A few years ago, baseball fans were hit with a persistent rumor that the baseballs were juiced, hence the increased number of homers and the skyrocketing distance of each blast. You may recall this initial chatter coming to a head during the wild, dinger-replete 2017 World Series.
MLB denied the initial claim, of course, but after a study, it was determined that the ball did have an impact on the explosion of home runs in 2017.
Well, it...seems as if the balls may be juiced again, because we've seen a flurry of home runs a week into the regular season.
Two years ago, @No_Little_Plans was at the forefront of research showing MLB baseballs were juiced. MLB eventually confirmed it.— Aaron Gleeman (@AaronGleeman) April 5, 2019
Guess what? He analyzed the first week of this season and found that MLB baseballs are juiced again. (Free for all to read.)https://t.co/WBISFvOMMD
Yes, players have adopted launch angle and are looking to go deep more often, but that doesn't mean it's not odd that Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Zack Greinke hit two homers in a game at Petco Park, reigning NL MVP Christian Yelich belted a home run in each of the first four games, and the Los Angeles Dodgers set an Opening Day record with eight home runs in the first game of the season.
Pitchers are probably not too pleased about this possibility. https://t.co/MCjj7W6EFz— World Series Dreaming (@WSDreaming_Cubs) April 5, 2019
Robert Arthur of Baseball Prospectus studied the ball back in 2017 and found that the drag of the ball changed, which is not insignificant, because the smallest change can lead to more home runs.
Arthur has studied the ball in the first week of the 2019 season and came to the conclusion that the ball's drag is really low, meaning we could be in for another home run explosion this year.
The season is still young and this is a small sample size, but the home run barrages we are seeing could become the norm, which is far from the worst thing in the world...unless you're a pitcher.
Does anyone look back negatively on that '17 World Series? What about 1998? As long as home runs are obtained with properly-obtained bodies and under protocol, no baseball fan (or casual observer) should have a problem with more longballs. Often, that's how fandom itself is made.