How Will RFK Play
This may be a fool's errand, but I thought there may be a way to quantify how RFK will play as a ballpark in the next two years. I figured that you could compare the way RFK played when it housed the Texas Rangers nee Washington Senators from 1962-1971 to the ballparks still in use. However, there are very few ballparks from that era still in use. Here are the candidates for the stadiums in use in the American League during that era:
Dodger Stadium (home of the Angels 1962-65)
You can pretty much throw out Yankee Stadium, since it was renovated in the 1970's and changed its dimensions quite a bit. Angel Stadium has gone through a number of renovations through the years, and plays as a somewhat different park.
I think the two best comparisons are Dodger Stadium and Fenway Park (which remains as it was in 1962-71, dimension-wise).
So I first compiled the Park Factors for RFK and Fenway from 1962-1971. Fenway averaged a 106.1 Batter's Park Factor during that time, while RFK average a 97.4 Park Factor. The RFK/Fenway ratio was thus 91.80 (97.4 / 106.1)
Then I compiled the Park Factors for Dodger Stadium as an AL stadium (it played slightly different for the Angels and Dodgers) for the 1962-1966 period. The average Dodger Stadium Batter's Park Factor was 94.8, while during the same 4 years, RFK's was 99.5, meaning that the RFK/Dodger Stadium ratio was 105.0 (99.5/94.8).
Finally, I adjusted the Park Factors for Fenway and Dodger Stadium (NL, obviously) in 2000-2004 using the RFK/Fenway and RFK/Dodger Stadium ratios. The RFK/Fenway ratio produced an RFK Batter's Park Factor of 93.9. while the RFK/Dodger Stadium ratio produced an RFK Batter's Park Factor of 96.8.
Whether the ultimate Park Factor is 93.9 or 96.8, RFK will clearly favor pitchers. A 94 park factor would be the lowest in the NL except for Petco Park and Great American Ballpark. A 97 would put it in a group of the 5 or 6 best pitcher's parks in the NL.
Just for kicks, the 1966-1971 Anaheim Stadium average Batter's Park Factor was 95.6, while RFK was 96. The RFK/Anaheim ratio would thus be 100.3. Using Anaheim's 2002-04 average Batter's Park Factor of 96.3, the RFK/Anaheim ration would put RFK's Batter Park Factor at 96.6. [I used Anaheim's 2002-2004 factors rather than 2000-2004 because Anaheim's 2001 factor was screwy at 107. It's never been even in the neighborhood of that level before.]
Now before the real sabermetricians among you chop off my head for comparing Park Factors across years, selectively chopping off 2000 and 2001 for Anaheim Stadium, and any number of other statistical mortal sins, this is just a thought experiment for quantifying how RFK will play as a park. And this analysis buttresses the old eyeball exam of RFK's baseball dimensions - 335 down the lines, 385 in the power alleys, and 410 to dead center. A big park by today's standards.