Speaking to reporters Tuesday, Manfred asserted "baseball has done nothing, given no direction for an adjustment in the baseball". Advances in technology even over the past five years have dramatically changed the way players train and design their pitches or swings for maximum effectiveness. Inc., its manufacturer, was purchased past year by Seidler Equity Partners. We went through several of them.
MLB wants you to believe that it isn't juicing the baseballs.
So why are batters teeing off at a rate nearing three home runs a game, a 19 percent increase from a year before?
The MLB has seen an astronomical increase in the total of home runs hit over the past few years, and the latest theory to explain the uptick in power is that juiced baseballs are being used. Verlander also ranks among the ML leaders in innings (4th, 126.2) and strikeouts (153, T-3rd).
"Baseball has done nothing, given no direction for an adjustment to the baseball", said Manfred said. If fans liked all of the home runs, owners wouldn't be concerned at all, right? "It's not the worst thing in the world." .
"MLB is excited to take an ownership position in one of the most iconic brands in sports and further build on the Rawlings legacy, which dates back to 1887", Chris Marinak, MLB's executive vice president for strategy, technology and innovation, said at the time. "But you have to remember that our baseball is a handmade product and there's gonna be variation year to year".
Manfred said if MLB ever changes the baseball they will make the change public. Or to be more specific, is the ball "juiced"?
Former Detroit Tigers and current Houston Astros ace Justin Verlander found himself in some hot water with the MLB following his comments about alleged juiced baseballs. Then, ESPN reports that Major League Baseball bought Rawlings, the company that supplies Major League Baseball balls, in June 2018.
"It's a f-- joke", Verlander told ESPN. In doing so, Verlander said that Major League Baseball was turning the game into a "joke". Manfred goes on to say "It's easy to get carried away with 'you have too many home runs, but let's not forget that our fan data suggests fans like home runs". They own the f-king company. "If we didn't have some control over the company that produces our baseballs and something happens to that company, we would be in a very hard position".
Good question, Manfred says, but it's not because anyone juiced the ball. "(Commissioner Rob) Manfred. said we want more offense. "It's not coincidence. We're not idiots".
"We just haven't made a decision on that", he said.
Union executive director Tony Clark said prior to the July 9 All-Star Game in Cleveland, Ohio, he does not know where the bargaining sessions will lead, but acknowledged the players are looking to better manage an accelerating pace of economic change around the game.