Remember last summer when New York Mets slugger Pete Alonso suggested MLB was manipulating baseballs based on the upcoming free agent class? For instance, if there were a lot of good pitchers hitting the open market, the baseballs would get juiced to worsen their numbers thus lowering their salaries and vice versa. It was a story that faded away quickly. People were far more concerned with sticky stuff than any Big Brother manipulation from the league.
Well, almost a year later, the Mets are making another suggestion. Last Sunday’s game against the Philadelphia Phillies, a 10-6 win for the Mets, had members of the team wondering if the balls were different. Hitting coach Eric Chavez was the one who spoke publicly about it, voicing the frustration of the players.
Mets players believe the baseballs are getting juiced for nationally televised games
There’s no proof of this and even if there was a trend there are so many other factors to look at. Weather, the quality of pitchers/hitters, the ballpark’s history, etc. all need to be taken into account. A 10-6 win is hardly enough to jump to conclusions. The main argument on behalf of the Mets is how suddenly balls they’re hitting at a slower speed tend to be landing a little further.
True or not, it’s something people will begin to pay attention to. Someone is out there already making a spreadsheet to try and determine if the latest Major League Baseball controversy has any merit or not. If they were wise, the next month of Sunday night baseball includes at least two 1-0 wins.
This accusation from the Mets does seem a little strange considering they did win the game referenced and haven’t been taking losses because of these changes. Perhaps it’s a known fact that there’s something shady going on and as a team not suffering from it, the claim carries more weight. The Cincinnati Reds certainly can’t suggest this. It would come off as complaining. Then again, they’re probably not going to get televised nationally this season.
If Major League Baseball wants to nip this one early, the Los Angeles Dodgers and Chicago Cubs will be playing baseball with a five-pound rock on Mother’s Day. Otherwise, the Mets may have some company in this conspiracy theory.