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James Light Bulb of the Day - Hitters' Parks

James was asked one time -- now we forget where --
Q: In light of the Red Sox World Series victory this year, I thought it was interesting that you wrote in the 1981 Abstract "the lion's share of championships have been won by teams which play in pitcher's parks." Do you think that still holds true today?
The Founding Father of Sabermetrics quoth:
I think it is true. I think there are special challenges to winning a championship playing in a hitter's park. If you look at the last few years, I'm not sure. I mean, Arizona is obviously a hitter's park and they won a championship. But you got Anaheim, Florida, and several with the Yankees. I think it's still possibly true.
Dr. D:  STATS Inc. also confirmed this in a 1990's Baseball Scoreboard. There is, or there was at that time, a very pronounced tendency to *win a division* if you play in a pitcher's park. .............. For one thing, pitchers may be more "fragile" than hitters, and you need more nurturing for them. ............... For another, hitters get ego'ed out by big stats, and team chemistry can break down.  We remember seeing a James essay on the Astrodome, how he watched some baseball there, and "for the first time understood what the old-timers where complaining about" when they said that Babe Ruth had wrecked the game of baseball.  In that essay, I think it was, he noted that all of Boston's pennantwinners up that time (pre-2000) had occurred after the brass had ripped apart the team and rebuilt it.  Hitters get to overrating themselves in Fenway Park.  This can begin to manifest itself in clubhouse resentment about being underpaid, and junk like that.    I don't know if Bill still believes that applies today, but we remember well his point (before he worked for the Sox) that if Boston wanted to maintain winning, it would probably have to rebuild its roster every few years. ................. For a third, lower-scoring environments condition teams to sequential (three-hit) offenses and sharper, crisper play, as opposed to sloppy "wait for the 3-run homer" attitudes. .................. Boston has now sustained a place at the top of the American League for at least six years -- it has five playoff appearances, and two World Series, in those six years.  It has done a fair amount of roster turnover; for example, Manny Ramirez reached the point to where he simply had to be gone, no matter how good he was. In 2004, the Red Sox won their World Series with: C Jason Varitek 1B Kevin Millar 2B Mark Bellhorn SS Pokey Reese (Nomar the year before) 3B Bill Mueller LF Manny CF Johnny Damon RF Trot Nixon DH David Ortiz As we go into 2009, every single Sox is gone except Ortiz, who has a personality of his own.  The Sox flushed Nomar Garciaparra out in order to win their 2004 Series, won that one with Damon, Millar, Meuller and Co., and now have turned it all the way over.  The water runs completely clear. Part of Boston's challenge, as it stays at the top, may be to re-load essentially on a constant basis, as it deals with the challenges of winning pennants in an extreme hitter's park. Cheers, Dr D