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Ballpark Golf Scores: a novel way of ranking team offenses

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As a Rockies fan, do you ever get tired of hearing, "Yeah, but look at what player X did outside of Coors Field"? What happens if you turn that on its head and used Coors Field performance as a way to judge all teams? Of course, the following doesn't really say anything statistically other than that maybe the Mets and Brewers wouldn't have blown their division leads in 2007 if they played better in Denver.

NL Contenders' team hitting at Coors Field in 2007:

ATL .339/.395/.583 (.978 COL/.645 HOU)
PHI .313/.350/.504 (.964 LAD/.684 MIL)
COL .298/.372/.480 (.977 PHI/.530 WSN)
CHC .305/.346/.424 (.823 TEX/.515 SFG)
SDP .277/.348/.412 (1.052 PHI/.563 FLA)
LAD .279/.328/.419 (.967 TBD/.555 STL)
NYM .260/.273/.423 (.900 PIT/.636 SDP)
MIL .219/.250/.417 (.948 MIN/.622 ATL)
ARI .244/.310/.344 (.880 ATL/.524 NYY)

If we were going strictly by local knowledge, we'd have to say that the Braves had the NL's best offense in 2007, followed by the Phils and Rox. Surprisingly, that's probably not too far from the truth. San Diego's team performance at Coors in 2007, while respectable, was actually below what they did overall on the road, which actually makes me wonder about them.

Which brings up the other numbers. They represent the OPS of each team's top and bottom road performances on the season. As you can see, the Padres were the only NL contending team to have an OPS over 1.000 at any given stadium, and San Diego actually did it twice, also posting a 1.015 OPS in Great American Park in Cincinnati. Does this mean they had a great offense, though? Impressive as that sounds, the Padres performances at GAP and CBP don't exactly wow me like the Phillies .964 trip to Dodger Stadium does. What you have is a team that was piling up stats in the easy venues while another was consistently good in park after park. All of this gave me an idea to measure team performance based on treating each venue as a hole on a golf course.

Of course, for a true measure of what's what, I'd suggest to go to a site that gives you a lot of in depth contextually adjusted statistics rather than doing the following, but for a fun and easy way to evaluate, try this:

Ballpark Golf:

OPS over 1.000 = Double Eagle -3
OPS .900 to .999 = Eagle -2
OPS .800 to .899 = Birdie -1
OPS .700 to .799 = Par
OPS .600 to .699 = Bogey +1
OPS .500 to .599 = Double Bogey +2

Simply score the team according to how they do in each stadium they visit, including their own. Ranking the NL's 2007 contenders this way gives you the following:

Philadelphia -13
Atlanta -8
Florida -5
San Diego -4
New York -4
Milwaukee -3
Colorado +2
Cincinnati +3
Los Angeles +3
St. Louis +4
Washington +4
Chicago +5
Houston +7
Pittsburgh +7
Arizona +9
San Francisco +9

I got this idea when I noticed that most teams played in eighteen or nineteen different stadiums throughout the year. I like it because it rewards teams for doing well in tough venues as well as giving them credit for not flubbing the easy scoring opportunities.

As you can see, we were on the wrong side of par here, mostly due to some bad play early. We were fifteen strokes off the leader in 2007. In 2008, I'd like to see a couple more trips like we had to Philly, and a few less like we had to RFK. At least we've got some separation on the D-backs. Getting only a par at Cincinnati hurt, as did just missing par at Dodger Stadium (.699, ouch! just hanging on the lip) and Milwaukee. In fact, the NL Central parks were the holes we got into the rough most often it seems. I'm hoping a rebound there and a more favorable AL road draw should put us near the top of the leaderboard in 2008.