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Thursday, September 9, 2010
Phoenix humidor might lead to big change


Unlike me, Nick Piecoro's done some actual reporting:
I'm under the impression that the Diamondbacks don't have any choice in the matter. Major League Baseball simply won't allow teams to adjust humidor settings at a whim. Coors Field's humidor is set where it is because it's (supposedly) consistent with the manufacturing process. Do anything else, and you're open to charges of home-field manipulation. Allow a team to change the settings, and they'll go up and down depending on who's in town and who's pitching. Major League Baseball won't allow that, any more than it'll allow teams to move the outfield fences during the season.

Nathan says a humidor would cut home runs by 25 percent. Rybarczyk, looking at nearly five years' worth of home runs (2006-2010), estimates a humidor would have cut the homers by 38 percent.

The Diamondbacks could probably live with 25 percent. They would probably be alarmed by 38 percent.

Of course, these are just best guesses. My guess is the range is actually somewhere between 20 and 40 percent, and that range might be larger than management's willing to risk.

I'm still not quite sure what all the fuss is about. In 13 years, all in this same stadium, the Diamondbacks have seven winning seasons and four division titles. Their problem these last couple of seasons hasn't been the ballpark. It's been a shortage of great players.