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Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Baseballs are juiced.

I've been suggesting to friends this season that too many batters are hitting too many homers too far. I asked one friend who attended the recent game at Yankee Stadium whether he detected any golf ball effect on the 495 foot home run hit by Aaron Judge that cleared the left center bleachers into the next section of seats. He said no. I pointed out that it's not just that Judge is hitting balls both before and during games that are going longer distances than seem humanly possible but that non home run hitters like Brett Gardner and Didi Gregorius are also hitting, what for them, are really long home runs.

My informal common sense conclusion has been that the balls are juiced. Now the 495 foot homer witness sends this:

Baseball is experiencing a home run spike because the balls are juiced
By Craig Calcaterra June 14, 2017, 1:34 PM EDT

The home run rate in Major League Baseball spiked dramatically in the second half of the 2015 season and has remained on an upward trajectory every since. As a result, we are on pace to shatter the all-time single season home run record in 2017 by over 300 homers...

an obvious explanation is a juiced ball... 1987 was the year of the so-called “rabbit ball...

Micheal Lichtman obtained several baseballs used in games between 2015 and 2016 and had them tested. The results clearly point to a new ball coming online right around the time the home runs began flying:

"The testing revealed significant differences in balls used after the 2015 All-Star break in each of the components that could affect the flight of the ball, in the directions we would have expected based on the massive hike in home run rate. While none of these attributes in isolation could explain the increase in home runs that we saw in the summer of 2015, in combination, they can."...

... the ball appears to be different and that difference seems to account for the home run spike, but there are related factors which may have intensified it and perpetuated it separate and apart from the ball itself...

... it seems pretty clear based on this article that the ball was changed, it was changed intentionally and that those changes are the primary reason we are seeing a record number of homers.


While the article does not address my informal observation that too many homers are going too far, it does reach the same conclusion: the ball is juiced.

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