Crooked Numbers: April 20, 2009

When the schedule was chalked up in the fall, no one would have thought that the openings of New Yankee Stadium and Citi Field would be upstaged by a tandem of Indians(Mark DeRosa and Grady Sizemore) and Gary Sheffield.

The new palace in the Bronx, or as I call it, Williamsport II, saw 20 home runs in its first series over the weekend, and an astounding 17 in the first three games. While the Yankees claim to have recreated Ruth's Yankee Stadium, what they didn't take into account was wind. Since the new stadium is skewed roughly 45 degrees, the wind no longer howls to the mammoth center field that we used to know, it now blows right into the short porch.

The resulting blunder in engineering, and the now dead arm of Chien Ming-Wang let DeRosa and Sizemore obliterate the Bombers, combining for 4 HR and 13 RBI while batting .361 in the series. Don't look now, but DeRosa's 6 ribbie performance on Saturday puts him just one back from leading the majors.

Down the East River and over to Flushing, the Mets' Citi Field ironically has played the opposite, and makes a strong resemblance to Petco Park in San Diego. That park was built "Bonds Proof," so I would assume that the Citi Field could soon be coined as "Utley-Howard Proof."

But the despite the huge alleys and tall fences, new Met Gary Sheffield didn't take long to say hello to the ballpark on Friday night, clubbing his milestone 500th bomb over the wall in left. It was the first time that such a milestone was achieved on a pinch hit, and added to a homer friendly week in New York.

Jody Gerut opened Citi Field and the week with a leadoff jack(a major league 1st), and Jorge Posada revisited the Orioles 1996 heartbreak, hitting a "home run" into Jeffery Meier territory on what would be a routine fly in a normal ballpark. What an opening week in Gotham.

Photo: Cleveland.com


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