Yankee Stadium: lots of dingers, but not "Coors East"

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Mel Antonen of USA Today has an article up about all of the homers flying out of Yankee Stadium:

Indeed, two months into the season the most expensive stadium ever
built is being tormented by unpredictable winds and beset by a chaotic
debate over whether the home runs there are the cheapest aspect of the
$1.5 billion ballpark. “There’s no doubt that the new Yankee Stadium
has taken over as the best hitters’ park in baseball,” Baltimore
Orioles first baseman Aubrey Huff says. “Someone’s going to hit 90 home
runs there.”

And, yes, by any measure the homers are up. But that’s not the whole
story. That’s because while the homers are up in dramatic fashion,
overall offense, while up as well, is not up in nearly as dramatically.
As Replacement Level Yankees’ Weblog noted last week,
Yankee Stadium’s park factor on the young season is 106, which favors
offense. Fenway Park’s park factor over the past five seasons is . . .
106.

Granted, it’s painfully early to be talking park effects — guys who
know more about these things than I do tend to want at least three
years of data before making anything approaching a definitive
conclusion — but helping to to put the numbers in perspective, Coors
Field’s lowest ever
park factor was 107, and for years sported park factors between 108 and
129, which made for a substantially more offense-friendly environment
than anything we’re seeing in New York.

I don’t suppose that makes the guys giving up the dingers any
happier, but it does put lie to the claim that Yankee Stadium is “Coors
East.”

Hideki Matsui thinks Shohei Otani should pitch and hit in MLB

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Yankees’ special advisor and former outfielder Hideki Matsui expects to help the club “convince or recruit” Japanese two-way star Shohei Otani, according to a report from MLB.com’s Deesha Thosar. The Yankees are currently viewed as the favorites to sign Otani, though there still figures to be plenty of competition for his services when he finally becomes eligible to enter Major League Baseball.

Matsui also told Thosar that while he hasn’t seen a player find success as a hybrid pitcher/slugger in the majors, he’s taken notice of Otani’s success in both areas. “He’s done well in Japan, so as a baseball fan I’m looking forward to how he’s going to do here in the Majors and in the U.S.,” Matsui said, later adding, “If [pitching and hitting is] something he wants to do, and the team wants it, then why not?”

Neither the Yankees nor any other suitor should be too concerned with Otani’s ability to translate his .332 batting average and 3.20 ERA to MLB — at least, not just yet. There are still a few roadblocks in his path to the major leagues, most notably the lack of approval from the Players Association. Per FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman, the union doesn’t want to sign off on an agreement that would give the Nippon Ham Fighters a $20 million posting fee in exchange for Otani’s services. According to the posting system rules, Otani himself would be eligible to receive no more than a $4 million signing bonus.

The good news in all of this? The union agreed to reach a final decision by Monday, November 21, so there’s still a chance Major League Baseball will see the talented two-way player bring his unique skillset to the field in 2018.