I've called you to this meeting today to discuss one item of interest: dingers. These aren't your garden variety Yankee Stadium specials that Derek Jeter flicks into the right field stands. No. Those are for pansies.
We are talking about awful pitches that were just obliterated deep into the New York night. It doesn't matter who hit it, or what team they played for. This is just a nice break from the real world before tonight's game so that we may observe and discuss the preposterous distances of these blasts. Consider this a reference for whenever someone goes deep at Yankee Stadium and you want to compare to the longest homers in the new park's short history.
Hope you pitch like crap and allow homers like this tonight, Pavano.
Left Field Champion
Victim: Craig Breslow, OAK
Distance: 448 feet
Details: There have not been too many long home runs deep to left at New Yankee Stadium, but Posada's shot in '09 was the longest there to date. His annihilation of a Breslow fastball right down the middle was the team's furthest of the year, although it was only the third-furthest of the season.
Left-Center Field Champion
Distance: 460 feet
Details: "Say, what happens when I throw A-Rod a slider that doesn't slide?" /boomstick/ "Oh... Oh my."
To date, this is the only homer at the new Stadium to reach the bleachers to the left of the center field restaurant (can't believe I'm writing "center field restaurant" in reference to Yankee Stadium...). It's the furthest homer hit by a Yankee and the second-furthest overall.
Center Field Champion
Alex Rodriguez- May 19, 2010
Victim: Wade Davis,
Distance: 452 feet
Details: I'm as surprised as you that this dinger actually went further than Russell Branyan's moonshot against Alfredo Aceves that hit the center field restaurant in '09 (the only such ball to do so thus far), but Hit Tracker Online had the longest homer of 2010 just a mere foot further than Branyan's 451 footer. Can't really blame Davis for that homer too much though- the Rays were winning by five and it was the end of a ten-pitch at bat. Instead of walking A-Rod, Davis challenged him with a 94 mph two-seam fastball and... A-Rod met the task. Womp womp.
Right-Center Field Champion
Victim: Chien-Ming Wang
Distance: 477 feet
Details: The horrible '09 version of the former Yankee ace was pitching out of the bullpen against a hot-hitting Ibanez, who had already hit 15 homers in his first month and a half with the Phillies. Wang threw a flat fastball up in the zone. It did not end well. So far, this is the dinger all are Yankee Stadium homers are compared to, since it landed an incredible 477 feet away. Honorable mentions go to Robinson Cano with the furthest hit to right-center by a Yankee (451 feet on June 16, 2010 against an 81 mph "fastball" from Jamie Moyer), and to A-Rod with the longest playoff dinger in the park's history (432 feet in Game 2 of the '09 ALDS against Joe Nathan).
Right Field Champion
Russell Branyan, SEA- August 21, 2010
Victim: Javier Vazquez
Distance: 440 feet
Details: Last night, when Ibanez narrowly missed the third deck in right with his 415 foot dinger against the corpse of Jason Isringhausen, PortlandYankee inquired about other impressive Yankee Stadium homers. The first response, from WWJD, was this ridiculous home run hit by the aforementioned Branyan. Vazquez's arm was just dead, and his fastball was only in the mid-eighties. Thus, when one came in down the middle, Branyan did not miss it. It landed in the third deck, the only such ball to do so according to the Yankees' media relations, though it sure looked like Brandon Allen of the A's hit one there when he sent one 428 feet on August 18, 2011 against Bartolo Colon. Regardless, it's impressive that Branyan hit it as far left in the third deck as possible.
So, those are your targets, gentlemen. Aim away. Unless you're on the other team; if you are, aim for Brett Gardner.