There has been a somewhat surprising development coming from The Insider about Major League Baseball using different baseballs for certain games and evets.
Many people believed throughout the season that certain games the balls were being juiced. It’s a smart idea from Major League Baseball in terms of getting fans to watch the game, but very unsafe for their players. At the end of the day, Major League Baseball needs to protect their players at all costs, even if views and sales are down.
Let’s take a look at why this is a good thing and why it is not a good idea for them to change the baseballs.
Why it’s a good thing
The obvious reaction to this is that when the balls are a certain weight and size, the ball is going to travel further. This is definitely good for hitters and fans because home runs are the most exciting part of baseball. Most fans of today’s games would rather see a 10-8 game instead of a well-pitched, 2-1 game. Home runs are more appealing to the younger audience. Major league baseball needs to do a much better job of getting the younger kids involved.
It is reported that Major League Baseball decided to use certain baseballs in big games. Events such as the Field of Dreams games, New York Yankees versus the Boston Red Sox, and the New York Mets verse a team like the Los Angeles Dodgers. These are usually the most watch games in baseball because they have four of the biggest fan bases in any major sport.
It was particularly clear in the Field of Dreams games. Balls were being hit out of the yard at an alarming rate. What did the Field of Dreams game offer? Plenty of home runs, a 9-8 win for the Chicago White Sox over the Yankees, and a walk off home run by one of the young stars in baseball, Tim Anderson. The Field of Dreams game was one of the most-watched baseball games of the year. It made perfect sense for the MLB to decide to do this.
Juicing the baseballs makes the game more entertaining to watch. Home runs will be hit at an all-time high. Fans around the league will gather to watch sluggers step up to the plate.
Why it’s a bad thing
The main concern with all of this is that pitchers are throwing with two different baseballs. Throwing any baseball is an unnatural motion for the body to do and can result in injuries. No matter if they throw the same ball over and over or a different ball.
When players of this type of caliber are throwing a ball that’s heavier or lighter, it puts more stress on the arm. We see MLB pitchers throwing baseballs over 100 mph consistently. Velocity is at an all-time high, but so are arm injuries.
Tyler Glasnow left last season with an injured arm. He said that it was because of Major League Baseball changing all of the baseballs. With these guys who reached the level that they are at, they can tell every little thing that is wrong. Whether it be the size, weight, or even something as small as stitching. Major League Baseball changing the balls is a major issue for pitchers. If they continue to do this, arm injuries are going to continue at a high rate.
It is reported that Major League Baseball decided to not juice baseballs in games that featured smaller markets. They know that fans are not going to bat an eye if a team like the Kansas City Royals doesn’t hit a home run against a team like the Oakland Athletics.
Major League Baseball states that their main concern is keeping all of their players safe and healthy. They failed to do that. This is unacceptable out of them, and is probably the reason for some of the injuries this season.
Although, from their standpoint, they need to look at how to increase revenue, and views help that. Juicing the baseballs is the perfect way to increase viewership. Every fan in the world wants to see their favorite hitter hit a homerun. Major League Baseball can do a simple thing by allowing the baseballs to be somewhat juiced, but not changing them. If pitchers around the league can have the same ball to throw with from spring training until the end of October, they will be used to it, and their arms will too.
What MLB did this season by juicing balls for certain games and not juicing balls for certain games is unacceptable. If they truly want to keep all of their players healthy, they need to do the right thing and have the same baseballs for every game throughout the season.