Everybody has their own house of horror — you know, the place that, no matter how good you’re feeling, the moment you step over the threshold, Murphy’s Law comes into effect and you leave in despair, having suffered a disaster of some sort. Maybe it’s your high school chemistry classroom, or a particular restaurant where dates always seem to go sour, or even just your place of work (hey, I won’t judge).
Point is, we all have one, and these Yankees are no exception: there are some stadiums that, for some reason or another, the team has not been best by bad luck and poor performance since 2017. Here are the three ballparks, plus an honorable mention, that the Yankees surely hate going to the most.
Honorary Mention: Minute Maid Park, Houston Astros
Yankees fans, no doubt, have bad memories of games played in Houston. There’s the 2017 ALCS, where the team swept the Astros in the trash-can-free Yankee Stadium but went 0-4 in Minute Maid, capped off by the team’s seeming inability to even put the ball in play against Lance McCullers Jr. for the final four innings of Game 7. Two years later, although they were able to pull off a win in Houston during Game 1, the season ended with a walk-off two-run home run off the bat of Yankee killer José Altuve during Game 6.
With all these bad memories, then why is it simply an honorable mention? In truth, the Yankees haven’t played all that bad in Minute Maid Park, having posted a 6-7 record there during the regular season since 2017, and the tragic endings to playoff series have not been limited to Minute Maid in recent years. The ballpark is certainly not a favorite of the Yankees or their fans, but a house of horrors it isn’t — at least, not yet.
#3. Fenway Park, Boston Red Sox
Boston’s home stadium has not been kind to the Yankees this season, as they have only managed to win their first game at Fenway yesterday afternoon. Unfortunately, that’s not exactly surprising, given the team’s awful record in Boston, 15-21 since the start of the 2017 season, including a 3-7 mark in 2018.
What has made Fenway so difficult for the Yankees? Is it the fact that the stadium’s weird dimensions — the Green Monster in left, the depth of the outfield in center and right (420 feet at its deepest in center, 380 at its deepest in right — make it one of the hardest places to hit home runs? Not once since 2017 have home runs been hit there at even a league-average rate.
Does the small visiting locker room cause tensions in the clubhouse to rise? Or maybe — and this is just my own personal theory — the stadium’s place on the National Register of Historic Places piques the interest of any amateur historians on the team, who then decide to visit the historic areas and museums of the city instead of taking batting practice or throwing bullpen sessions.
Yea, let’s go with that last one.
#2. Tropicana Field, Tampa Bay Rays
When the Tampa Bay Rays finally get a new stadium (whether in Tampa Bay, Montreal, or elsewhere), nobody will miss Tropicana Field — not even the Rays. When the opportunity comes to press the demolish button on the ballpark, however, the current Yankees will be petitioning hard to do the honors. Since the start of the 2017 season, the team has gone 14-21 in Tampa Bay, compared to 27-18 against the Rays in the Bronx and Queens (remember, the Yankees and Rays played three games at Citi Field in 2017 due to Hurricane Irma, of which the Yankees won two).
Although the Yankees don’t particularly enjoy playing the Rays anywhere the last two seasons — they’ve lost ten of their last thirteen to their division rivals in the Bronx, after all — the Trop has been a place the Yankees haven’t liked to visit for far, far longer. Let’s hope the Yankees don’t play any important games there the rest of the season. [Checks schedule]. Oh no.
#1. Oakland Coliseum, Oakland Athletics
You’re probably asking, “How the heck could the Oakland Coliseum possibly be worse for the Yankees than Fenway Park and Tropicana Field, the homes of two fierce division rivals?” After all, though the stadium may be falling apart and the actual Coliseum in Rome is probably in better shape for a baseball game, the Yankees only make one trip a year out there. It can’t be that bad, can it?
Oh yes, yes it can. The Yankees are absolutely allergic to winning ballgames in Oakland, securing only one win in the stadium since sweeping the A’s in four games there back in the 2016 season. And very often they’re not pretty losses, either. June 15, 2017, saw the Yankees blow a one-run lead in the bottom of the tenth. The following day, Jonathan Holder blew a one-run lead in the bottom of the eighth. On September 5, 2018, Luis Severino absolutely imploded, giving up six runs (five earned) in just 2.2 innings. August 20, 2019, saw the Yankees record 11 hits but score only 2 runs.
To make matters worse, Matt Holliday caught the Epstein-Barr virus while in Oakland during 2017, first experiencing symptoms on June 17 (at the time, team doctors thought it was food poisoning). Prior to that date, he had posted a .270/.377/.507 slash with 13 home runs in 252 plate appearances over 62 games, good for a 136 wRC+. After that date, his performance dropped to a .179/.229/.333 slash with 6 home runs in 175 plate appearances over 43 games, resulting in just a 44 wRC+.