Adam Dunn, you’ve been in a bit of a slump lately. In the last month your average has dropped .100 points. Since May 15, in 29 games, you’ve hit .198/.339/.406. You’re still hitting some HRs – 6 to be precise – but it’s not coming along with a great bat otherwise. Your full season numbers look positively Dunnian again: .258/.396/.530. It’s still very good, it’s what we expected when you were signed, but it isn’t nearly as nice as what you were doing a month ago.
Well, Mr. Dunn, let me introduce you to Mr. Damon. You may have heard of him, he was a supposedly washed up outfielder from Boston that got a lowball offer from the Red Sox. He instead signed with the rival Yankees and continued to hit well for 3 years, surprising many due to his age. Then came 2009. The year of New Yankee Stadium. So far, Damon has already hit 13 HRs, remarkable since his career high is 24 and his average for a season is 16. Of those HRs 9 have been at home. He’s on pace right now to hit 33 homers, and if his rates keep up, 23 of those would be at home. Why is that?
Mr Dunn, meet Mr Damon’s good friend, Mr. Short Porch in right field. He is only, at times, 314 feet away from you when you’re batting. Besides his proximity to you, there seems to be a wind blowing off of the Harlem River that will help guide a baseball over that wall. The reason he is so good to Mr. Damon is that Mr. Damon likes to hit popups right down the line on low pitches. And when Mr. Damon does that, Mr. Short Porch gobbles them up. Everywhere else, they are fly outs or foul balls. But in Yankee Stadium, they are home runs. Of course, Mr. Damon would still have HRs if he played anywhere else, but he hits more at the Stadium, thanks to Mr. Short Porch.
Now that introductions have been dispensed, I’m not suggesting that you do anything different with your approach. I’m just saying if you’re feeling a little bit down because you haven’t had your best month, you should take some time to get to know Mr. Short Porch. He could have you feeling alot better with your swing by the end of the week. If you don’t want to take my word for it, talk to Mr. Short Porch’s friend, Mr. Damon. Also friendly with the wall are Messieurs Jeter, Teixeira and Cabrera.
And now I will leave you with a montage of photos. In photo #1, Damon hits a ball left out over the plate.
In photo #2 Damon hangs his head and shakes it because he got under the pitch.
In photo #3, despite to Damon’s surprise, the ball lands over the wall.