Major League Baseball now seems to be in the position where, when faced with an accusation that the balls are juiced, must shrug its shoulders and insist that, no, that couldn’t possibly be the case. The pitchers, led by the outspoken Justin Verlander, don’t believe they’re getting the full trust. The sluggers, fueled by pride, believe the influx of dingers is purely physics and a result of their big sticks.
There’s plenty of data to pour over and I’ve been on the fence here, but that’s all changed after a single home run off the bat of Dodgers outfielder A.J. Pollock last night at Fenway Park.
There is absolutely no way that should have gone out. Yes, give me the caveats about the Green Monster and how lazy popups can turn into round-trippers. A low and outside pitch, a flailed bat, flick of the wrist and moderate contact. Off a 73-mph pitch from Steven Wright.
So, so confusing.
This video should serve as exhibit A in any case litigating the souped-up baseballs. There’s something going on and we should all be invested in getting to the bottom of it.
Think this is an overreaction? Maybe. But everything has a tipping point. And for the baseball mystery, this befuddling homer is it.