Originally posted on Larry Brown Sports  |  Last updated 2/12/12

Ryan Ludwick was traded from the Cardinals to the Padres in 2010 and spent two miserable half seasons in San Diego. In 160 games with the Pads, he hit .228 with a .659 OPS. Compare that to the 37 home runs he hit for St. Louis in 2008, and his .290 lifetime average at Busch Stadium in St. Louis. Ludwick signed with the Reds as a free agent and says playing in the spacious Petco Park screwed up his swing.

“Playing in San Diego screwed me up,” Ludwick told the Cincinnati Enquirer last week. “I’m not using that as an excuse or a crutch, but it turned me into a dead pull hitter. I got away from what I was as a hitter.”

Ludwick may have overachieved when he was an All-Star in 2008, but he’s certainly not as bad as he was in his 160 games with San Diego. The point of this post is to show how much large ballparks can mentally affect a player. Players feel more confident stepping to the plate when they believe they can hit a home run. They hit with less confidence when they’re in a large park that feels more intimidating. We saw the same thing happen to David Wright when the Mets moved to Citi Field, and we saw the same thing happen with Ludwick.

Many teams that have built new ballparks lately have opted for large ones to help their pitchers. They need to realize how much of a turnoff that can be for pitchers too. This is just another reason why Adrian Gonzalez’s accomplishments with the Padres were so impressive.

Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Report: Marshawn Lynch out a few weeks to recover

Peyton Manning to miss at least two more weeks

Notre Dame DT: Committee 'spit in our faces' with ranking

LaRon Landry suspended indefinitely by NFL

Don’t blame Mike Pettine for benching Johnny Manziel. Blame Johnny.

Danny Ainge: Celtics’ Marcus Smart has shown ‘propensity to get injured’


Ravens claim Jimmy Clausen off waivers, send Joe Flacco to IR

Report: Signs point to Chip Kelly, Eagles parting ways after season

Johnny Bench(ed): Manziel demoted to third string

ACC schools find themselves in major financial trouble


New York Rangers are the richest team in the NHL

10 storylines for Week 13 of the college football season

LISTEN: Browns fan cries on radio while ripping Johnny Manziel

Texas A&M QB Kyle Allen says he was injured vs. Alabama

Report: Maple Leafs are no longer the NHL’s most valuable franchise

Ranking the 10 best games of 2015 college football rivalry week

Did a Chipotle employee convince Danny Ainge to trade for Isaiah Thomas?

Bud Black joins Angels organization as special assistant to GM

Ben Simmons, Henry Ellenson excelled in freshman vs. freshman battle

Maximizing the Bucks

Holly Holm asked Beyonce who she was

Florida, Florida State kick off college football rivalry week

Which goalies are pulling ahead for the Vezina Trophy?

2015-16 UEFA Champions League roundup: Matchday 5, Pt. 1

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

10 storylines for Week 13 of the college football season

Ranking the 10 best games of 2015 college football rivalry week

Examining the Mavericks' hot start

Johnny Bench(ed): Manziel demoted to third string

Mike Trout, four years in

Tom Brady on ‘Rex Ryan!’ line call: It’s ‘in the playbook’

Five NFL teams trending downward

Not so fast, USC: Eagles Chip Kelly buys Philly-area home

The five best hockey fights from Week 7

Bart Starr doesn’t remember Green Bay Packers career

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker