Addressing the state of MLB prior to Tuesday’s All-Star Game, Rob Manfred dealt with questions about baseball’s power surge.
MLB commissioner Rob Manfred had a lot to deal with when addressing the state of his league prior to Tuesday’s All-Star Game in Cleveland. He primarily addressed the increased home runs totals across the league. 3,691 home runs had been hit amongst the 30 teams entering this week’s All-Star break. If the pace keeps up, 6,668 home runs will be hit across MLB. The previous record of 6,105 established in 2017.
Rumors have persisted that the baseballs have been doctored with to increase offense, particularly home runs, across the league. Manfred denied such accusations on Tuesday.
“Baseball has done nothing, given no direction for an alteration in the baseball,” Manfred said, per ESPN. “The flaw in logic is that baseball wants more home runs. If you sat in owners meetings and listen to people on how the game is played, that is not a sentiment among the owners for whom I work.”
Manfred did admit that “pitchers have raised issues particularly about the tackiness and seams on the baseball, and we do believe those could be issues.”
Several notable pitchers have raised issues about the balls used. For example, Justin Verlander of the Houston Astros told ESPN’s Jeff Passan that he “100 percent” believes that balls have been doctored to generate more offense. Verlander started Tuesday’s night All-Star Game for the American League. Jacob DeGrom and Max Scherzer hinted toward an agreement with him.
All the rules that are changed in the game, that has to be cleared with the players. But when the ball changes as much as it has over the last handful of years, the players have no say in that whatsoever,” Scherzer said in the same ESPN report. “We as players wonder why the ball can change that much, that fast, and to have that big of results. That’s why as players we deserve an answer to what’s going on.”
Two home runs were hit in Tuesday’s game. Charlie Blackmon of Colorado hit one in the sixth for the National League, while the AL countered with a duplicate solo blast from Texas’ Joey Gallo. The AL won the game 4-3.