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Yankees blast ‘Create-A-Park’ Camden Yards; Why Orioles uniquely changed dimensions of MLB’s once home run-friendly park

Yankees blast 'Create-A-Park' Camden Yards; Why Orioles uniquely changed dimensions of MLB's once home run-friendly park

Camden Yards has a history of being a home run-happy ballpark, but the Baltimore Orioles have put the kibosh on that reputation this season.

Heading into 2022, the Orioles reconfigured the dimensions of their park so left field would be further back and the wall would be higher. On top of that, the wall has some weird angles that jut out at 90 degrees, making it one of the weirdest outfields to play in in baseball. They named the 90 degree corner Elrod’s Corner. Its namesake is Elrod Hendricks, a former catcher and bullpen coach for the Orioles.

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The official reason the Orioles gave, per The Baltimore Sun, was “reduce the stadium’s propensity for home runs.” There are likely more insidious reasons behind that decision.

Since its inception in 1992, Camden Yards’ design has inspired nearly every new ballpark built since. However, though it’s been often imitated, it hasn’t been duplicated.

During the Yankees’ visit to Camden Yards, New York — ironically known for its notoriously lefty-friendly short porch in right field at Yankee Stadium — took issue with the new dimensions.

“It’s a travesty, man,” said right fielder Aaron Judge after a two home run night in a 5-4 win Tuesday, per Bryan Hoch. “I’m pretty upset. It just looks like a ‘Create-A-Park’ now.”

Yankees manager Aaron Boone piled on, adding: “[Judge] almost had three, but Build Your Own Park got him.” 

For context, Judge and Boone are referring to the MLB The Show video game in which users can create their own custom stadiums rather than using current MLB ballparks when playing.

Judge, who was approaching the first three home run game of his career, had a 393-foot shot that would have been out in 29 of 30 ballparks, per Statcast, fall short of the wall.

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The reality, of course, is the ballpark is doing everything the Orioles hoped it would. Camden Yards has gone from first in ballpark home runs in 2021 (277, 27 more than the second-place home of the Reds Great American Ballpark) to 27th in 2022 at 25.

While that precipitous drop is partially due to a pitching staff that is 17th in MLB in ERA rather than dead last like last year, it’s still a bit much for comfort. If Camden Yards continues to uphold this trend — and there’s no reason to think it won’t — we may see some of the other cheaper franchises in baseball follow suit as an artificial way to normalize their numbers.

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