Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
TonySoprano

Are Baseballs "Juiced" This Season?

Recommended Posts

MLB has now accepted that the baseballs are at least part of the mystery, and will make changes, or not, two years from now.  Maybe.

Quote

Smith is a 55-year-old professor of Mechanical and Materials Engineering who oversees the baseball madness inside the lab he started in 2003. For almost two years, he has been working for Major League Baseball to figure out if and why “juiced baseballs” have triggered a surge in home runs.

The mystery appears to be over.

“The smoking gun may very well have been found,’’ said Alan Nathan, chairman of a committee of scientists that includes Smith and was formed by MLB in August 2017. “As I told Lloyd, ‘You’re going to be a big hero for doing this.’ ”

Smith said modified baseballs could be ready for the 2021 season, but MLB spokesman Pat Courtney said the league has yet to commit.

“We are still in the process of gathering information and have not planned any production changes at this time,’’ Courtney told USA TODAY Sports via email.

Within a matter of weeks, according to Smith and Nathan, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred could be ready to present the research findings and explain what has caused the baseballs to drive up the home run totals — not to mention fuel conspiracy theorists who have accused the league of juicing up the balls.

Quote

Smith and Nathan declined to discuss specifics about the findings.

“I would like you not to say that we’ve solved the problem,’’ Smith told USA TODAY Sports. “We’ll say that once Major League Baseball is satisfied with our results and willing to make a public statement.

“We’ve notified MLB of our progress and their answer has been, 'That’s great, but we can’t get this wrong.’ So we need to test more balls. So far we are at about 80 dozen balls that we’re testing over different areas of the game to see if we’re right, how right we are and if everything adds up.’’

Quote

MLB is on pace for 6,712 home runs, which would be 1,100 more than a year ago, and an increase of more than 600 over the record 6,105 hit in 2017.

 

https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/mlb/2019/08/02/mlb-juiced-baseball-problem-home-run-rate/1869584001/

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
46 minutes ago, jabba72 said:

Why wait two years? Seems like something that should be fixed right away.

Waiting to see the long term results of viewership ratings? Casual fans for sure dig the long ball.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
51 minutes ago, jabba72 said:

Why wait two years? Seems like something that should be fixed right away.

Manfred Mann doesn't want to change. If you paid attention to the changes he talked about in spring training, you'd know he wants to take good pitching out of the games so there will be slow-pitch softball scores every night.

I think it's a toss-up between this guy and Goodell as to which is the worst commissioner.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Exit velocity is up at least 1 MPH this year from what I've heard. The ball that Guerrero hit last night for the monster homer looked like a drive from a golf club.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Jayson Stark always has a way of finding interesting trivia with numbers
 

Quote

The Orioles vs. The ’59 Dodgers

For every action, there’s a reaction. Which means, if I’ve analyzed this correctly: For every home run that’s hit, somebody has to give one up. Right? So … have you watched an Orioles game lately?

The 2019 Orioles are on a pace to allow 333 homers this year. That’s just nuts, no matter how juiced the baseballs are. Maybe this will help you digest that little nugget: That’s as many long balls as the Red Sox and Cubs gave up combined last season. But there’s also this:

If the Orioles keep serving up bombs at this clip, they’re going to crush the all-time single-season gopherball record — held by Jumbo Díaz’s 2016 Reds (258) — by a mind-blowing 75 homers. Yep, 75! That works out to an absurd 29 percent.

According to STATS, the last time any team did that much damage to the home-runs-allowed record was 1884, when Larry Corcoran’s fabled Chicago White Stockings decided to mess with the ground rules of the funkily designed Lake Front Park — and wound up breaking the record for homers surrendered by a mere 277 percent (from 22 to 83).

But let’s ignore any history that was made in 1884, OK? If we careen into the 20th century, we can’t find any significant single-season pitching record that was broken by more than 20 (or even 15) percent since Johnny Podres’ 1959 Dodgers spiked the team-strikeout record by 20.2 percent (from 896 to 1,077).

That was 60 years ago, though. And it joins just this tiny list of single-season pitching records that have been broken by at least 20 percent since 1900 — none of them lately!

TEAM RECORD OLD NEW PCT.
1959 Dodgers Strikeouts 896 1,077 20.2%
1922 Athletics HR allowed 89 107 20.2%
1906 White Sox Shutouts 26 32 23.1%
1904 White Sox Shutouts 21 26 23.8%

So what’s the point here, other than the Orioles do more launching these days than NASA? It’s this: With all the home runs flying every night, you can lose perspective on just how many there are and what it means. But when you realize these records aren’t merely being broken, they’re being annihilated, it’s time to say: This isn’t normal. This. Is. Crazy!

 

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

More Jayson

Quote

Nearly twice as many runs score on home runs now (45.3 percent) as on singles (23.3 percent). So according to STATS, it’s never been less likely, at any point in history, that your team is going to drive in a run with a single.
LOWEST % OF RUNS SCORED VIA SINGLES*

Season Singles_Runs R PCT
2019 4474 19,211 23.3
2018 5366 21,630 24.8
2017 5603 22,582 24.8
2016 5719 21,744 26.3
2001 6211 23,199 26.8

 

Quote

Every HR record in history will get broken!

All right, so technically, every home-run record in history won’t get broken. But tell me it doesn’t feel like it as we careen along, on pace for 1,200 more homers than last season — the largest single-season jump in baseball history. Did you know there have already been more home runs than last year? And it isn’t even September yet!

What’s amazing is that thanks to those Titleist Pro V1s we’re using, this is a phenomenon that’s showing up across the sport, in a way that’s totally unlike what we saw in the PED era.

“It’s guys who used to hit five or 10 who are now hitting 20,” one exec said. “It’s not guys who used to hit 25 who now hit 60.”

Exactly. So here are a few historic quests to watch out for in September:

Double digits — The record for most players hitting 10-plus home runs in a season is 242, set in 2017. The number of players who have done it already this year: 238. We count 36 players with eight or nine right now, so this one is going down any minute.

Roaring 20s — Most players hitting at least 20 homers in a season? That was 117, in 2017. The number who have done that this year? “Only” 93. But there are another 38 with 17, 18 or 19. And there are 156 players with at least 15 already. So this record is about to topple, too.

200 percent — Also sure to fall is the record for most teams bopping 200 homers. We have 11 teams that have already crossed that threshold, 19 with 185 or more and an incredible 24 on pace to hit 200-plus. The record is 17, also set in 2017. But that’s the only season in history with more than 12. Adios!

Tear up that record book — Current number of teams on pace to set their single-season franchise record for home runs in a season? That would be 15 at the moment — aka half the teams in baseball. Unreal.

More homers than singles — We’re used to tracking this stat for hitters. This year, we could see the first pitcher to do it. Josh Hader was on track a few days ago but is now at 13 homers allowed, 13 singles. In LA, reliever Yimi García is somehow at 14 gopherballs, 10 singles. If we set the bar at double figures in each department, we’ve had only two previous close calls: Andrew Heaney (12 and 12, in 2017) and Kirby Yates (10 and 10, in 2015). If this happens, let’s make a trophy and have Joey Gallo present it, OK?

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Twins hit 6 HRs (in a 10-7 loss to Detroit) to break the single season mark set by NYY last year.   It was also the 11th game that MIN had at least 5 HRs, also a MLB record.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great: article: “If they had given me just three of these baseballs back in January,” Dr. Meredith Wills is saying, “I could have told them in five minutes that home runs would go up and that pitchers would have problems. It’s that obvious.” “Well, first off you have to understand something,” Dr. Wills is saying. “Until the home run committee last year, there was no such thing as aerodynamic testing for baseballs. Now you tell me: How in the heck are you going to make a baseball with no aerodynamic testing?”https://joeposnanski.substack.com/p/juiced-baseballs-a-history

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, TonySoprano said:

The Twins hit 6 HRs (in a 10-7 loss to Detroit) to break the single season mark set by NYY last year.   It was also the 11th game that MIN had at least 5 HRs, also a MLB record.

They have 27 games left.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So, I got my first look at an actual MLB ball from this year.  My brother and law and mother in law were visiting from out of town a couple of weeks ago, and we took them to their first O's game.  In his very first MLB game ever, my brother in law caught a late game Rio Ruiz foul ball.  

I got a good look at it later, and holy crow are the the stitches low and tight on this ball.  I often joke about one of us training up a knuckleball and joining the O's rotation, but now that I've seen the balls, I think it'd be literally impossible, because these things don't have enough seam to actually throw a knuckleball.  

Believe what you've read about this contributing to the power surge in baseball... there's no way these balls have as much drag as they used to. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

Home runs surged 58% at Triple-A this season following the switch to major league baseballs.

According to the organization that governs the minors, 5,752 homers were hit in the International and Pacific Coast Leagues. That's up from 3,652 in 2018.

Quote

Home runs rose 57% in the International League, from 1,555 to 2,440, and 58% in the Pacific Coast League, from 2,097 to 3,312.

Long balls dropped in nine of 14 leagues from Double-A down, where China-manufactured balls were used.

 

https://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/27545491/home-runs-triple-level-surge-58

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, TonySoprano said:

Many of us are thinking about ways to go back to historically non-obscene levels of homers. But what if MLB is asking themselves how to duplicate AAA baseball in the majors?  What if we see a 58% increase in homers in the majors next year?  Is it really that far-fetched?  Could a team hit/allow 400 or even 500 homers next year?  

Maybe baseball doesn't care about historical norms and strategies, but about what might excite the coming generations of fans who never have seen a season where 36 homers leads the league.  Long periods without any balls in play just might provide the opportunities for more advertising and revenues.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, DrungoHazewood said:

Many of us are thinking about ways to go back to historically non-obscene levels of homers. But what if MLB is asking themselves how to duplicate AAA baseball in the majors?  What if we see a 58% increase in homers in the majors next year?  Is it really that far-fetched?  Could a team hit/allow 400 or even 500 homers next year?  

Maybe baseball doesn't care about historical norms and strategies, but about what might excite the coming generations of fans who never have seen a season where 36 homers leads the league.  Long periods without any balls in play just might provide the opportunities for more advertising and revenues.

Reggie Jackson led the AL in slugging at .502 in his only season as an Oriole in 1976. I would prefer that version of baseball over MLB trying to turn every game into home run derby. Worst part is I don’t doubt MLB is thinking of ways to further increase the number of home runs. A Yankees team hitting 350 home runs in 2020 doesn’t seem that far fetched.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, OsFanSinceThe80s said:

Reggie Jackson led the AL in slugging at .502 in his only season as an Oriole in 1976. I would prefer that version of baseball over MLB trying to turn every game into home run derby. Worst part is I don’t doubt MLB is thinking of ways to further increase the number of home runs. A Yankees team hitting 350 home runs in 2020 doesn’t seem that far fetched.

MLB thinks the long ball will save the game, theyve felt that way for quite a while

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

Orioles Information


Orioles News and Information

Daily Organizational Boxscores

News

Tony's Takes

Orioles Roster Resource

Orioles Prospect Information

2018 End of Season Top 30 Prospects List

Prospect Scouting Reports

Statistics

2019 Orioles Stats

2019 Orioles Minor League Stats

Baseball Savant Stats







×
×
  • Create New...