- Dec 4, 2009
Pitchers such as PRICE seem to think so.
More at the link.
PHOENIX — They walked slowly out of the New York Yankees clubhouse down the corridor, took a left into a private family room, and were escorted into a bathroom.
This is where Major League Baseball’s drug testers took several players Wednesday morning before their game against the Arizona Diamondbacks, customary practice for a sport trying to avoid another steroids scandal.
The trouble is that the drug testing police, trying to keep the sport as pure as possible, are hauling in the wrong guys.
The ones who needed to be drug-tested are those five-ounce baseballs.
In interviews this past month with everyone from pitchers to scouts to umpires to team officials, they informed USA TODAY Sports that today’s baseball may be juiced more than anyone’s body during the height of baseball’s ugly steroids era.
“Come on, just tell us,’’ Boston Red Sox veteran starter David Price says. “We all see it. Just come clean and say it.’’
Major League Baseball insists there has been no change in the manufacturing of the baseball, but commissioned independent reports last year which determined there is less of a drag on the baseball, which has become even more evident this year.
“They could not conclude why that is,’’ Commissioner Rob Manfred said Thursday at the Associated Press Sports Editors commissioners meetings in Manhattan, “but they did have some theories, which in part were that the baseball is a hand-made product that is almost exclusively made from natural products. The result of that is there’s going to be some variations in baseballs. You cannot escape that fact.
“We’re in that range of variation that we don’t know how to eliminate. When the drag goes down, the ball goes further, and you’re going to have more home runs.’’
There were a record 1,144 homers hit in March and April, averaging 2.62 homers a game, an increase of 12.2 percent from a year ago. There were a record 6,105 home runs hit in 2017, but now we’re on pace for nearly 6,500 home runs.
There are more home runs being hit these days than ever before in baseball history, yes, more than even when players were juicing out of their mind during the steroid era.
There are 16 players on pace to hit at least 40 homers, four players on pace to hit at least 60, and two players -- Cody Bellinger of the Los Angeles Dodgers and Christian Yelich of the Milwaukee Brewers -- to reach nearly 70.
And to think, just a year ago, Nolan Arenado of the Colorado Rockies led the National League in homers with 38.
Three teams -- the Minnesota Twins, Seattle Mariners and Brewers -- are on pace to hit more than 300 homers, shattering the Yankees’ season-single record of 267 last year. The Baltimore Orioles gave up a Major League record 73 homers in March and April, and are on pace to surrender a staggering 381 homers, 123 more than any team in baseball history.
And they’re going further than we’ve ever seen. There have already been a staggering 50 home runs hit 441 feet or longer, according to MLB Statcast, and 26 homers of at least 450 feet.
“And I don’t even believe Statcast,’’ Price said. “I think they’re being hit even further. I bring out my (golf) range finder, and that doesn’t lie.’’
https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/mlb/columnist/bob-nightengale/2019/05/02/mlb-home-runs-record-rate-juiced-ball/3650669002/If you want proof that something strange is happening with the baseballs, check out the numbers in Triple-A. This is the first season that Major League Baseballs are being used in the Pacific Coast League and International League, and their home-run rate has spiked by a staggering 47.1% -- 2.56 homers a game from 1.74 of a year ago.
More at the link.