Rob Manfred has had to deal with his fair share of snafus in his time as commissioner. There have been domestic violence scandals. There have been international spending scandals. More recently, there have been scandals relating to scarcely attended teams being moved to hang up shingle in another city.
Through all of it, a persistent kerfuffle has been made about one undeniably loud trend—the sustained return of the home run.
In 2017, a new league record was set when batters parked out a collective 6,105 long balls. This year, through roughly half a season, the league has deposited 3,185 dingers—well on pace to set yet another record.
While an increased emphasis on launch angle (read: uppercutting the heck out of the ball) surely has something to do with this lift in power totals, much has also been made of suspected changes in the manufacture of Rawlings’ signature game balls.
However, according to Manfred’s comments in a recent Newsday report, we shouldn’t blame factory-level changes to the stitching or covering materials employed by Rawlings. Instead, this big-fly bull market may be attributable to something as minute as the pill at the center of the ball:
Are you buying Manfred’s explanation? Or is this torrent of taters due to something else? Did I miss any good synonyms for “home run”? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.