The new Yankee Stadium did not play like as much of a bandbox in 2010 as it did in its inaugural 2009 season.
There were 223 homers hit at the second-year ballpark, down from a major league-leading 237 last year. The Yankees hit 115, according to STATS LLC, a drop from 136 last season.
"I can definitely tell that the ball is not carrying as well as it was last year," the Yankees' Mark Teixeira said before Sunday night's 4-3, 10-inning win over Boston completed the home schedule. "Center field to right-center is really dead compared to last year. There are balls you hit out there that you think at the very least are going to hit off the wall and you're going to get a double, and they're dying at the warning track."
While the ballpark last year easily surpassed the record for home runs at old Yankee Stadium — 215 in 2004 — it failed to approach the major league record of 303 hit at Denver's Coors Field in 1999. Still the Yankees set a major league record last year by homering in 73 home games. This year they went deep in 63.
Yankee Stadium's home-run barrage was most pronounced early in the 2009 season. An average of 3.5 homers per game were hit before the June 18 game, and the figure dwindled to 2.5 per game for the remainder of the season.
This year's average of 2.75 at Yankee Stadium is down from last year's 2.93.
So, home runs are still frequent. The stadium, though, is not quite Coors Field east. That is a good thing.