Overheard today during the Giants game (before the Rockies came back from a 10-1 deficit against the Braves):
- Duane Kuiper: The Rockies really have gone back to the old Rockies. They're 40-20 at home. They're 25-40 on the road.
Mike Krukow: I'm a little surprised by that. Because since they've got the humidifier going, and they've solved the baseball problem in Denver ... When they solved the baseball problem in Colorado, and you started seeing normal baseball games, you're seeing 1-0 games, and shutouts, and low run-scoring games, which you never saw in Coors Field before they fixed the baseballs.
Once they did that, it kind of ... made Rockies home baseball pretty much like Rockies road baseball. And they thought that the big discrepancy you used to see would go away, and you would start to see some normalcy, with their their win-loss record on the road compared to their win-loss record at home. But it hasn't happened.
If I was a bettin' man, I would have lost money. Let's put it that way.
I don't remember how I would have bet. But teams that play in (or near) Denver have always had huge home-road splits. Baseball, football, hockey, basketball ... it doesn't really matter, which leads to the conclusion that the balls are a small (or nonexistent) piece of the equation.
In the Rockies' first seven seasons (1995-2001) in Coors Field, they won 57 percent of their home games and 41 percent of their road games. As you might guess, that's a massive difference (last year, the MLB split was 54-46).
The humidor was installed in 2002. I'm not sure if it was there all season, so I'm leaving that season out of the calculations. From 2003 through this afternoon, the Rockies have (again!) won 57 percent of their home games ... and 40 percent of their road games. Essentially the split is exactly the same post-humidor as pre-humidor. Which, as Krukow suggests, probably isn't what the Rockies had in mind.
Which doesn't mean the humidor is a failure. If nothing else, it's probably brought some peace of mind to the people in the front office. Not to mention Rockies pitchers. But the Rockies' home-field advantage has never been about the baseballs. It's been about what being a mile high does to a fellow's body.