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PostPosted: November 17 17, 1:46 am 
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The most important committee since the Warren Commission has been put together to get to the bottom of the so called juiced baseballs of the 2017 season.

https://www.yahoo.com/sports/mlb-determined-find-baseballs-juiced-2017-035422507.html


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After commissioner Rob Manfred spent the entire 2017 season denying the baseballs were “juiced,” Major League Baseball has appointed a committee to conduct a study to determine whether that’s actually the case.

Several pitchers have charged that baseballs used in MLB games over the last year and a half have felt different than in years past. The changes, they say, were noticeable right after the 2015 All Star Game. That coincides with a significant increase in home runs in MLB. During the 2017 regular season, a record 6,104 home runs were hit. That shattered the previous record of 5,693 in 2000.


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PostPosted: November 17 17, 3:58 am 
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Its crazy that there is more home runs being hit then in the steroid era, its just that there is far more 25 home run guys and only a few guys hitting the massive 50+ numbers.


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PostPosted: November 17 17, 7:07 am 
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Interesting that Manfred became commissioner in 2015.


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PostPosted: November 17 17, 8:08 am 
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There have already been a ton of tests done that show the balls are juiced.

FiveThirtyEight - In MLB’s New Home Run Era, It’s The Baseballs That Are Juicing

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FiveThirtyEight - Baseballs Are More Consistently Juiced Than Ever
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As tempting as it is to imagine a conspiracy, that timing is more likely to be a coincidence. Rawlings, MLB’s baseball supplier, manufactures the balls months in advance, so it’s unlikely that they could have made any rapid alterations in response to juiced-ball allegations. But it doesn’t seem as likely to be a coincidence that the baseball became so much more consistent this year. MLB commissioner Rob Manfred has admitted that the standards are broad, and in interviews conducted around the all-star break in early July, Manfred even said he was considering tightening the specifications.

He’s also made his preference for this era of baseball known, emphasizing that fans love strikeouts and home runs. As pitchers throw ever harder and batters accrue ever more of their value with dingers, Manfred must be happy with both the current state and long-term direction of the game. But, as sabermetrician Joe Sheehan pointed out in a recent article, if manufacturing variation just happened to produce a batch of homer-prone balls in the last few years, 2017’s home run surge could disappear just as suddenly as it began. All it takes are the same random variations to turn baseball back toward 2014’s pitching-dominant era.


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PostPosted: November 17 17, 3:17 pm 
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And here I am thinking it all had to do with teams unanimously realizing that the angle of the ball coming off the bat is important.

Boy do I feel like a dolt.


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PostPosted: November 17 17, 9:42 pm 
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Seems like a fairly easy test.

Take the lest air resistant specs, make balls to those specs, shoot them out of cannons hundreds of times and determine how different they are than what is expected from the launch angle and exit velo of actually hit balls. It’s just physics.


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PostPosted: November 18 17, 11:14 am 
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The broad range of specifications for the ball and the issue with the drag coefficient are two separate issues that aren't necessarily related, though both can affect how far the ball travels.

The rulebook specifications allow for a range of up to a 1/4 inch in the circumference of the ball and up to 1/4 ounce in the mass of the ball, which is way wider than it needs to be given modern manufacturing precision. I would guess that's most likely what Manfred is talking about changing. For a given exit velocity, a heavier ball will generally carry farther due to having more inertia, so MLB could theoretically alter the carry of the ball by altering its weight within the acceptable range. In practice, MLB balls probably don't actually vary nearly as much as the rules allow, though. MLB almost certainly has more precise specifications they give the manufacturers, and Manfred is probably talking about tightening the official specifications to reflect that. If that is the case, this particular change might not make much practical difference, especially since there are other things MLB can do to liven or deaden the ball aside from changing its size. It would still be a good idea, though, since there's really no reason to have the specifications as wide as they are unless you explicitly want to be able to change the size of the ball.

Standardizing the specifications for the exact materials used in the construction of the ball would probably make a bigger difference. By altering the mix of cork, rubber, or other materials used in the core of the ball, MLB could theoretically create a deader or livelier ball. If you've ever heard of the ball's COR (or a bat's COR), this is what it's talking about - the coefficient of restitution, which determines how much energy the ball retains after a collision and affects the exit velocity after the ball collides with the bat. The COR/liveliness of the ball is usually what people think of when talking about the ball being juiced. This is also the point of the humidor in Coors - to reduce the ball's COR by preventing it from drying out in the low-humidity environment.


The drag coefficient also affects how far the ball carries, but it is more related to the surface of the ball than anything inside. This means any changes to the seams, the leather used for the cover, or the mud used to rub up the balls before games would be more relevant than the weight or any materials used in the core as far as the drag coefficient is concerned. As far as I know, the idea that the drag coefficient could actually have as much of an impact as the ball's COR on batted ball distance is fairly recent, and it tends to be harder to control because aerodynamics are so chaotic and unpredictable.

Because of this, there isn't a clear relationship between the technical specifications of the ball and the drag coefficient (other than the seams and the type of leather used). Empirical testing has shown that even seemingly identical baseballs pulled from the same box can have fairly different drag coefficients, and it's tricky to figure out exactly why. We do know that higher seams tend to increase drag and lower seams tend to reduce drag, but beyond that there appears to still be a lot of variance between balls that we can't really predict without individually testing each ball. That means there will likely always be individual balls that carry better than others no matter what MLB does to try to fix it, though they should still be able to increase or decrease the average drag coefficient.


The seams having changed (whether deliberately or not) seems to be a likely candidate for the ball traveling farther, given that pitchers have spoken up about them feeling different and that that is the most reliable way to alter the drag coefficient.


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PostPosted: November 20 17, 12:44 pm 
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Hehehehe..."Juiced Ball"

Yes, I'm perpetually 15. Carry on with the otherwise intelligent and thought-provoking discussion.


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PostPosted: November 20 17, 1:53 pm 
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Kincaid wrote:
The broad range of specifications for the ball and the issue with the drag coefficient are two separate issues that aren't necessarily related, though both can affect how far the ball travels.

The rulebook specifications allow for a range of up to a 1/4 inch in the circumference of the ball and up to 1/4 ounce in the mass of the ball, which is way wider than it needs to be given modern manufacturing precision. I would guess that's most likely what Manfred is talking about changing. For a given exit velocity, a heavier ball will generally carry farther due to having more inertia, so MLB could theoretically alter the carry of the ball by altering its weight within the acceptable range. In practice, MLB balls probably don't actually vary nearly as much as the rules allow, though. MLB almost certainly has more precise specifications they give the manufacturers, and Manfred is probably talking about tightening the official specifications to reflect that. If that is the case, this particular change might not make much practical difference, especially since there are other things MLB can do to liven or deaden the ball aside from changing its size. It would still be a good idea, though, since there's really no reason to have the specifications as wide as they are unless you explicitly want to be able to change the size of the ball.

Standardizing the specifications for the exact materials used in the construction of the ball would probably make a bigger difference. By altering the mix of cork, rubber, or other materials used in the core of the ball, MLB could theoretically create a deader or livelier ball. If you've ever heard of the ball's COR (or a bat's COR), this is what it's talking about - the coefficient of restitution, which determines how much energy the ball retains after a collision and affects the exit velocity after the ball collides with the bat. The COR/liveliness of the ball is usually what people think of when talking about the ball being juiced. This is also the point of the humidor in Coors - to reduce the ball's COR by preventing it from drying out in the low-humidity environment.


The drag coefficient also affects how far the ball carries, but it is more related to the surface of the ball than anything inside. This means any changes to the seams, the leather used for the cover, or the mud used to rub up the balls before games would be more relevant than the weight or any materials used in the core as far as the drag coefficient is concerned. As far as I know, the idea that the drag coefficient could actually have as much of an impact as the ball's COR on batted ball distance is fairly recent, and it tends to be harder to control because aerodynamics are so chaotic and unpredictable.

Because of this, there isn't a clear relationship between the technical specifications of the ball and the drag coefficient (other than the seams and the type of leather used). Empirical testing has shown that even seemingly identical baseballs pulled from the same box can have fairly different drag coefficients, and it's tricky to figure out exactly why. We do know that higher seams tend to increase drag and lower seams tend to reduce drag, but beyond that there appears to still be a lot of variance between balls that we can't really predict without individually testing each ball. That means there will likely always be individual balls that carry better than others no matter what MLB does to try to fix it, though they should still be able to increase or decrease the average drag coefficient.


The seams having changed (whether deliberately or not) seems to be a likely candidate for the ball traveling farther, given that pitchers have spoken up about them feeling different and that that is the most reliable way to alter the drag coefficient.


Whoa.


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PostPosted: July 8 19, 2:43 pm 
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thought this was interesting, esp considering Flaherty's HR spike...

https://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/27149029/verlander-mlb-juicing-balls-more-offense

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Verlander: MLB juicing balls for more offense


Quote:
Verlander, 36, has allowed a major league-high 26 home runs this season. Overall, players hit 3,691 home runs in the season's first half and are on pace to hit 6,668 home runs, which would obliterate the record 6,105 hit in 2017.


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Conversations about a juiced ball have percolated since after the All-Star break in 2015, after which home runs spiked. They are up nearly 60% from the 2014 season, and MLB commissioner Rob Manfred commissioned a study to investigate whether the balls were contributing to the home run spike. It concluded the balls were performing differently but didn't attribute a reason. In June 2018, one month after the study was released, MLB bought Rawlings, the supplier of the official major league ball.

"It's a f---ing joke," said Verlander, an eight-time All-Star who is starting his second All-Star Game on Tuesday. "Major League Baseball's turning this game into a joke. They own Rawlings, and you've got Manfred up here saying it might be the way they center the pill. They own the f---ing company. If any other $40 billion company bought out a $400 million company and the product changed dramatically, it's not a guess as to what happened. We all know what happened. Manfred the first time he came in, what'd he say? He said we want more offense. All of a sudden he comes in, the balls are juiced? It's not coincidence. We're not idiots."

Asked if he believed the balls were intentionally juiced by the league, Verlander said: "Yes. 100 percent. They've been using juiced balls in the Home Run Derby forever. They know how to do it. It's not coincidence. I find it really hard to believe that Major League Baseball owns Rawlings and just coincidentally the balls become juiced."


Quote:
Pitchers in particular have been outspoken this season about changes in the ball, talking about the seams, the leather, the ball's size and how it feels harder. Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon said of the ball this weekend: "You could just have stamped Titleist on the sides of these things."

"I hate the way I feel out there," Verlander told ESPN. "No matter who's the batter, I feel like I'm constantly walking a tightrope, because any batter can go opposite field. Any batter can leave with any pitch that's anywhere in the zone. You can't miss barrels anymore. You have to miss bats. There's been multiple times this year where five years ago I'd probably just throw a fastball away. I can't do that. Because you're the 8-, 9-hole hitter and you still can hit an opposite-field homer."


Quote:
Manfred, who became commissioner in 2015, acknowledged Monday on ESPN's Golic and Wingo the difference in the balls. He has denied any involvement from the league in changing the composition of the ball.

"We think what's been going on this year is attributable to the baseball," Manfred told Golic and Wingo. "Our scientists that have been now studying the baseball more regularly have told us that this year the baseball has a little less drag. It doesn't need to change very much in order to produce meaningful change in terms of the way the game is played on the field. We are trying to understand exactly why that happened and build out a manufacturing process that gives us a little more control over what's going on. But you have to remember that our baseball is a handmade product and there's gonna be variation year to year."


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