thing that could help if you added some more players like Josh Willingham who can actually clear the walls at Target Field.

Curt
05-26-2012, 10:28 AM
Here is what I did not say: Target Field is not a pitchers park.

It is. It always will be (unless dramatically altered). How much it is and what should be done about it is the topic here.

Here is what I have said: TF was an extreme pitchers' park in 2010 (I did say so earlier). It was much less so in 2011. In fact, for non-Twins' hitters, it was extremely average in 2011. The frustration with the park is due, at least in part, to the ineptitude of the Twins, specifically Twins' hitters' lack of power. That frustration is being, somewhat, transferred to the new park. It should be clear that the park affects Twins' hitters more than the opposition. Frustrated fans have locked into a "meme" (using CDog's term) of their own. They may turn out to be right (I am certain it will perpetually be a pitchers' park as it will ALWAYS require a mammoth shot to get out in right center field) but it is too early to tell if will be so dramatic as to require changes in the park. I am advocating a wait and see approach. Let's see if the difference between 2010 and 2011 is a trend or an anomaly.

Maybe Jason Giambi (I think it was him) was right. As the cement got older and dried out, the ball would carry better at Target Field. I don't think so but I'm no expert. Clearly, it is a bigger park than the dome and it has given Twins' hitters fits. I imagine that coming from the relatively cozy confines of the dome to TF was both physically and psychologically daunting. Let's see how it works out in the longer term.

analizaB
05-28-2012, 11:49 PM
Its summer so just enjoy. Its not really a big issue after all.