MLB baseballs are more juiced than Barry Bonds

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This year, Major League Baseball players and teams broke multiple records this season, almost all of these records pertained to homeruns. People see this in 2 different ways, the result of more players swinging for homeruns and homeruns only, or the result of juiced baseballs. 

 A “juiced ball” has been a term since the 90s where it became a theory based on an increase in homeruns. This was proven to not be the reason; the actual reason was the use of illegal steroids almost league wide, coining the term “steroid era”. It pertains to the baseball being altered to allow the ball to go further as it comes off the bat, whether it be by reducing drag, making it bouncier, or lowering the stitches to decrease surface area. This is possible because Rawlings, a sports equipment company, is the official supplier of MLB’s baseballs, and each year they make small alterations based on reports from MLB. If the balls are juiced, then what’s happening to the MLB is even worse than the steroid era. 

MLB denies these accusations from fans. After the Cy Young award-winning pitcher, Justin Verlander, called out the league for using juiced balls, the commissioner of MLB, Rob Manfred, spoke out about it. on many occasions he completely shut down any allegation of altering the ball.  He told Baseball Writers Association,” Baseball has done nothing, given no direction for an alteration in the baseball. Although the league denies it, there is plenty of evidence.  

6,770 homeruns were hit this season, consisting of 2,430 games, an average of 2.78 homeruns per game. This homerun amount broke the previous record of 6,105 homeruns from 2017, a very high number itself. That’s a 9% increase in homeruns from 2017 according to MLB.com. This number is over one thousand more than the famous “steroid era” of baseball, where all the greatest players from the early 90s into the 2000s used steroids and other performance enhancing drugs.   

Along with that record being broken, 12 out of the 30 teams have beaten their franchise season homerun record. One of these teams, the Minnesota Twins, was the first team in MLB history to hit 300 homeruns in a season, finishing off the 2019 season with 307. 

The alteration and juicing of baseballs is no different than using steroids. If the league is in fact juicing the baseballs like so many fans and some players think, they should be ashamed. Playing with a juiced ball should not be allowed. It takes away all the work that previous players put in to create records. I believe that this season’s homerun record should not count if  it’s proven that the balls are juiced. The whole idea of juiced balls takes away from the skill and work put into the game just the way steroids do.  

Many people wonder what the league’s reasoning could be for juicing balls. It’s purely for views and money. Many people find games that are heavily defense-based boring. Fans and viewers want to see runs being scored and homeruns being hit. With the balls being juiced, games would become more offensive based and more fans would enjoy it. This still doesn’t take away the insensitivity and disrespect of those who have set records in the past without the help of steroids or juiced balls. 

The MLB needs to change the balls soon before they start upsetting fans even further. They will start losing fans soon if they don’t revert the balls back. Many older baseball fans will soon start leaving the fanbase. Juiced balls, while may make more entertaining baseball to new fans, are causing older fans to dislike the sport. 

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