Rob Manfred changed the baseball again. This time he told us. The plan was to cut down on home runs. There were too many. So this time they messed with the laces again.
NCAA baseball flattened them in 2015 to increase scoring. It did increase scoring. BUT they also use aluminum bats, and that changes things too. While the physics of baseball seem simple, they’re not.
In 2020, baseball had higher seams, and baseball concluded that it contributed to more home runs and more runs in general. In the end, what they never consider is how batters are taught to hit with the launch angle and pulling the ball more. There’s always a shift to how these things go.
In 2021, they raised the seams to slow down run production. Pitchers love it and now the league has seen six legit no-hitters and one seven-inning whatever you call it. Soon the league will break the record for the most no-hitters in one season. Is that what they wanted?
We were already in the midst of a pitcher’s era in the game. The greats are amazing, and the bad pitchers are historically bad. Baseball has always tried to work against the pitchers, but not this year. This year, they worked with them, and now they’re probably hating themselves for it.
When they do these studies, do they take the heat into account? Ballparks are getting hotter, and I wonder if these things will work themselves out in mid-June and July. That’s when bats historically heat up. That could happen again.
So, when will baseball switch the balls again? I want the game to come up with a standard and leave it alone. To the point where the ball must pass an inspection before the season begins. The manufacturers are the pawns here, and the fans don’t know if what they’re seeing is real or not?
Here’s another item. If you want hitting to improve, stop with the launch angle. If you don’t want to get no-hit more than one time a season, bunt for a base hit. Hit to the clear side of the shift. Practice that. There’s always a way around these changes, but managers must be the ones to do it. Instead, many of them are under the thumb of the analytics department and that TPS report they get the morning of a game. Some must follow it closely, and the great managers have some leeway.
In the end, leave the game alone. Stop messing with it. That’s what is best for the game.