Teams in all leagues enjoy the thought of coming home after a long road-trip, sitting in their own clubhouse, working out on their own field and enjoying the advantages they have when teams come to visit them.
One team that won’t be so lucky is the Scranton Wilkes-Barre Yankees.
The Scranton Wilkes-Barre Yankees are having a $40 Million ballpark makeover but the Yanks won’t be able to play in their own ballpark for the whole 2012 season. Instead they will be playing the whole season at parks that they are less familiar with. With that said, the Scranton Wilkes-Barre Yankees won’t be the road team during the whole season – they will be the home team in half of their games just as always.
However, it could definitely be hard for the Scranton Yanks, because constantly being on the move will result in fatigue. Also, the Yanks will be at a disadvantage against other teams, as they won’t be in their own ballpark.
Take the New York Yankees for example. Imagine that the Yankees needed construction on Yankee Stadium and they couldn’t play there the whole year. Instead the Yankees would be in different stadiums for home games. Not all ballparks play to the strength of the Yankee players. For example, a Curtis Granderson double to right in Comerica Park might just be a homer at Yankee Stadium. Or, if you had Brett Gardner playing in front of the Green Monster at Fenway Park, his excellent range wouldn’t have the same impact as it would in left-field at Yankee Stadium.
Now apply all of those things into Scranton. Having an outfielder who is used to the dimensions of PNC Field, but is constantly on the move could alter their game. If one of their pitchers is more tailored for pitching at PNC Field, then that advantage is taken away. If they have a power hitter who constantly hits it over the right field wall, they won’t get as many homers because the dimensions in the other stadium could be larger.
Some of the players that we have in Scranton are prized prospects so all the traveling will take a huge toll on them. I would suggest that, to prevent getting overwhelmed, some of them should be sent to Trenton. The Thunder, unlike Scranton Wilkes-Barres, have their ballpark during the year, and it would be best if the prospects didn’t have to deal with the wear and tear of traveling constantly.
Scranton obviously has a lot to deal with since they have to be on the road all year and, let’s face it, the life of a minor league player isn’t glamorous in the first place. But if they are able to come out of this with something positive, then maybe the obstacles that were in the way were there for a reason. Plus, they would have experience with doing it again if they ever have to.