Roulette: This season's baseballs frustrate MLB bowlers and hitters |  CBC Radio

Roulette: This season’s baseballs frustrate MLB bowlers and hitters | CBC Radio

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There is something wrong with MLB baseballs this season, and some players just don’t like it.

“MLB has a very, very big problem with baseballs,” New York Mets player Chris Bassett said after his team’s victory over the St. Louis Cardinals in April.

“Every bowler in the league knows that. They’re bad. They don’t care. MLB doesn’t care.”

Baseballs not only affect the way bowlers play – they also mess with hitters. Data scientist and freelance journalist Robert Arthur said home runs have fallen significantly this season compared to 2019, when the league’s hitters spread out. He broke the record 6,776 matches.

“In 2019, there is [were] About 1.4 points per game. Now we’re a little lower,” he said PresentMatt Galloway.

Present She reached out to MLB for comment, but has yet to receive a response.

To get a better idea of ​​what’s wrong with baseballs this season, Arthur and Galloway talk about baseball’s aerodynamics, squishyness — and why the league wouldn’t even change them in the first place. This is part of their conversation.

What do you think of Chris Bassett and his comments, that the ball… is constantly changing — in some ways, you know, inning by inning, game by game?

Yes, I think he’s right on both counts. We’ve been dealing with a baseball game that’s been different from year to year for at least the last five years. This is the reason behind some of the record breaking records we saw in 2017 and 2019.

That’s because baseball is getting more aerodynamic — and we can actually measure how baseball’s aerodynamics are using some of the data coming out of the radar and camera tracking systems that MLB has installed.

Explain this to people who think baseball is baseball. What is the most dynamic baseball game? How does baseball change?

The larger aerodynamic baseball is smaller. It has bottom stitches and bottom laces. The surface might be a little rougher—paradoxically, a rougher surface tends to make baseball more aerodynamic.

Even a small change in the production line can really affect how baseballs fly once they get into major league events.Robert Arthur

There are a lot of factors that go into what we call the drag coefficient, which is just a measure of how aerodynamic baseball is.

But we can actually measure this drag coefficient, and no matter what the specific reasons are, we can trace exactly how aerodynamic [it is]How easily a baseball floats in the air from year to year, and even from baseball to baseball.

Is there a lot of difference in baseball behavior?

People find it hard to believe, but it’s absolutely true. Something like about 20 to 30 feet of contrast between any pair of baseballs you pull out of your baseball box.

So if you both hit them [in] same direction , [with the] Same speed off a bat, a baseball may move 20 or 30 feet farther than the other.

It all comes down to those factors I just mentioned: tiny little things around the surface of a baseball that you won’t be able to see or detect with your hands. But they affect the flight of the ball to a large extent.

New York Mets bowler Chris Bassett is just one MLB player who has expressed his displeasure with baseballs this season. (Joe Putz/Getty Images)

If you’re Chris Bassett, the New York Mets pitcher we just heard about, what does that mean in terms of the ball you toss toward the board?

I think shooters – and I’ve heard this by talking to them myself – kind of have this bit of roulette. When they pick up a new ball, they don’t know if it’s an aerodynamic baseball or a less aerodynamic baseball. They have no way of telling just when they catch her on the hill.

This really affects their tactics. You’ll want to do different things depending on whether or not baseball is likely to fly for home runs.

So they kind of take a risk every time they catch a ball. “Am I throwing it high in the area and risking a run on its ground? Or try to keep it on the ground?” This is kind of what they face.

What about the other side of it? The Toronto Blue Jays, who were a home beat machine last year… [are] Less than that this year. why is that?

We’ve had a big change in just a few years, because baseball is less aerodynamic. As far as we can measure it, it all comes down to the fact that the current baseball we have now probably travels 10 feet less than a baseball two years ago, on average, on those well-struck flying balls.

So it will affect the Blue Jays…perhaps the most because they were such a strong team to run on their turf. If you get a lot of insults from running around the house to begin with, you’ll eliminate that crime even more when it’s gone.

How about the idea that some baseballs are squishy? This is what the speculators complained about. What are they talking about or what are they talking about?

Another big change in baseball this year we already know is that MLB installed humidors on all ball fields to make sure baseballs are maintained under consistent conditions. So it’s always the same humidity and always the same temperature.

That’s cool. This is something recommended by some scientists who have been studying baseballs and aerodynamic performance for years.

However, the downside to that… is that they made this thing where the base balls might have absorbed the extra moisture which could cause the texture to change or… [the] Inside baseball for a change. It can create some sponges.

That’s just a hypothesis at the moment…I don’t know if that’s true or not, but if you have a baseball that has a little bit of extra moisture on it and then you hit it, you know, you can put a skew in or you can change the surface properties of the ball a little bit.

This will likely affect her flight, and this will make it difficult to hit her. So there’s the idea that that might be the reason for the sponge hitters are complaining about.

Arthur says baseballs that are less dynamic this season are particularly problematic for teams with heavy runs like the Toronto Blue Jays. (Cole Burston/Getty Images)

People love to run around the house. The big trumpet goes off, there are fireworks and people get excited. Why mess with baseball to reduce home runs?

Usually in the past few years, we’ve seen MLB deny that they purposely tampered with baseball at all. But last year there was an exception to that.

that they [said] They will try to turn the house down a little baseball by making some small changes…. They may do the same this year.

It is also possible that this could be an accident. Baseballs have a lot of natural ingredients in them. They are handcrafted in some process steps. Even a small change in the production line can really affect how baseballs fly once they enter the major league competitions.

Posted by Muhammad Rashini. Produced by Howard Goldenthal. The Q&A has been edited for length and clarity.

2022-05-26 17:04:04

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