By: Lonnie Brownell
Corey Brock, esteemed Padres beat writer and epic beer maven has issued the official report on the new fences and their effect on home run production. After mine came out. Coincidence? Maybe. Anyway, Corey’s done the kind of thorough examination of the numbers that we expect from him.
Except his number of New Fence HRs (NFHRs) is different than mine.
This is not terribly surprising, as mine were calculated by watching video and examining ESPN Hit Tracker path charts, while the Padres were probably done by a cadre of guys with advanced military-issue laser beams and such. Let’s dig in and see if we can find the discrepancies, shall we?
Corey broke it down by month, which I didn’t (gee, I wish I’d thought of that). So now I have, and we agreed on the totals for all months except for May (my eight to their four) and September (my four to their three). Quick, what’s the total difference? Yes, five. I have FIVE MORE THAN THEY DO! I WIN! Don’t I?
Since we agree on everything but May and September, let’s look at all of the alleged NFHRs in those two months–they’ve gotta be in there. And, since I have more, it must be the case that some I thought were NFHRs actually aren’t. Each has a link to a video of the home run, and in one case where that alone won’t tell you, the HR Tracker path diagram, so that YOU CAN MAKE THE CALL. Or you can just trust me. Or Corey. But, really, me.
Remember as you play along that the back wall of the Jack Deck is the old right field wall/fence. The out-of-town scoreboard may have added another foot or so of depth, which means that anything hitting within about the top foot of that back wall might have been caled a home run last year. Maybe. Tough call. For my purposes, anything that hit that wall I counted as new. Even so, I don’t think any were that borderline.
The May List:
The one I counted as an ultra-rare left field NFHR that the Padres did not was Gerardo Parra’s on 5/3. I was at that game, but over on the other side of the left field bleachers, in the outlook by Neil the Beerman’s shop, and couldn’t see where it landed. It’s also hard to tell from the video–it’s a wall-scraper in left-center, but where in left center? Looking at Hit Tracker’s path chart, it’s pretty obvious this is a NFHR. The blue dot is where it hit, which is in front of the old left field bleachers corner (the green dot is where it would’ve hit the ground, if there were no impediments). The old fence went straight across as part of the bullpen wall to intersect with the corner of the bleacher wall. That ball would not have been out with the old configuration.
On the same night, Yonder Alonso hit this bomb, which SHOULD have been out in prior years, but wouldn’t have been–note that the fans leaning over into the Jack Deck couldn’t get it, as it dropped in front of them and went behind the trash cans (easier to see in the replay).
On 5/20 Will Venable’s massive bomb to right center was measured at 413’. I mentioned that it would’ve been a 413’ double or triple with the old fences. Which it clearly would have. Not a home run. Note that Dominic Brown’s 417’ shot to about the same place was in June. And we agree upon NFHRs in June.
The September list:
Will’s September shot, on 9/6…well, look at the video. It’s in the Jack Deck. No question.
These all look like the real NFHR deal to me. So…what’s up, Corey? Need to calibrate those lasers, maybe? We can compare notes further, over a bear or two–but hey, who’s counting?
If you want to look at the raw numbers, here’s my Google Drive spreadsheet.
Follow Lonnie on Twitter @lonndoggie