Atlanta Braves lost home runs and deadened baseballs
Atlanta Braves Pitchers aren’t complaining.
While batters are complaining, most pitchers aren’t. Pitchers want to keep the ball in the ballpark. They also understand that homers happen to every pitcher but prefer not to have the homer hit by a player without an extra-base hit in his career (or by a pitcher, but that problem was solved via a new rule). This year’s ball does that, and some say it does more.
Marlins pitching coach Richard Bleier, Cardinals starter Miles Mikolas, Phillies righty Kyle Gibson disagree, and several other pitchers reached out to The Athletic to say they didn’t have an issue with this year’s baseball. Gibson believes it’s tackier than in the past.
Gibson admits he’s in the minority but says he’s able to make the ball do things he couldn’t do in the past thanks to the new ball and MLB’s new super-secret rosin noted in Ken Rosenthal’s post for The Athletic (subscription required),
"The 8-ounce Honduran Pine rosin bags manufactured by Pelican are subject to strict chain-of-custody protocols and are the responsibility of a specific clubhouse staff member at each major-league park."
Pitchers who do complain claim it’s the reason batters – specifically Mets batters – are getting hit more often, a claim thoroughly debunked by Brittany Ghiroli and Eno Sarris in their post in The Athletic (subscription required). One executive told Sarris and Ghiroli that players have to work with what they have.
"“Just because we are working with a ‘dead ball’ now doesn’t mean the ‘juiced ball’ was right,” said one executive. “It just may require some adjustments, for hitters and pitchers, and that’s often an uncomfortable thing.”"
That’s a wrap
Fan angst among this year’s that-should-have-been-a-homer crowd amuses me because I remember many of them crying because somebody hit a weak popup that landed 10 rows deep.
MLB’s failure to let the players and public know what it’s doing to improve things — specifically like the baseball — is bad management. Knowing wouldn’t make everyone happy, but at least everyone would know what was going on.