Did MLB intentionally juice the baseballs this season? + Nationals fan confidence update…
Max Scherzer isn’t going to cry about the baseballs being juiced this season, though he did say last month that he thinks there’s obviously a difference in the way they’re traveling.
“I don’t feel anything different with the ball,” Scherzer told ESPN’s Karl Ravech during the 2019 All-Star Game festivities in Cleveland, “but I think we can all see the ball is definitely traveling differently, and the Commissioner has even come out and said so, that the drag is just different, it’s less, so, yeah, the ball is different, but you can’t cry about it, you’ve to go out there and pitch. I’m not going to cry about it. Our hitters get to hit with it.”
“The biggest thing that I think I’ve noticed in talking to other pitchers is the seams of the ball are different,” Nats’ closer Sean Doolittle told 106.7 the FAN in D.C.’s Grant Paulsen & Pete Medhurst in a mid-July interview.
“They’re a little bit lower. They’re like flatter and wider,” Doolittle said of the seams.
“When it comes to the way that the balls have changed, I think as players, we just want some transparency and some consistency with the answers,” Doolittle added, before a lengthy rant about what Major League Baseball has had to say about the baseballs this season.
“We’ve heard everything from Major League Baseball from: ‘Well, the balls are handmade, so there’s gonna be some variation in the way that each ball feels and flies.’
”Then they said that the machinery has gotten better, and they’ve gotten better at centering the pill. Well, you just told us that the balls are handmade, so now you’re bringing the machinery into it. That doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. Then they said like the balls are within the manufacturer – the variation of the specs for competitive play.
“And then they moved to saying that they know the balls are different, but they don’t know why.
“When Major League Baseball buys Rawlings, they buy the company that makes the balls, I don’t think that should be the case. That doesn’t really feel like an acceptable answer. So really, we just want to know what’s going on. It does feel like balls are flying out at a higher rate, and I think it’s important to know necessarily that the balls aren’t ‘juiced.’”
Adam Eaton? Well, he’s a skeptic on the Juiced Baseball Gate conspiracy [ed. note – “We, uh, have to come up with a better name than that. Quickly.”]
“The game’s evolved. Everything changed. Everything’s different. Every stadium is different. The baseball is just one thing,” Eaton told USA Today’s Bob Nightengale earlier this month.
“I don’t think there’s any difference in the balls. I think it’s just a conversation piece.’’
How about you? The voting members of SB Nation’s FanPulse polling were asked what they thought this week. Did MLB intentionally “juice” the balls this season? The results? And, well, it is the internet, and it is a conspiracy, so of course:
While we’re looking at poll results, how is fan confidence in the Nationals this week?
Where are you on these questions? If you didn’t participate in the FanPulse survey the first three weeks, you can still sign up above or HERE.