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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) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: baseballs, juiced baseballs

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   1. Jeff Francoeur's OPS Posted: November 20, 2019 at 03:24 PM (#5902718)
We can order a trash can to our front door in 48 hours from Amazon on our smart phones while sitting on the can, but there's nobody out there who can make a consistent baseball.
   2. Jay Seaver Posted: November 20, 2019 at 03:38 PM (#5902726)
Wait, wasn't the old excuse that the balls they were producing were too consistent - that the manufacturing had grown so reliable that all of the balls were in the same part of the acceptable range?
   3. RoyalFlush Posted: November 20, 2019 at 03:57 PM (#5902739)
Wait, wasn't the old excuse that the balls they were producing were too consistent - that the manufacturing had grown so reliable that all of the balls were in the same part of the acceptable range?


I thought I heard that too. The production was "too good".
   4. It's regretful that PASTE was able to get out Posted: November 20, 2019 at 04:21 PM (#5902747)
Remind me why Manfred feels he can't just come right out and say "our Marketing people have run the numbers and they confirm that Chicks Dig The Long Ball, so these balls are here to stay"?
   5. The Duke Posted: November 20, 2019 at 04:42 PM (#5902752)
I’m beginning to think we never actually made it to the moon. It seems like a culture that can’t make a consistent baseball certainly couldn’t have gotten to the moon without computers.
   6. Rennie's Tenet Posted: November 20, 2019 at 05:28 PM (#5902769)
They made it to the moon. It's the takeoffs from the moon that were fake.
   7. Zach Posted: November 20, 2019 at 05:32 PM (#5902773)
What, they can't design a ball?

Find Tim Robbins from the Hudsucker Proxy and borrow his chart.

"You know, for kids!"
   8. Walt Davis Posted: November 20, 2019 at 05:54 PM (#5902777)
I guess we should consider ourselves lucky they come out at least reasonably spherical rather than as cubes and pyramids. Apparently we need robo-stitchers more than robo-umps.
   9. Zach Posted: November 20, 2019 at 06:19 PM (#5902791)
My personal wishlist would be for a ball with a good coefficient of restitution combined with high seams and high drag.

High COR, because you want to reward putting the ball in play.

High seams, so the pitcher can control the ball and make it move.

High drag, so that you really have to smack the ball to make it carry out of the park.

Done right, it could be a nice antidote to the three true outcomes style of baseball.

   10. Bote Man Posted: November 21, 2019 at 02:24 AM (#5902868)
We can order a trash can to our front door in 48 hours from Amazon

Let's leave the Astros out of this, K??
   11. Lassus Posted: November 21, 2019 at 06:46 AM (#5902874)
This would seem like an opportunity for someone other than Rawlings to step up, wouldn't it?
   12. Fernigal McGunnigle Posted: November 21, 2019 at 06:52 AM (#5902875)
It seems like a culture that can’t make a consistent baseball certainly couldn’t have gotten to the moon without computers.
We had computers! There's a famous picture of Margaret Hamilton standing with a printout of the code that her team wrote for the mission control computer on the spacecraft itself.
   13. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: November 21, 2019 at 09:06 AM (#5902884)
MLB isn’t confident it can produce a consistent ball



Kind of makes you wonder how they managed to do it for my entire life up until now, no?
   14. gef, talking mongoose & suburban housewife Posted: November 21, 2019 at 09:36 AM (#5902892)
There's a famous picture of Margaret Hamilton standing with a printout of the code that her team wrote for the mission control computer on the spacecraft itself.


She looks soooooo different without her Wizard of Oz makeup.
   15. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: November 21, 2019 at 09:38 AM (#5902894)
Kind of makes you wonder how they managed to do it for my entire life up until now, no?

Exactly what I was thinking.
   16. Lassus Posted: November 21, 2019 at 10:09 AM (#5902909)
Kind of makes you wonder how they managed to do it for my entire life up until now, no?

Did they, really? Was anyone even keeping track from 1930 - 1990?
   17. Zonk Opposes Trial by Combat Posted: November 21, 2019 at 11:35 AM (#5902933)
It seems like a culture that can’t make a consistent baseball certainly couldn’t have gotten to the moon without computers.


This guy probably gets it... unlike most people who just blindly follow the tripe Big Globe feeds them.
   18. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: November 21, 2019 at 12:04 PM (#5902946)
Was anyone even keeping track from 1930 - 1990?


How old do you think I am, Lassus?
   19. Greg Pope Posted: November 21, 2019 at 12:18 PM (#5902955)
Did they, really? Was anyone even keeping track from 1930 - 1990?

Making a completely inconsistent ball would be better than exclusively making rabbit balls.
   20. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: November 21, 2019 at 06:08 PM (#5903049)

This would seem like an opportunity for someone other than Rawlings to step up, wouldn't it?

MLB bought a stake in Rawlings in 2018, so that seems pretty unlikely.
   21. Zach Posted: November 21, 2019 at 08:13 PM (#5903069)
I wonder if the real problem is the yarn supply?

It can be surprisingly hard to dig up the exact specifications of a part that people used to use.

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