FG on Fox: The Coors Field Hangover by Jeff Sullivan February 6, 2015 Did you know the Rockies tend to put up big home and road splits? Of course you did. The Rockies are the very most important example of why park effects matter. Also, the most obvious. Over the past decade, the Rockies rank first in baseball in total runs scored at home, by more than 200. Over the same period, the Rockies rank last in baseball in total runs scored away from home, by more than 100. Hitting in Coors is easy! Hitting not in Coors is hard. Or so the Rockies make it look, at least. Coors Field just does strange things to baseball. It’s not an unsolvable problem, and it might not necessarily be a problem, but, it’s something. Again, over a decade, the Rockies rank 14th in winning percentage at home. Meanwhile, they rank 28th in winning percentage on the road. If you observe the following table, you’ll note that the Rockies are exceptional in this way. They experience either a home-field advantage, a road-field disadvantage, or both. Team Home W% Road W% Difference Rockies 0.547 0.389 0.158 Pirates 0.512 0.378 0.134 Brewers 0.567 0.447 0.120 Rays 0.563 0.450 0.113 Blue Jays 0.554 0.443 0.111 Astros 0.494 0.385 0.109 Cardinals 0.601 0.498 0.103 Braves 0.579 0.483 0.096 Tigers 0.579 0.483 0.096 Yankees 0.622 0.531 0.091 A’s 0.564 0.473 0.091 Nationals 0.522 0.432 0.090 Reds 0.544 0.456 0.088 Red Sox 0.589 0.501 0.088 Padres 0.528 0.443 0.085 Indians 0.539 0.457 0.082 Mariners 0.499 0.417 0.082 Rangers 0.555 0.478 0.077 Twins 0.525 0.451 0.074 Orioles 0.502 0.430 0.072 D-Backs 0.517 0.446 0.071 Giants 0.540 0.470 0.070 Dodgers 0.560 0.494 0.066 White Sox 0.535 0.473 0.062 Cubs 0.498 0.436 0.062 Royals 0.463 0.416 0.047 Angels 0.583 0.536 0.047 Marlins 0.494 0.448 0.046 Phillies 0.557 0.520 0.037 Mets 0.516 0.484 0.032 It’s the Rockies, then the Pirates, some distance away. It’s pretty obvious the Rockies haven’t been as comfortable on the road as they have been in Colorado. Every team plays worse in other places, but the Rockies perform especially so, and because this is so consistent year to year, that causes people to theorize. Everyone wants to figure out why the Rockies have been so lousy away from home. Answer that, and maybe one could find a solution. I remember reading, many many years ago, about a proposed Coors Field hangover. This was supposed to affect the bats, and the idea was that, upon reaching sea level, Rockies hitters would have to get re-accustomed to seeing pitches break normally. That is, in Colorado, pitches don’t move like they do in other places, and Rockies players get used to that. So when they go on the road, normal movement looks like abnormal movement, and then it takes time to adjust. Time that the Rockies don’t always have. I remember thinking the evidence was pretty compelling. Unfortunately I don’t have a link, but what I do have is a re-examination. I wanted to look at this for myself. Have Rockies hitters just taken a few days to get used to conventional pitching on road trips? Read the rest on Just a Bit Outside.