Arguably one of the best aspects of baseball comes from home runs. For many baseball fans, it is a once in a lifetime experience to catch a ball. However, this season, it is easier than ever after teams beat the past record for most home runs in one season (6,668 home runs). Fans and announcers speculate the reason for the massive increase in home runs is due to Major League Baseball “juicing baseballs”.
The term means that the ball is constructed to make it travel quicker and further. The hits players get come off the ball at a higher speed than normal. While this process receives backlash from players and coaches, MLB commissioner Rob Manifred explains in Newsday, the balls production only shifted slightly to remove the drag when hit.
Yet, many fans expressed disinterest and disbelief over the reasoning for altering baseballs. In fact, because of the frequency of home runs, many believe that by juicing baseballs, it diminishes much of the skill that comes with the game. Twitter accounts such as Juiced Balls Exposed, highlights clips across the leagues that indicate a potential instance in which a juiced ball played a factor in a home run.
Also, interestingly enough, MLB purchased Rawlings, the baseball manufacturing company back in 2018, in a deal worth close to $400 million. Owning the company producing the balls used in games leads fans to speculate that the MLB could do more than just fix the drag.
Fans believe one of the major reasons for the “juiced ball” theory comes from the new, large influx of baseball fans. In order to maintain their attention and continue to watch games, the MLB allows more home runs, drawing attention and enthusiasm from watching runs scored.
As the regular season comes to a close, fans and players continue to express their frustrations, and until next year, it is unclear if the MLB will investigate further or leave the baseballs alone.