Believe it or not, it was actually the Yankees’ fault. Though, if you were on Bombers Twitter last night, you might’ve thought The Green Monster, that renowned 37-foot-high, left-field wall at Fenway, bribed the umpires, stole signs for the Sawx, and ran over Geritt Cole’s hamstring with a Honda Accord.
If you missed last night’s AL Wild Card Game, Giancarlo Stanton hit two near-home runs that were seemingly denied by The Monster. Here’s the thing, though: The Monster, in all likelihood, didn’t deny the Yankees anything. Stanton’s first missile — the one that every commentator broadcasting the game thought was a home run coming off of the bat — travelled 345 feet, and would’ve been a home run in exactly 0 out of 30 MLB stadiums.
345 feet to left field at any ballpark not named Fenway is what’s typically referred to in the industry as a routine pop fly. In this case, the monster actually gave Stanton a single. A single that could’ve been a double, had he not taken so long to admire his handiwork.
His second offering travelled 400 feet, but still only would’ve been a home run at 11 ballparks. So what are you complaining about? Some Yankees fans straight up label it cheating despite the fact that the wall is the same height when the Red Sox are batting. They have become the Ronald Reagan to the Red Sox’s Gorbachev, telling them to tear down this wall, even imploring MLB to step in and do it.
I guess Yankees fans think that every stadium should look the same and history be damned. Who cares if it’s the oldest stadium in MLB, practically a living relic that opened just days after the Titanic sank in 1912, if it denies THEIR team a hit? Except, as I just pointed out, it didn’t deny the Yankees anything. So why did they lose?
Could it be that their $324-million pitcher gave up three runs in two-plus innings? Could it be that their pitchers walked seven? Could it be that only two of their hitters showed up? Could it be that there was a massive coaching blunder when they decided to send Judge home where he was thrown out by a country mile — a country mile in the sense that it was the length of a small country? Of course not. It was the turn-of-the-century architecture. Look inward, Yankees.
It’s not just that it’s stupid to blame the stadium for the loss, it’s hypocritical. Yankees fans, you can be mad about the monster “robbing” Stanton of two home runs, but only if you are equally up-in-arms that he hit a 344-foot home run in the ninth near Pesky’s Pole. I can’t imagine that’s a home run at many other ballparks. I’ll wait patiently as you pen your complaint letters to the league.
But maybe that’s not fair. Maybe your problem is specifically with tall walls on shallow outfields and you are actually being consistent. In that case, it would be really embarrassing if Yankee Stadium had something that matched that exact description. If it did, I bet it would be called something like the “short porch in right.” I must say, that’s an odd fashion choice: deciding to wear egg on your face.
The porch may not be as tall as the monster but it’s given the Yankees their fair share of cheap home runs. Derek Jeter’s home run to win Game 4 of the 2001 World Series, one of the most iconic moments in franchise history and the beginning of “Mr. November,” was as short a home run as any MLB stadium would allow. The only way it could be shorter is if it was actually in play… and then a kid reached out and caught it before it landed in the rightfielder’s glove, which really happened in the 1996 ALCS. I still see you, Jeffrey Maier.
Yankees fans, maybe you don’t hate Fenway because it’s different. Maybe you hate it because it reminds you of everything you hate about yourselves. For argument’s sake, let’s say that those two Stanton hits were home runs. In that case, the Yankees still lose, 6-5, last night.
So cry more.