Around the Horn: Fenway

Art Aronson | Mar 17, 2013 | ARCHIVE

AAA Sports

We were in Canada last week, and we'll now end the American League East road trip at Fenway Park.

The once mighty Boston Red Sox were relegated to the basement last year, posting their worst record since 1965. They finished the 2012 regular season by going 1-9.

Boston was 16-11 in Spring training 2012, and as of writing, is 13-9 in 2013.

Boston got rid of over $105 million in contracts from last year, but added nearly $86 million in new salaries for 2013.

After losing 93 games last year, the Red Sox were busy in the offseason.

The first order of business was to replace manager Bobby Valentine. John Farrell takes over the job. Farrell comes over from the Toronto Blue Jays after putting together an unimpressive 154-170 mark in two years.

The organization also signed a two-year deal with free-agent designated hitter David Ortiz for $26 million. Ortiz missed half of 2012 with injury, but batted .318 with 23 home runs and 60 RBI's in the other half.

Other new faces include catcher David Ross, outfielder Jonny Gomes, reliever Koji Uehara, outfielder Shane Victorino, starting pitcher Ryan Dempster, and shortstop Stephen Drew.

2012 Park Factor (Park Factor compares the rate of stats at home vs. the rate of stats on the road. A rate below 1.000 favors the pitcher. Higher than 1.000 favors the hitter).

  • Runs: 1.206
  • HR: 1.088
  • H: 1.173
  • 2B: 1.494
  • 3B: 1.389
  • BB: 1.036

Interesting facts about Fenway: It's been the home of the Red Sox since 1912. They've sold out every home game since 2003. Interestingly though, Fenway has the fourth lowest seating capacity and second lowest in total of all MLB stadiums. As you can imagine, over a hundred year period, the facility has been the site of many other events, including football, hockey and soccer games, concerts and even religious gatherings. The stadium has gone through many changes over the last 100+ years (simply too many list here). It's one of the two remaining "classic" ballparks still in use in MLB (Wrigley is the other). Both stadiums have many obstructed view seats, due to pillars supporting the upper deck. "The Green Monster" is the nickname of the 37 foot left field wall in the park. "The Triangle" is a spot in center field where the wall comes together as a triangle, whose far corner is 130 m (420 feet) from home plate. There is one red seat in the entire stadium, and it symbolizes the longest ever home run hit at Fenway, by none other than Ted Williams back in 1946 (502 feet).

Has home field advantage been an advantage for the Red Sox over the last five years?

  • 2008: 95-67 overall. 56-25 at home. 39-42 on road.
  • 2009: 95-67 overall. 56-25 at home. 39-42 on road.
  • 2010: 89-73 overall. 46-35 at home. 43-38 on road.
  • 2011: 90-72 overall. 45-36 at home. 45-36 on road.
  • 2012: 69-93 overall. 34-47 at home. 35-46 on road.

Up until last year, home field was definitely an advantage for the Red Sox.

Whether or note Boston is able to bounce back after last season's disaster, and whether or not the roster overhaul it's been through will justify the overall cost, will no doubt both be highly covered topics throughout the year.

Opening Series

Boston opens its first two series on the road, at New York and Toronto respectively. It then welcomes the Orioles to town on Monday, April 8th, to play a three game set over four nights.

Boston was just 5-13 vs. the Orioles in 2012, including only 2-7 at Fenway.