Frenchcoeur: Citizens Bank Park “a bandbox”

Via FanNation:

“Poor David [Wright] hits the ball to right-center so well and there it’s an out,” Francoeur said. … Francoeur didn’t waste time knocking his former home field after signing with the Royals in the offseason, and even though it’s no longer his problem, the right fielder remains adamant the Mets need to make changes — to the field, not the team. “They’ve gotta shorten the park up,” Francoeur said. “It’s huge. I’m not saying make it a bandbox like Philadelphia, but they have to do something.”

Two things:

1. Citizens Bank Park is not and has not been “a bandbox”.

At The Good Phight, Schmenkman wrote a detailed article explaining why CBP actually plays rather fair. He included this slick chart:

2. David Wright doesn’t hit many balls to right-center.

This spray chart comes from Texas Leaguers:

I’m not seeing too many marks that are both A) deep enough in right-center where they should be falling in for hits, and B) outs. I see one, and I could generously see three.

Considering Francoeur is the same guy who once said, “If on-base percentage is so important, then why don’t they put it up on the scoreboard?”, I’m not surprised to see him wrong on both counts. Still, with his .928 OPS and winning smile, he has carte blanche with most sportswriters.

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28 comments

  1. Mike B.

    May 11, 2011 10:20 AM

    I think it’s been pretty well established that Francoeur is an idiot.

  2. Mike B.

    May 11, 2011 10:21 AM

    Oops…that said, Citi Field could probably use some modifications…probably first to the team that plays there 81 times per year.

  3. Scott

    May 11, 2011 10:25 AM

    I hear that Chris Young is pretty smart and all – being a Princeton grad. Maybe he dabbles in architecture on the side?

  4. KH

    May 11, 2011 11:25 AM

    Jeff Francouer is an idiot who can’t hit. I don’t know what it is with the Braves or ex-Braves but when you get a comment about CBP being a band box it seems a lot of the time it is coming from a Brave or ex-Brave. John Smoltz, for example, is obsessed with CBP. I personally attribute it to them ruling the NL east for so long they have to have an excuse for it being the Phillies personal play-ground now for so long now. Frenchy probably heard that 1000 times playing for the Braves.

  5. Bill Baer

    May 11, 2011 11:34 AM

    Yep, the Braves have certainly been whiners. It’s why I have the “NL East Whining” category.

    If Frenchy played for an NL East team, I’d have used it. Alas… sadface.

  6. Bill Pettti

    May 11, 2011 01:15 PM

    I must admit I would not have expected that outcome re: Citizens and HR/Scoring.

    And, yes, Frenchy can be an idiot.

    That being said, if you map Wright’s balls in play at Citi in 2010 to Citizen’s bank he turns two fly outs to home runs, one triple to a home run, and there is an borderline fly out to left that could have went for a home run–at a minimum it looks like a double off the wall.

    In 2009, Wright would have two triples turn into home runs, two possibly six doubles turn into home runs, and two possibly three fly outs turn into home runs.

    That’s 9 to 15 more home runs between 2009 and 2010. Nothing to sneeze at.

    data/tool here: katron.org/projects/baseball/hit-location/

  7. Bill A

    May 11, 2011 02:16 PM

    Both teams carry bats. Both teams can take advantage of “The Bandbox.” The visitors (Braves and Mutts included) need to hit better. And as for those who think Ryan gets more HRs at home … well, they don’t read very well.

  8. steve bresset

    May 11, 2011 02:21 PM

    In the words of that immortal American philosopher….Jed Clampett….”pitiful……just pitiful”

    That fits for JF and any team dumb enough to add him to their roster….

  9. Brian L.

    May 11, 2011 02:33 PM

    Although most of Wright’s ground balls are pulled to the left, roughly half (14 of 30) of his fly balls are to center and right center so although Francouer is an idiot he isn’t too far from fact. Now I also agree that all but one would have stayed in CBP, which curiously has similar dimensions except for a couple of little quirky spots in each park.

  10. Baltimore Bob

    May 11, 2011 02:37 PM

    I’m Not happy with the Dimensions at CBP
    and I too believe it’s a Bandbox.
    We lost the Championship to the Giants
    last year on a ball that went down the
    right field line and just over the fence
    in the top of the 8th inning in Game 6.
    I believe the Phillies would win more games
    if those Dimensions were more like 350
    down the lines and 425 to center.
    We have the pitching but now we will have
    to find another home run hitter.
    The Phillies owners are Idiots.
    Even the builder told them those
    dimensions were bad.
    Hopefully the pitching will carry us in
    2011 and the future.

    Lifetime Phan Clan member
    Phillies Phan
    Baltimore Bob

  11. bruce

    May 11, 2011 02:50 PM

    I think Francouer breathed too much of Smoltz exhaust. The same Smoltz who in his never ending tirad against CBP and infinite wisdom of the game and players said that no decent free agent pitcher would EVER sign with the Phils. Good call John! Not only are elite pitchers signing but they are also voiding “no trade” clauses and leaving money on the table.

  12. Dave Leonard

    May 11, 2011 03:13 PM

    If CBP confers such a big advantage to the Phillies, why is it that their away game W-L record is typically better than their home game W-L record?

  13. Dave Leonard

    May 11, 2011 03:16 PM

    @Baltimore Bob: it takes two teams to play a baseball game and they are both playing in the same park, so the disadvantage is only to the team that can’t hit a long ball, it seems to me.

  14. Bill A

    May 11, 2011 03:47 PM

    Thanks, Dave Leonard, for giving my argument validation. All the rest is whining.

  15. Scott

    May 11, 2011 04:30 PM

    I’m *hoping* that Baltimore Bob was just a troll post. If he really believes all of that, yikes.

  16. Ricky

    May 11, 2011 04:43 PM

    If cbp is a bandbox then what does that make yankee stadium…this a joke all these mets and braves players salty cause they get beat
    by the phillies at home or away. Tell them to check home run numbers for the phillies and compare home and road numbers..and Yankee stadium is only 318 to right and 315 to left. That is less then both corners in CBP…thank you try again losers. another classic attack on philadelphia and the sports teams when they are having success there.

  17. RM

    May 11, 2011 06:30 PM

    “If on-base percentage is so important, then why don’t they put it up on the scoreboard?”

    The Phillies actually do put it up. Probably doesn’t help Francoeur’s love CBP.

  18. RichieT

    May 11, 2011 07:42 PM

    I have read all of the comments thus far. I agree with many and take issue with others. The whole matter at hand is Frenchy. Frenchy is a dork, Plain & Simple. He Probably is a Phillies Wannabe, too..

  19. EWS

    May 12, 2011 06:27 AM

    If CBP is such a bandbox, then why aren’t the home runs flying out this year? Maybe for the past few years, the Phillies have actually had home run hitters. The management aren’t idiots, Baltimore Bob, they tailored the team to the park. That, to me, is brilliant.

  20. Hboss

    May 12, 2011 07:42 AM

    What a Moe….Just becasue he’s an older player that can’t run anymore, wants a shorter outfeild….wow what is he like 13 blameing everything he can but himself..

  21. Richard Hershberger

    May 12, 2011 08:30 AM

    I mostly watch Phillies games via the other team’s home feed, due to the vagaries of living outside the television market and seeing games on MLB Extra Innings. A comment by the broadcast team about Citizen’s Bank Park being a bandbox is a sure sign that they are idiots. It was a defensible statement in the park’s first year, but adjustments were made. Its placement on that chart from The Good Phight is utterly unsurprising to anyone who has been paying attention, or simply looked it up on baseball-reference.com. These guys are mindlessly repeating received wisdom years after its use-by date.

  22. sean

    May 12, 2011 09:12 AM

    first impressions tend to linger. also the same thing is never said about fenway but it’s probably worse then CBP for being friendly to hitters

  23. LTG

    May 12, 2011 09:58 AM

    @ RichieT,

    On behalf of all dorks, Francoeur is not one. Dorks tend to be smart and obsessive about a certain realm of knowledge which the average person finds either tedious or strange. Francoeur just has unjustified opinions and the desire to speak them aloud. He has no concern for knowledge. The correct word for him is ignoramus. (Not even idiot works in this case, nor in most cases of its use, since it means someone with a uniquely false set of opinions or bizarre set of behaviors–from the Greek ‘idion’ meaning private or indiviudal–and there is nothing unique about Francoeur’s false belief. –How was that for a performative demonstration?)

  24. Chareth

    May 12, 2011 10:28 AM

    Outside of first impressions drawn from the early days of the park, where one could legitimately call CBP a bandbox, I think it is very possible that some players/media simply look at the physical dimensions of the park — where my understanding is that CBP is still on the smaller side, please correct me if I am wrong — without considering the weather effects (like wind) that seem to neutralize the size effects.

    But, obviously, there is some intellectual laziness surrounding the “bandbox” meme, just as there is with the “philly fan” meme.

  25. Css228

    May 12, 2011 11:24 AM

    I think this post probably should have stopped at Frenchy said… If Frenchy is saying or doing something unrelated to throwing a baseball its probably wrong.

  26. Tim

    May 12, 2011 04:04 PM

    Joe Posnanski’s most recent post included a great point about how once a simple narrative is established, it’s really hard to shake it in the public’s mind, no matter how much new evidence comes to light. I couldn’t help but think of it when I read this post. CBP will always be a “band box” because people are too lazy to actually look at the evidence behind their narratives.

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