Because of its quirky dimensions and its passionate fan base, Fenway Park is often believed to have a definitive home field advantage for the Red Sox. For much of the team's history, it has played out that way.
The 1946 and 1949 teams were an astounding 61-16 at Fenway Park. Eight other editions had winning percentages of .700 or higher. From 2003 through 2009, the heart of this new era of winning baseball, the club averaged a 53-28 mark at home.
For whatever reason, the Red Sox have not been as dominant in the cozy confines since the beginning of last season. Their win total at Fenway dropped from 52 in 2009 to 46 in 2010, and the current edition, which could end up with more than 100 wins overall, is on pace for "only" 48 at Fenway.
In 2010, the home record was just three games better than the road record. In the prior seven seasons, that disparity was never less than six. In 2011, Boston is actually a better team on the road, something that hasn't happened since 2002.
The club is on pace to finish with less than 50 victories at Fenway for two straight seasons for the first time since 2001-02.
The issues have been even more notable of late.
Boston has dropped six of its last nine games at Fenway Park and is just 8-10 at home since before the trade deadline. It has been held to three runs or less in 11 of those 18 games, an even more curious result given the manner in which Red Sox offenses, especially good ones like the 2011 unit, hammer the ball around this park.
On Saturday, the team will have a chance to rediscover that home dominance against the Texas Rangers. Or not. The Rangers have won five of their last six games at Fenway Park, just one of several teams that have come into Boston and left with their heads held high, or at least not staring straight into the ground.
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