Finally, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred has came out publicly to admit there is a difference in the 2019 balls.
This admission comes via The Dan Patrick Show. Moreover, Manfred says the baseball’s have ‘contributed towards the drastically high home-run rate’.
Directly, here is what the commish had to say.
“They [Rawlings] haven’t changed their process in any meaningful way. They haven’t changed their materials. There’s two points that I would make, even in the report last year: The scientists identified the pill in the baseball — not what it was actually composed of — but the centering of the pill in the baseball as something that could be a drag issue. To the extent that the pill is not perfectly centered, the ball wobbles when it’s hit, creates more drag. We think one of the things that may be happening is they’re getting better at centering the pill. It creates less drag.”
Now, it’s important to note that teams are on pace to hit over 600 more home runs than they did in 2017. Equally important is that six players have hit 20 or more home runs.
Interestingly, the new found ‘drag’ that the pill centering is creating is allegedly creating more carry on the ball. Some will theorize that this was done on purpose by those who make decisions at the top of the sport. A decision that was made to promote offense and attract eyes to the game.
However, does more offense create more interest? Or do you enjoy a solid pitcher’s duel as much as a slugfest?
Some years later, a study will be done on attendance and offensive inflation in the game. Until then, we can only speculate that there is some type of positive correlation. Personally, I like all the home runs; and don’t really notice anything too absurd. Of course, it is a little weird to see some middle-infielder types approaching the high-teen numbers already. But it seems like those outlier strange years have always existed.
How do you feel about the difference in the baseballs in 2019, or are you indifferent? Leave us your thoughts in the comments below.