Is It A Slippery Future For Baseball?

Is It A Slippery Future For Baseball?

Is a change in baseball manufacturing standards leading to increased offensive play?

It is officially that time of the year again. Fall. Carved pumpkins adorning the porches of homes, candy sales in every supermarket in America, crisp Autumn air on the morning commute, and the beloved spooky atmosphere. Fellow sports fanatics know that fall has a very much underappreciated phenomenon starting in the sweet month of October, the World Series of Major League Baseball. A staple of North American sports, Baseball is an American tradition right up there with apple pie and muscle cars.

The 2017 MLB season kicked off in April, as custom. Highlights of the year include the dominant play by the Dodgers, a historic winning streak from the Indians, and the continuous battle between Mike Trout and Bryce Harper as the poster child best player in the league. The regular season was packed full of excitement, or agony, depending on which club has your loyalty. More casual fans of the sport skip out on a vast majority of the season until the playoffs roll around in October. Diehard fans know that October baseball is the highest quality baseball anyway. This year’s postseason has been a rollercoaster spectacle, one of the greatest in recent memory.

As beloved and sacred as baseball is, it is not without its fair share of controversies over the years. The infamous Chicago “Black Sox Scandal” of 1919, to the age of performance enhancing drugs, baseball seems to find itself in more trouble than most other North American professional sports organizations. This year was no exception as reports have surfaced of baseballs manufactured by league standards have changed from their usual. Complaints from pitchers and their coaches were first voiced in the summer, their concern was that the baseballs were too slick to throw an effective slider pitch. They theorized this was an impactful factor in 2017 having the most home runs in a single season. Interestingly enough, at around the same time, MLB commissioner Robert Manfred declared his desire to see more excitement in offensive play in the game. More hits and more homers will lead to more viewers and discourage people from leaving games early that didn’t have enough excitement.

This trend of higher hit and the home run percentage has lasted well into the playoffs, culminating in game five of the world series seeing Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw allowed six runs in a 13-12 extra-inning loss. While high homerun counts might attract more casual fans to the game it leaves an interesting ultimatum for front offices in the league; instead of pouring mega contracts to one-star pitcher, or do you instead fill your bullpen with an abundance of pitchers and rotate them more often in-game to keep the throws strong and fast? It is possible that rather than slick or juiced up baseballs the increase in offensive play is a result of better hitting by players. For such a trend to happen so quickly and have such a lasting impact well into the world series is foreign to the sport.

If either the Dodgers or Astros lose the series due to a bad slider from a good pitcher, this controversy will be closely monitored in the coming season.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

Popular Right Now

5 People You Didn't Know Went to Cal Poly Pomona

Bronco Alumni who made it BIG

1. Jim Zorn

Jim Zorn first went to Cerritos College and transferred to CPP where he played football for 2 seasons. While he was attending CPP, he set 44 school records and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1997. Since then he has played with the Seattle Seahawks, Green Bay Packers, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. After his retirement, he moved onto coaching in the NFL where he has been for 16 seasons. He is currently a quarterback coach for the Kansas City Chiefs.

2. Forest Whittaker

Whittaker attended Cal Poly Pomona on a football scholarship (yes, we had a football team), but an injury left him unable to play. He changed his major to music where he was a part of the Cal Poly Chamber Singers. He ended up transferring to University of Southern California to finish up his degree, but got his start at CPP. He is now a famous actor who stared in Platoon, Bird, The Shield, The Color Money, Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai, and many more productions. He was also the 4th African American male to win Best Actor at the Academy Awards.

3. Hilda Solis

Solis was accepted into the Equal Opportunity Program at Cal Poly Pomona and graduated in 1979 with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. While getting her Master of Public Administration at USC, she worked for the Carter and Reagan administration. Under the Obama administration, Solis became the first Latina to serve in the US Cabinet. Currently she serves on the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors.

4. Kevin Lyman

Lyman became well known by creating Vans Warped Tour, but before this he graduated Cal Poly Pomona with a degree in Recreation Administration in 1984. He discovered his love of music while in college and worked with on campus bands to find places to play. He took his love to the LA music scene which led to the creation of Vans Warped Tour, Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival, and Down From the Mountain Tour.

5. Michael Steger

Steger graduated CPP with a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre and a minor in Spanish. After graduating with honors, he went on to appear in NCIS, Criminal Minds, Covert Affairs, True Blood, and several Disney Channel productions. He is best known for his role as Navid Shirazi on 90210.

Cover Image Credit: Hahn-Khayat-Douliery/Abaca Press/MCT

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

11 Thoughts One Almost Always Has Watching Baseball

It's a complicated sport.

The 2018 major league baseball season has been going on for a little over a month now, and now that it is summer for me, I couldn't be more excited to watch a sport I have grown up watching. As I got older, there were more thoughts that ran through my head while watching this sport. While I could list many, here are eleven of them.

1. What is the statistic behind choosing who will start the game for each team?

2. Can our team step it up? Just a bit? Bat the the ball, please?

3. OK, I know I just said bat to the ball, but I meant getting a hit and actually getting on base. Not a pop-up/ground-out/everything else!

4. Did my phone buzz? I am in the middle of an important meeting with my favorite sport!

5. I wonder what the process is with choosing the various walk-up songs...

6. What song is this? I like it.

7. I'll Google it later...


9. *Insert sigh of relief when it is foul*

10. That was a good game.

11. I need to go to a game soon now that I'm on summer break. Seriously.

Cover Image Credit: Madeline Dziak

Related Content

Facebook Comments