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Wednesday, November 20, 2019

MLB isn’t confident it can produce a consistent ball, leaving GMs to adapt

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Last week at the annual general managers meetings, the state of the baseball — the subtle shift in the aerodynamics that resulted in a not-so-subtle spike in home runs — was a top-level topic of conversation both privately between team executives and in meetings with league representatives.

“Obviously the ball last year, it played differently than it had in prior years,” Phillies GM Matt Klentak said. Data analysis as well as studies of the physical baseball showed that drag on the ball was lower in the regular season, resulting in unprecedented power numbers across the sport and a systematic shattering of home run records — all before the postseason ball doubled back and was shown to be less lively.

A’s GM David Forst agreed that “the science and the evidence is indisputable” that the 2019 ball was different enough to have a material impact on the game — but with a champion already crowned for the season that ended last month, front office focuses have (ostensibly) shifted to building the best team possible for 2020: “Obviously our biggest concern is what is the baseball going to be like going forward and how that affects how we evaluate different players.”

“I can only speak for our organization, but what we want is consistency,” Forst said, “and we’ll build a team around that.”

Feels oddly telling, doesn’t it?

 

QLE Posted: November 20, 2019 at 02:08 PM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: baseballs, juiced baseballs

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Moonshot: The Rocket Ball Has Disappeared In October - Baseball ProspectusBaseball Prospectus

But this change is very different. Almost overnight within the same season, the ball has been replaced by one with wholly distinct characteristics, ranging from the speed with which it leaves the bat to the distance it travels. It’s hard to believe that MLB, which owns the company that produces the baseballs, would consciously approve a change to their manufacturing on the eve of the most important month of the season, but it’s also hard to believe that this would happen by accident.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 10, 2019 at 03:49 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: baseballs, pay site

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

In memory of late son, Detroit fan hand-delivers historic Albert Pujols baseball to Hall of Fame

Albert Pujols’ 2,000th-RBI baseball, which caused such a ruckus earlier this season when a floppy-haired fan from Detroit refused to give it to the Los Angeles Angels’ slugger, has finally found its forever home.

Ely Hydes, the Detroit law student who caught the historic ball in the left-field seats at Comerica Park just moments after arriving at his seat following a late morning and early afternoon of day drinking, hand-delivered the ball to the Baseball Hall of Fame last month.

During a trip with several friends and family members to Cooperstown, New York, on Aug. 11-12, Hydes turned over the baseball to Tim Mead, the new president of the Baseball Hall of Fame, and Susan MacKay, the director of collections for the Hall of Fame.

The exchange put to an end a four-month saga of what to do with the baseball, for which Hydes received several cash offers — one as high as $50,000 — not to mention the initial offer that May 9 day at the ballpark, when Tigers security offered up the star and the moon, or autographs, swag and a meet-and-greet.

Warning: Parents of young children, those with work that needs to be done, and people with strong emotions may not want to read this.

 

QLE Posted: September 25, 2019 at 12:20 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: albert pujols, baseballs, fathers and sons

 

 

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