Sometime before the 2021 season, the powers that be in Major League Baseball decided home runs were getting out of control and needed to be dealt with. After all, fans simply hate lots of offense and exciting, high-scoring games, so the league desperately needed to make the sport more boring. So far in 2022, it's working.
We're nearly through two weeks of the new season, and home runs around the league are down to an alarming degree. The numbers dropped last year after the league deadened the ball, and the trend has continued. MLB also installed humidors in every ballpark in 2022 in an attempt to reduce home run rates. It is already having a major impact on the game.
Derek Carty did the research and the numbers are staggering:
Then there's this:
I will never, for the life of me, understand Rob Manfred's quest to remove home runs from baseball. Home runs are fun, they're exciting, they're unique and they create the potential for quick changes of momentum in games. They create a rare dynamic in sports where scores can change in an instant. Why would MLB want less of that instead of more?
The 2020 pandemic-shortened season featured some of the best baseball we've seen in decades. The all-out sprint to the finish created a heightened sense of urgency, which meant players were at their absolute best. There were no "dog days." There were also a ton of home runs hit.
MLB's mission should have been to create more of that brand of play. Instead, during the offseason following the 2020 campaign, Manfred and his cohorts tried to radically change the game by deadening the baseball. Now with the humidors they've taken another shot at the home runs. It's been a moronic decision.
Fewer home runs mean less excitement and less excitement means less reason for fans to attend or watch games. People don't tune in to the Home Run Derby in droves to see guys hit balls to the warning track. They want to see guys crush the ball. We all want to see guys crush the ball. Big Al didn't brag about his on-base percentage, he bragged about hitting dingers.
Once again, Manfred & Co. are shooting their sport in the foot.