MLB News: Mets Coach Says The League Changes Baseballs For Primetime Games

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Ernesto Cova

MLB Commissioner Robert Manfred continues to have the league in a chokehold. His never-ending experiments and incessant desire to 'modernize' the game have done little to improve it and the fact that he's done most of it behind closed doors only makes things worse.

Now, New York Mets players have come to realize that the balls for primetime games are slightly 'juiced' when compared to everyday baseballs.

The Ball Is Clearly Different

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Mets' hitting coach Eric Chavez told Newsday's Tim Healey that the players — and now even their staff — have come to realize that the baseballs in primetime games were traveling further despite not being hit as hard:

"The ball was traveling farther—balls that weren’t hit as hard," Chaves said. "And I’m like, wait a minute, that shouldn’t have happened. The ball was just traveling better. That was the eye test, but then we lined it up with what the analytics were telling us."

Something's Going On

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Scoring totals have plummeted in most games this season, with unders hitting at a nearly 60% clip. Then, for Sunday Night games on ESPN, baseballs are flying left and right:

"We've been hitting balls 104, 105 [mph] at the right launch angle that aren't leaving," Chavez added. "And all of a sudden, now we're hitting balls 95—a little less hard than the other balls—and those balls are traveling on Sunday night."

The Players Warned Him

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The players were the first to realize this minor, yet noticeable change. They reached out to several members of the Mets organization, Chavez included. However, they never thought they were actually right about their suspicions:

"I thought for a second, 'You guys are full of it,' " Chavez confesed.

MLB's Excuse Is Unconvincing

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It wouldn't be the first time that the league deliberately uses different baseballs in the same season. Last year, Manfred claimed that the pandemic's impact on Rawlings forced them to improvise:

"MLB confirmed to Business Insider's Bradford William Davis last November it used two different baseballs across the 2021 season," wrote Joseph Zucker of Bleacher Report. "The league explained that Rawlings, which produces the balls, was adversely impacted amid the COVID-19 pandemic, so MLB had to dip into an inventory of baseballs that were made differently than their 2021 configuration."

That's an unacceptable excuse, especially because they didn't even reach out to the players to let them know about this major adjustment. Then they wonder why the players call them out every chance they got.