Blue Jays Turf: Home Field Advantage?
Photo via Joshua McNeil at joshuamcneilmlblogs.com
Tropicana Field- Tamp Bay Rays
While it may appear that the Tamp Bay Rays play in a stadium that has an even, uniform outfield wall, it isn’t actually so. Like Fenway Park, Tropicana Field has a total of 7 different distances to its wall. LF sits 315 ft away from home plate. This is a tempting target for those right handed batters, no? It provides an advantage to righties when lefties have 322 ft to hit a home run, assuming they don’t hit to opposite field.
Image via BaseballAlmanac.com
But, the dimensions are nowhere near the issue with Tropicana Field. Firstly, the foul poles do not extend all the way up. So, they have an extra piece that hangs down that is supposed to lineup. It doesn’t. They are off. How is an umpire supposed to call that properly?
As well, there are multiple catwalks on the ceiling of the stadium as seen in the photo from Joshua McNeil’s blog at MLBlogs.com. Depending upon where someone hits those catwalks, it could be an automatic HR or a double. Do we think that that is not an issue? Speaking of the ceiling at Tropicana Field, it is very white. Oddly, so are baseballs. We’ve seen players struggling to pick up the ball on a pop fly. Is that not an advantage to the home team? If you are used to it, this is less likely to happen. But, visitors may have difficulty.
Tampa Bay also plays on artificial turf. Though, there seem to be so many other issues at play with this stadium, that the turf hardly seems worth mentioning at this point. Regardless, MLB doesn’t seem to be in a rush to address this one, do they? How about Buck Showalter?
PS: Tropicana Field has the 2nd lowest BABIP on Watson’s list at .263.
Next: Coors Field