Of the 12 teams that moved to a new stadium from 1991 through 2003 (not including Seattle, because in 1999 it opened Safeco Field in July), six had a worse record in the first season in their new home than they did the previous year, including four of the past six. What's a new stadium worth in the standings? The 12 teams improved their winning percentage by .011—less than two victories per team. Here are the biggest first-year winners and losers in baseball's construction boom:
[This article contains a table. Please see hardcopy of magazine or PDF.]
1. Word is circulating around the AL (again) that the Rangers may be stealing pitchers' signs at The Ballpark in Arlington. Teams apparently haven't noticed that The Ballpark is the AL version of Coors Field: Everybody hits there.
2. While Carlos Silva (5-0) has helped keep Minnesota humming, one AL scout predicts that the Twins will be even better in the second half, especially with rookie catcher Joe Mauer (meniscus tear) returning soon. "Their pitchers love throwing to him," the scout says.
3. Coming to a park near you: the Bruce Chen tour. On May 3 the Orioles obtained the 26-year-old lefthander, making it nine organizations in four years for Chen.