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Monday, May 09, 2022

Mets hitting coach believes MLB is still using juiced balls for national TV games

Except in nationally televised games, if New York Mets hitting coach Eric Chavez is to be believed.

Speaking with Tim Healey of Newsday, Chavez claimed a number of his players told him the ball isn’t so dead when the team is playing on ESPN or any number of streaming services. He apparently didn’t believe it, until he watched his team play on “Sunday Night Baseball.”

And then in late April, two days before they played the Phillies on ESPN’s “Sunday Night Baseball,” several hitters gave Chavez a heads up: Watch how the baseballs travel during the premier nationally televised game of the week. They had heard that the balls in those games were in some way different.

“I thought for a second, ‘You guys are full of it,’ ” Chavez said.

And then what happened?

“The ball was traveling farther — balls that weren’t hit as hard. And I’m like, wait a minute, that shouldn’t have happened,” Chavez said. “The ball was just traveling better. That was the eye test, but then we lined it up with what the analytics were telling us.”,

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 09, 2022 at 12:20 AM | 16 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: juiced baseballs

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   1. Walt Davis Posted: May 09, 2022 at 01:03 AM (#6075844)
Apparently only the Cubs' opponents' half-innings are broadcast on national TV.
   2. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: May 09, 2022 at 01:20 AM (#6075845)
Have the Red Sox been on any nationally televised games? If the answer is yes, then it's bunk. They are hitting like 1 homer for every 2 games. It's like they are facing Walter Johnson every time they play.

Funnily enough, if only we had ways to measure these things? Can't you just compare exit velo and launch angle in similar conditions to both nationally televised with other games and see if the ball is travelling further?
   3. salvomania Posted: May 09, 2022 at 10:48 AM (#6075858)
Cardinals had a stretch with just one homer in 10 games.
   4. Doug Jones threw harder than me Posted: May 09, 2022 at 11:55 AM (#6075868)
The thing that is maddening is that MLB does not see to understand that, in order to get a more appealing product one has to do things that effect both offense AND defense (pitching and hitting). A dead ball combined with a parade of brain-dead relievers throwing 100 mph will produce an EVEN MORE UNWATCHABLE PRODUCT. I watched some of the Angels game on MLB.TV yesterday and saw the career minor-leaguer Kyle Finnegan strike out Mike Trout, Shohei Ohtani, and Anthony Rendon all in a row, with 97 mph heat. Of course he can only do that for 1 inning at a time.

I realize I am a broken record about this. Fewer home runs are fine if they are combined with more balls-in-play, especially if that is combined with a higher BABIP. But if you just have fewer home runs you will end up with a lot of 1-0 games, and since there is still no clock and no restriction on relievers or mid-inning pitching changes, that can still end up with a 3 1/2 hour 1-0 game.
   5. You can keep your massive haul Posted: May 09, 2022 at 12:59 PM (#6075875)
that can still end up with a 3 1/2 hour 1-0 game.

Football is life!
   6. KronicFatigue Posted: May 09, 2022 at 01:34 PM (#6075880)
I'll take a ground out where the infielder has to dive and throw from his knees over a home run in terms of excitement.
   7. salvomania Posted: May 09, 2022 at 02:03 PM (#6075885)
22 batters so far in Rangers-Yankees game, 13 Ks + BB, zero base hits.
   8. salvomania Posted: May 09, 2022 at 02:06 PM (#6075886)
Eleven balls in play through 3-1/2 innings (24 batters), that's more than 1.5 balls in play per half inning!
   9. Jose is Absurdly Correct but not Helpful Posted: May 09, 2022 at 02:22 PM (#6075890)
Have the Red Sox been on any nationally televised games? If the answer is yes, then it's bunk. They are hitting like 1 homer for every 2 games. It's like they are facing Walter Johnson every time they play.

Bobby Dalbec's homer was on a Sunday Night game.
   10. salvomania Posted: May 09, 2022 at 02:37 PM (#6075892)
Nestor Cortes on pace to finish his no-hitter at around 115 pitches. Which means he'll be yanked after 6 innings, having thrown 75 pitches.
   11. Walt Davis Posted: May 09, 2022 at 03:51 PM (#6075912)
Don't worry, I successfully jinxed Cortes by tuning in.
   12. Perry Posted: May 09, 2022 at 04:46 PM (#6075925)
Football is life!

Except regular league football games (i.e. soccer, which I assume you're referring to) clock in at under 2 hours, just about every time.
   13. Captain Joe Bivens, Pointless and Wonderful Posted: May 10, 2022 at 08:13 AM (#6076033)
They are hitting like 1 homer for every 2 games.

They (the Red Sox) must be getting them in bunches because I can't remember the last one. Then again, I haven't been able to watch many innings this year. I've seen enough for now.
   14. The Duke Posted: May 10, 2022 at 10:02 AM (#6076041)
I have a friend who told me he has a friend who says his buddy on the team says they are using livlier balls during TV games.
   15. bfan Posted: May 10, 2022 at 12:37 PM (#6076066)
I'll take a ground out where the infielder has to dive and throw from his knees over a home run in terms of excitement.

Make first basemen and third basemen stand on the base for which their position is named, when the pitch is delivered. Make a box halfway between 2B and 3B and make the SS stand in it, until the pitch is thrown and make a box between 2B and 1B and make the second baseman stand in it until the pitch is thrown. Leaving the box too early on a ball in play grants the player the greater of (i) where he ends up when the play ends up, or (ii) 1B (among other matters, that will keep a team from cheating with a player they would intentionally walk anyway, where they would cheat and if caught, have a result they are fine with and if they are not caught, have probably gained).

This will give you a lot more diving plays in the infield, for certain. The problem is (I think) no one is excited by 1-0; 2-0; and 2-1 games, but there are so many solutions that effectuate change (regulating where infielders stand; moving the mound back a foot; livening the ball; deadening the ball; moving up the fences; moving back the fences [how has that worked, Baltimore]), and Rob Manfred does not have a clue on what direction to take, so until there is a crisis, we will ride out the 1-0; 2-1; and 2-0 games.
   16. bfan Posted: May 10, 2022 at 05:07 PM (#6076109)
and pet peeve, but how many teams are falling in love with their defensive side to the detriment of offense, and giving a guy so far, 93 ABs with a BA of .163, OBP of .181 and an OPS of .442 (career, .418 OPS and .147 BA and .174 OBP). I do not care how many nice catches they show on the ESPN feed; that is not an MLB batter and you are basically burning scoring opportunities the 3 innings a game he is up. This isn't even a catcher, who the modern game has said "we forgive your bad offense is you can frame your pitches well."

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