Thursday, May 16, 2024

The Marine Layer Holding Back Batters


Seattle Times - "Marine layer menace"

"The Seattle Mariners’ home, T-Mobile Park, opened July 15, 1999, as the crown jewel of the Sodo District. On vintage Seattle summer days, you won’t find a better environment anywhere in America to take in a ballgame. The scene can be truly stunning — baseball paradise for some — and that remains as true as ever as the stadium nears its 25th anniversary.

What also remains true: The place can be a hellhole for hitters.

No ballpark in Major League Baseball suppresses offense as much as T-Mobile Park. Players bemoaned that in its early days, and new technology over the past decade has validated that reputation.

Call it a pitcher-esque park.

What’s more: Through the first month of this season, offensive output in Seattle has reached a new low, with run production values at T-Mobile Park ranking dead last among all MLB venues.

There are many factors at play.

On-field talent is one, certainly. The scarcity of runs in Seattle over the past few years, in particular, has coincided with the rise of the Mariners pitching staff as one of the best in baseball, capable of shutting down any opposing lineup.

Environmental effects are factors too, of course. Climate, humidity and wind play a part in any park, and T-Mobile Park has one weather phenomenon — the dreaded marine layer — that has become as notorious as the boogeyman for some hitters."

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