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Is there such a thing as home field advantage in baseball?

The Philadelphia Phillies seem to enjoy playing everywhere except, uh, Philadelphia. Currently the fightin's have a home winning percentage of .433 and a road winning percentage of .718. If the season were to end today the phillies would have a .285 home/road difference, the largest in franchise history.The "home field advantage" has been on the statistic decline since the beginning of the 20th century. Between 1901-1910 the average winning percentage advantage was .104. From 1991-2000 the average was .070. A lot of things may contribute to this. Advances in travel and modern technology is one. As well (and in my opinion most important), teams have extremely advanced scouting teams that report on other ball parks in addition to other teams and players.In Baseball the crowd doesn't have a tangible effect on the play of the game. Since both offensive and defensive baseball rely on hand and body signs, the game could virtually be played in silence.Its often pointed out that players when at home can "sleep in their own bed" and have "Home cooked meals". I would suggest that with free agency, minor league baseball and the overall nature of the game today players must realize that during their playing days the home they make is anything but permanent.Finally, It makes simple sense that when players are on the road they are more focused on baseball. In these modern times of constant information and communication its very easy when at home and with one's family to become distracted. Significantly more distracted than a player would have been in, say, 1915.On a side a note, I'm happy to see the declining existence of home field advantage. As if there was such and advantage, its ridiculous that it would be decided during a mid season exhibition game.
Posted by SteveG


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