Report: MLB sends 30-team memo saying there is 'no evidence' baseballs are juiced
Many believe the uptick in home runs is the result of a change to the baseball itself
The 2017 season is roughly halfway complete now, and one thing is clear: baseballs are flying out of the park all across the country. More home runs were hit in June than any other month in baseball history, and MLB is on pace to to shatter the previous home run record pace:
- 2017: 1.26 homers per game
- 2000: 1.17
- 2016: 1.16
- 1999: 1.14
- 2004 & 2001: 1.12
Many people, myself included, believe the home run spike is at least partly the result of the baseball itself being juiced. By juiced I mean the ball is wound tighter, and thus it comes off the bat with more velocity.
A few years ago, run scoring around baseball dropped considerably -- the Angels led baseball with an average of 4.77 runs per game in 2014, and this season 12 teams are ahead of that pace -- and the conspiracy theory says MLB recognized the lack of offense was hurting the game, so they juiced the baseball to create more excitement.
Well, according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today, MLB sent a memo to all 30 teams on Saturday saying their is "no evidence" the baseball is juiced. Here's the memo:
The memo concludes: "The baseball in use today tests well within the established guidelines on every key performance metric. Furthermore, there is no evidence that the composition of the ball has changed in any way that would lead to a meaningful impact on on-field play."
A recent study by Ben Lindbergh and Mitchel Lichtman of The Ringer found there is at least some difference in the baseballs used today than in years past. That said, the most likely outcome here is that the home run spike is the result of a change in the baseball and a change in players. There are an awful lot of young power hitters in baseball today.
So, in conclusion, dingers are good. Long live dingers.
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