Red Sox requested that a humidor be installed at Fenway Park

soxhop411

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Thanks to @Smiling Joe Hesketh for the link
. (Another complication: MLB quietly installed potentially exit-speed-suppressing humidors in Fenway Park, Citi Field, and T-Mobile Park prior to this season, extending a list of humidor-equipped parks that previously included Coors Field and Chase Field.) In addition, the aerodynamic drag of the ball has reportedly increased to 2018 levels, which wouldn’t affect exit velocity but would cause batted balls to slow down faster and carry less far.
If this is true it’s absolutely insane that they are just picking and choosing which parks to install it in and not just putting it in all 30 parks. The fact that we are also only hearing about this now has me thinking MLB told the owners to STFU and not talk about it. Like they did with the baseball shit show last year.
 

scottyno

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Did they just pick 3 parks out of a hat or something?

Citi Field and Tmobile park were already pretty decently pitcher friendly parks before this year
 

Harry Hooper

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Did they just pick 3 parks out of a hat or something?

Citi Field and Tmobile park were already pretty decently pitcher friendly parks before this year
Maybe requests by each team's ownership?

Sox: Our pitching staff needs all the help it can get.
Mets: We don't want to have to hand out big raises to players posting big offensive numbers.
Seattle: A mixture of both.
 

JMDurron

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Wouldn’t the lack of in-game video access for hitters (for both sign stealing and legitimate purposes) be another potential cause for the (small sample size alert!) drop in BABIP? I get that the batted ball/outcomes data would imply that quality of contact might not be an issue, but I’m guessing this is a combination of A) a sample size fluke and B) a combination of so many factors that no single one can be teased out before A) will resolve itself anyway.
 

shaggydog2000

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It's not a bad idea to standardize the storage conditions for baseballs by making teams keep them in environmentally controlled conditions. It may not even be an effort to reduce offense. It's a good thing to have the balls be the same in every park no matter how dry or damp the location is, and for the balls to be the same in April, August, and September. Relative to the cost of building, maintaining, and running a ballpark, a ball humidor can't be all that expensive. So it's a relatively cheap way to make the playing of the game more consistent. I'm cool with it.

But installing humidors in just 3 parks that don't seem to be particularly distinct in any way and not telling anyone is definitely weird.
 

EvilEmpire

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Maybe requests by each team's ownership?

Sox: Our pitching staff needs all the help it can get.
Mets: We don't want to have to hand out big raises to players posting big offensive numbers.
Seattle: A mixture of both.
Ownership requests make sense to me.
 

The Gray Eagle

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You can’t put one in Yankee Stadium because then America’s Heroes will hit fewer home runs and then everyone will be sad!
 

jon abbey

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You can’t put one in Yankee Stadium because then America’s Heroes will hit fewer home runs and then everyone will be sad!
They hit 143 in 81 home games last year and 163 in 81 road games. They have almost no left-handed hitters on the roster the last season or two.
 

The Gray Eagle

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A humidor would supposedly decrease home runs in a stadium where it’s used. If one was used in Yankee Stadium, everyone’s idol Aaron Judge would likely hit fewer dingers, and that would be a tragedy that America just can’t risk in these troubled times.
 

jon abbey

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Last year, Brett Gardner hit 25% more HR's than he did in any single season at age 35. Anything going on there?
My impression is that he spent his entire career just trying to work every AB to get on base because he is (still) so fast and such a good baserunner, but now he does a lot more pitch guessing and selling out/going for HRs. Really I have no idea though.
 

OurF'ingCity

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It’s a little odd to me that there is absolutely no source attributed to that fact - not even the usual vague “sources indicate” or “a source at MLB confirmed” etc. Googling the question brings back just that article, a Reddit thread discussing the article, and this thread.

Compare that to the recent introduction of a humidor at Chase Field, which was widely reported. I’m not saying the article is wrong but I’d like some actual verification before getting too worked up about it.
 

shaggydog2000

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A humidor would supposedly decrease home runs in a stadium where it’s used. If one was used in Yankee Stadium, everyone’s idol Aaron Judge would likely hit fewer dingers, and that would be a tragedy that America just can’t risk in these troubled times.
Only if it was increasing the humidity the balls were stored in. If it decreased the humidity (like in July and August in Boston let's say) to some standard level, then there may be a few more dingers. But not only do we not know if these humidors actually exist, we don't know their temp and humidity settings. So it's pretty hard to say what their effect would actually be.
 

barbed wire Bob

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Why on earth would Boston need a humidor?

Edit: shaggydog is correct. The humidors, if they actually exist, could have been installed to dry out the balls which in turn would lead to an increase in hits. Until we know what the settings are we really can’t determine the purpose of the humidors.
33247
 
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nvalvo

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Only if it was increasing the humidity the balls were stored in. If it decreased the humidity (like in July and August in Boston let's say) to some standard level, then there may be a few more dingers. But not only do we not know if these humidors actually exist, we don't know their temp and humidity settings. So it's pretty hard to say what their effect would actually be.
This is where I am, but if I were the Commish, I would be planning to put them everywhere. I think that once you decide you should standardize the baseball in Colorado and Arizona, it actually makes sense to just set humidity standards for baseball storage, just like there are standards for ballpark lighting. I suppose there's no reason you couldn't go park-by-park — each game is only played in one park — but if I'm prioritizing humid ballparks, I'd be prioritizing Houston and Atlanta and STL.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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This is a travesty.

Baseball has a long tradition of uniform ballpark dimensions and characteristics. Once you let people start deviating from the standards, anything can happen. Teams will erect different sized fences, they will expand or narrow foul territory, build additional stadium structures and even employ things like humidors.

2020 has seen a lot of things but who could have imagined baseball losing its innocence would be on the list?
 

mauf

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MLB should’ve been transparent, but I don’t see what the big deal is. There should probably be a humidor for baseballs in every major-league park, but I’d want to test that for a season in a few parks that weren’t arid and/or high altitude (where there is already experience with humidors) before rolling out the change across the board.
 

nighthob

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This is a travesty.

Baseball has a long tradition of uniform ballpark dimensions and characteristics. Once you let people start deviating from the standards, anything can happen. Teams will erect different sized fences, they will expand or narrow foul territory, build additional stadium structures and even employ things like humidors.

2020 has seen a lot of things but who could have imagined baseball losing its innocence would be on the list?
 

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Tharkin

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I feel like this is setting the stage for draft penalties down the road if a ball in play dries out faster than an opposing coach thinks it should.

As previously stated, they should do this in all ballparks if they do it in any.
 

shaggydog2000

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This is a travesty.

Baseball has a long tradition of uniform ballpark dimensions and characteristics. Once you let people start deviating from the standards, anything can happen. Teams will erect different sized fences, they will expand or narrow foul territory, build additional stadium structures and even employ things like humidors.

2020 has seen a lot of things but who could have imagined baseball losing its innocence would be on the list?
Unique ballpark dimensions and features are there to create character and improve the fan experience. Is regulating the humidity of the storage of baseballs going to be the one thing that tips baseball too far and ruins your day at the ball park? Because there may be a few percent greater or lesser of a chance that a team could hit a homerun in a given at bat, depending on what time of year it is? It's the one thing up with which you shall not put?
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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Unique ballpark dimensions and features are there to create character and improve the fan experience. Is regulating the humidity of the storage of baseballs going to be the one thing that tips baseball too far and ruins your day at the ball park? Because there may be a few percent greater or lesser of a chance that a team could hit a homerun in a given at bat, depending on what time of year it is? It's the one thing up with which you shall not put?
I am actually in favor of the MLB figuring out how to create uniform playing conditions across the league.

Forget humidors - what about some sort of universal climate control? And while Fenway typically sells out when the Sox are doing well, I wonder how an empty stadium affects a baseball trajectory, if at all. They should study that and make sure that crowds (or none) are optimized for perfect control if there is any impact whatsoever.

Also, stadium surfaces need to remain uniform along with the clay used on mounds and infield areas. Fenway should not play differently than Yankee Stadium or Citi Field.

Baseball has always been about tradition and doing things the right way. We need to stop the war on the longball.
 

DanoooME

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This is a travesty.

Baseball has a long tradition of uniform ballpark dimensions and characteristics. Once you let people start deviating from the standards, anything can happen. Teams will erect different sized fences, they will expand or narrow foul territory, build additional stadium structures and even employ things like humidors.

2020 has seen a lot of things but who could have imagined baseball losing its innocence would be on the list?
I am actually in favor of the MLB figuring out how to create uniform playing conditions across the league.

Forget humidors - what about some sort of universal climate control? And while Fenway typically sells out when the Sox are doing well, I wonder how an empty stadium affects a baseball trajectory, if at all. They should study that and make sure that crowds (or none) are optimized for perfect control if there is any impact whatsoever.

Also, stadium surfaces need to remain uniform along with the clay used on mounds and infield areas. Fenway should not play differently than Yankee Stadium or Citi Field.

Baseball has always been about tradition and doing things the right way. We need to stop the war on the longball.
They do? Parks have always been different, mostly because they've been built in different eras to different needs. Teams have always messed with fences and foul territory. The dimensions are always different. In fact, one of the major complaints of the 70s were all of the "ashtray" stadiums (Vet in Philly, Three RIvers in Pittsburgh, Riverfront in Cincinnati, Busch in St. Louis) that all had the same dimensions and the same look. It was boring. One of the most interesting elements of baseball IMO IS those differences between ballparks. It gives them all a different character. What difference does it make that the parks are different? It's not like they change anything that directly affects the rules, because they can't. The only factor that should be important is player safety, which is a good reason why they took out Tal's Hill in Houston. If they made every park the same in every way, it would be very boring. Making an argument that baseball tradition is based on the ballparks is way off base because it's never been like that. The only standards are around the rules directly (bases 90 feet apart) and that makes sense. If you want everyone to play on FieldTurf, in a dome, with the same exact fence heights, same foul territory, same dirt that's your prerogative, but that doesn't interest me at all. It would make a game that struggles to attract younger fans even more boring to them.
 

Riconway3155

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They do? Parks have always been different, mostly because they've been built in different eras to different needs. Teams have always messed with fences and foul territory. The dimensions are always different. In fact, one of the major complaints of the 70s were all of the "ashtray" stadiums (Vet in Philly, Three RIvers in Pittsburgh, Riverfront in Cincinnati, Busch in St. Louis) that all had the same dimensions and the same look. It was boring. One of the most interesting elements of baseball IMO IS those differences between ballparks. It gives them all a different character. What difference does it make that the parks are different? It's not like they change anything that directly affects the rules, because they can't. The only factor that should be important is player safety, which is a good reason why they took out Tal's Hill in Houston. If they made every park the same in every way, it would be very boring. Making an argument that baseball tradition is based on the ballparks is way off base because it's never been like that. The only standards are around the rules directly (bases 90 feet apart) and that makes sense. If you want everyone to play on FieldTurf, in a dome, with the same exact fence heights, same foul territory, same dirt that's your prerogative, but that doesn't interest me at all. It would make a game that struggles to attract younger fans even more boring to them.
I....I think the poster was joking.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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Sorry DanoooME. I once heard Rich Aurelia asked what infield was the worst to play on and he said it was Fenway (this was during the mid-aughts so I suspect things have changed since then). I then felt bad for Butch Hobson for a few minutes.
 

DanoooME

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Sorry DanoooME. I once heard Rich Aurelia asked what infield was the worst to play on and he said it was Fenway (this was during the mid-aughts so I suspect things have changed since then). I then felt bad for Butch Hobson for a few minutes.
Clearly my sarcasm meter brain is broken.