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MLB plans to deaden the baseball in 2021, per the Athletic

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  • MLB plans to deaden the baseball in 2021, per the Athletic

    https://theathletic.com/2375121/2021...all-deadening/

    For those that can't read the article, it says that (based on an internal MLB memo) MLB plans to make minor changes to the construction of the ball that will reduce its "bounciness," in an effort to lower HR rates.

  • #2
    Hard to tell if this is going to be good for the game or not. Wasn’t the whole point of juicing the balls to try and make baseball more exciting?

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    • #3
      Originally posted by DeployEloy View Post
      Hard to tell if this is going to be good for the game or not. Wasn’t the whole point of juicing the balls to try and make baseball more exciting?
      I'm not sure if there was an intentional decision to juice the ball or not, it certainly wasn't announced beforehand but I do think there is a desire on the part of a lot of people in baseball to move away from the three true outcomes. This means that MLB is going to have to figure out how to market something other than home runs, which they haven't been very good at doing.

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      • #4
        This is very good news for the game. Hopefully it can distance itself from the "three true outcomes" and promote actual baseball skill.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Krs1 View Post
          This is very good news for the game. Hopefully it can distance itself from the "three true outcomes" and promote actual baseball skill.
          Which would be amazing. More guys like Tony Gwynn need to be in today’s modern game. It’s going to make for some low scoring games as hitters start to adjust

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          • #6
            Originally posted by whitesox5187 View Post

            I'm not sure if there was an intentional decision to juice the ball or not, it certainly wasn't announced beforehand but I do think there is a desire on the part of a lot of people in baseball to move away from the three true outcomes. This means that MLB is going to have to figure out how to market something other than home runs, which they haven't been very good at doing.
            Yep totally makes sense then. I’d like to see that happen, offensively. Wonder if the my crack down on pitchers using substances to compensate for the attempt to deaden the ball.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by DeployEloy View Post

              Yep totally makes sense then. I’d like to see that happen, offensively. Wonder if the my crack down on pitchers using substances to compensate for the attempt to deaden the ball.
              Seems there's a simple solution to prevent pitchers from using sticky stuff to improve grip. Umps carry a pack of reactive paper or paper that sticks easily like tissue. Whenever a pitcher takes the mound they have to go to the ump first and touch the paper with their throwing hand. If the hand sticks to the paper, the pitcher is ejected and his team gets a standard 10 warmup pitchers for the guy who comes in. Yes they could do this every inning on the way to the mound. Could even have umps swath the inside of the pitchers glove to be sure nothing is in there that would allow for better grip after being tested.
              Riding Shotgun on the Sox Bandwagon since before there was an Internet...



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              • #8
                Good.
                (Formerly asindc.)

                "I have the ultimate respect for White Sox fans. They were as miserable as the Cubs and Red Sox fans ever were but always had the good decency to keep it to themselves. And when they finally won the World Series, they celebrated without annoying every other fan in the country." Jim Caple, ESPN (January 12, 2011)

                "We have now sunk to a depth at which the restatement of the (bleeding) obvious is the first duty of intelligent men." — George Orwell

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by DeployEloy View Post

                  Yep totally makes sense then. I’d like to see that happen, offensively. Wonder if the my crack down on pitchers using substances to compensate for the attempt to deaden the ball.
                  I'm not sure if that would even necessarily balance things out. Even if you deaden the ball so there aren't as many homers, what can baseball do to make sure that there aren't as many strikeouts? In 2010 there were five starting pitchers averaging 10+ strikeouts per game, in 2019 there were 19. I think part of the problem is that guys are throwing harder than ever now and I'm not sure what MLB could do to fix that.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by whitesox5187 View Post

                    I'm not sure if that would even necessarily balance things out. Even if you deaden the ball so there aren't as many homers, what can baseball do to make sure that there aren't as many strikeouts? In 2010 there were five starting pitchers averaging 10+ strikeouts per game, in 2019 there were 19. I think part of the problem is that guys are throwing harder than ever now and I'm not sure what MLB could do to fix that.
                    Increases of spin rate make a pitch harder to read and would have drastic improvement on pitch movement and breaking stuff. Theoretically it should help reduce strike outs. The only way to find out would be to crack down on it.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by DeployEloy View Post

                      Increases of spin rate make a pitch harder to read and would have drastic improvement on pitch movement and breaking stuff. Theoretically it should help reduce strike outs. The only way to find out would be to crack down on it.
                      Maybe, but the number of strikeouts per game has been going up steadily since 1990. I don't know for a fact if velocity has increased as steadily, but I'd imagine it's gone up quite a bit. Not sure about spin rates though.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by whitesox5187 View Post

                        Maybe, but the number of strikeouts per game has been going up steadily since 1990. I don't know for a fact if velocity has increased as steadily, but I'd imagine it's gone up quite a bit. Not sure about spin rates though.
                        I don't know if we can put the strikeout cat back in the bag. Players/teams are no longer concerned about strikeouts as the viewpoint is that it's not dramatically worse than making weak contact on a pitch you can't handle. Players will continue to take more marginal strikes looking for a pitch they can drive regardless of what happens with the baseball, IMO.

                        Edit: A baseball with less bounce is also less likely to make it through the infield on a ground ball. Players aren't going to suddenly look to start slapping one off the ground and running when the balls they slap will be easier to handle.
                        Riding Shotgun on the Sox Bandwagon since before there was an Internet...



                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by DeployEloy View Post
                          Hard to tell if this is going to be good for the game or not. Wasn’t the whole point of juicing the balls to try and make baseball more exciting?
                          It was, but with the application of sabermetrics, it had the opposite effect.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by voodoochile View Post

                            I don't know if we can put the strikeout cat back in the bag. Players/teams are no longer concerned about strikeouts as the viewpoint is that it's not dramatically worse than making weak contact on a pitch you can't handle. Players will continue to take more marginal strikes looking for a pitch they can drive regardless of what happens with the baseball, IMO.

                            Edit: A baseball with less bounce is also less likely to make it through the infield on a ground ball. Players aren't going to suddenly look to start slapping one off the ground and running when the balls they slap will be easier to handle.
                            And the amount of pitches players feel they can drive, I’d imagine, significantly rises because they can see the ball better because of a reduced spin rate.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by TDog View Post

                              It was, but with the application of sabermetrics, it had the opposite effect.
                              Yep. Not much more than launch angle and exit velocity nowadays.

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