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Tuesday, November 30, 2021

MLB reportedly used two different baseballs last season

MLB confirmed two different balls were used during the 2021 season, but claimed it was due to COVID-19 causing production delays, according to Business Insider.

“Every baseball used in a 2021 MLB game, without exception, met existing specifications and performed as expected,” the league said. But after approving the shift to the new “re-centered” ball for 2021, it said, COVID-19 forced Rawlings to backtrack and use older balls to cover for production delays. “Rawlings manufactures Major League balls on a rolling basis at its factory in Costa Rica,” it said. “Generally, balls are produced 6-12 months prior to being used in a game. Because Rawlings was forced to reduce capacity at its manufacturing facility due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the supply of re-centered baseballs was not sufficient to cover the entirety of the 2021 season. To address this issue, Rawlings incorporated excess inventory into its shipments to Clubs to provide a full complement of baseballs for the 2021 season.”

Wills’ research doesn’t support MLB’s statement. Each MLB ball contains a batch code that lets a person know the date the ball was manufactured. Wills said those batch codes showed the ball fluctuated multiple times since 2019. MLB reportedly used the new, lighter version of the ball last October. It then reportedly switched back to the old ball in January, and continued to use that ball as recently as August, according to the batch codes.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 30, 2021 at 05:53 PM | 11 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. with Glavinesque control and Madduxian poise Posted: November 30, 2021 at 08:26 PM (#6055467)
This is impossibly bad for labor peace.
   2. A triple short of the cycle Posted: December 01, 2021 at 10:12 AM (#6055523)
In case you are wondering, like I was: "Re-centering" means making the balls lighter. From old weight of 127g, down to 124-125g.
   3. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: December 01, 2021 at 10:15 AM (#6055526)
two different balls were used during the 2021 season

Gee, how was that even possible? Weren't there days in which more than two games were going on at the same time...?
   4. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 01, 2021 at 11:18 AM (#6055544)
This is impossibly bad for labor peace.

I really doubt the players care. Unless the balls were distributed in a systematically biased way, who cares?
   5. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 01, 2021 at 11:31 AM (#6055548)
Unless the balls were distributed in a systematically biased way, who cares?

Well this certainly is going to raise suspicions that they did. From the BI article, a player responds:

"'You know, send a bouncier baseball, lighter baseball — whichever flies more — to a primetime series,' he told me, listing off marquee matchups like Yankees-Red Sox and Mets-Phillies. 'Then,' he suggested, send more dead baseballs to 'Texas versus Seattle. Or, you know, Detroit versus Kansas City. No one's going to bat an eye.'

On the other hand, he speculates, the league could flip that approach around and send high-octane balls to low-profile games and 'produce more offense,' which might 'put more seats in the stands. Just continue to bring up fan engagement.'"

It probably didn't happen, but the mere appearance of potential impropriety seems really bad.
   6. sunday silence (again) Posted: December 01, 2021 at 02:53 PM (#6055615)
Its even more dubious that MLB Is lying about how they managed to get two baseballs in play. Assuming the batch number theory thing is correct.
   7. Mayor Blomberg Posted: December 01, 2021 at 03:05 PM (#6055620)
I'm sure Baseball's new betting partners will put a quick stop to that.
   8. It's regretful that PASTE was able to get out Posted: December 01, 2021 at 06:50 PM (#6055682)
I'm sure Baseball's new betting partners will put a quick stop to that.

To the contrary, their new betting partners might be enthusiastic about it--as long as they get to know in advance which balls are going to which games.
   9. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: December 01, 2021 at 07:10 PM (#6055683)
To the contrary, their new betting partners might be enthusiastic about it--as long as they get to know in advance which balls are going to which games.

They already get advance notice of the official starting lineups before they're publicly posted and I suspect they already have a hand in rewriting the rule book as I can't imagine why the rule on protests was so quietly rewritten last offseason except that the minuscule chance of a protested game isn't good business for Big Gambling when the game isn't really over when it's over and they can't close their books on it right away. At this point, I wouldn't put any level of appeasement of gambling interests past Rob Manfred if he thinks he can turn a buck on it.
   10. The Honorable Ardo Posted: December 01, 2021 at 09:02 PM (#6055701)
In the earliest days, every ball was different.
   11. My name is Votto, and I love to get Moppo Posted: December 07, 2021 at 11:00 AM (#6056495)
This sounds bad because of MLB's ownership/partnership with Rawlings, but I doubt if it made any discernible difference.

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