The Bronx Bombers have been grounded.
You could see the drop off in the Yankees’ home run total coming from a mile away. However, even the most dire forecast didn’t account for the historic decline that has turned the Bronx Bombers from a perennial power house into a squadron of pea shooters one year removed from setting the franchise record for round trippers.
Note: 2013 total is pro-rated based on games played.
In 98 games, the Yankees’ home run tally stands at a miniscule 88. Not only does that paltry total rank 13th in the American League, but it’s a whopping 65 home runs behind last year’s production over the same number of games. If the Yankees’ power drain continues for the rest of the season, the team’s pro-rated total of 145 long balls would rank as the lowest per-game output since 1989 and, compared to last year’s total of 245, represent the largest full season year-over-year decline in baseball history (the Brewers hit 107 fewer homers in the strike-shortened 1981 season).
Note: Yankees’ 2013 total is pro-rated based on games played. Excludes strike-shortened 1981 season.
In a relative context, the Yankees power outage is even more dramatic. So far, the Bronx Bombers have only contributed 5.7% of the American League’s home run output. Unless the team’s brigade of injured hitters can provide a jolt, that rate could potentially be the worst in the 113-year history of the franchise. Currently, only two seasons, 1913 and 1995, rank lower.
Because of the precipitous drop in power on offense, the Yankees are also on the verge of being out homered for the first time since 1995 and only 12th overall. On a pro-rated basis, the Bronx Bombers’ home run deficit would also reach the depths of the team record book. If the current pace is maintained, the Yankees will wind up allowing 28 more round trippers than they hit, trailing only 1995 and 1971 for the largest disadvantage in franchise history.
Note: 2013 differential is pro-rated based on games played.
Maybe Alex Rodriguez and Curtis Granderson will come off the disabled list and hit a barrage of home runs? Or, perhaps, Travis Hafner and Vernon Wells will awake from their slumber to give the Yankees a jolt? If not, the Bronx Bombers could be headed for a nose dive, which, considering the way the Yankees’ off season was conducted, would make Hal Steinbrenner a kamikaze.