There is a notion going around over the past few seasons that Major League Baseball is juicing the baseballs. This idea has the baseball world talking. And now it’s our turn. Is MLB juicing the baseball? Here are our thoughts.
The Ball is Undoubtedly Flying
If you have spent any time watching Major League Baseball games over the past few seasons, then you have noticed an increase in the home runs. Seeing home runs spike in this fashion is uncommon. Even at the height of the “Steroid Era” home runs did not fly at this exponential rate. Yes, at that time we saw several players besting 50, 60 and even 70 home runs in a single season. But those players were few and far in between. Now just about every player hits over 20-25 home runs. And players that weren’t traditional home run hitters are driving the ball at alarming rates over the fence.
Mission Statement of “Pace of Play”
Since entering the office of the Commissioner, Rob Manfred has championed the mission of improving the pace of play. And that has lead to changes and even more proposed changes to come. But a way to “improve” action in the game is to make sure the ball is jumping. The idea is that if the ball is being hit over the fence, fans will enjoy the pace.
Is Juicing the Ball a Bad Thing?
The answer to this question is where the real debate lies. Pitchers giving up home runs outside of their average rate will call it a problem. Batters that are hitting more home runs than ever before are enjoying the success. And fans are divided as well. MLB has done something with the baseballs, whether intentional or by accident the baseballs are moving differently. The launch angle revolution is likely, in part, a contributor as well to the recent market spike in home runs. The question of good or bad, ultimately, falls on the side of ratings. Because at the end of the day, Major League Baseball is a business. And drawing eyes to their product, regardless of the reason, is the principal goal.
So the question we now pose to you. Is MLB juicing the baseball? And is it a good or bad thing? Leave us a comment to let us know your thoughts.