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This MLB season, the ball is making everyone batty

Major League Baseball
University of Illinois
the Texas League
| Svrluga
Washington Nationals
| Transactions

Collin McHugh
Joey Votto
Alan Nathan
Chris Bassitt
Baltimore Orioles
Jordan Lyles
Neil Greenberg
Trevor Bauer
Stephen Strasburg
| Lerners


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The New York Times
Write a review: The Washington Post

How much should a pitcher be expected to adapt to the ball versus working around it?And if small changes to the baseball can affect performance, and MLB is in a position to control small changes to the baseball … well, what once felt like a quirk — like different dimensions from one park to another or the preferences of umpires — starts to feel like a bug. It grew louder when home runs spiked in 2019, then again when MLB confirmed it had made changes to the baseball ahead of the 2021 season, then admitted it had used two different balls because of production issues caused by the pandemic.Those issues are resolved now, according to a league official who requested anonymity to speak candidly about the league’s efforts. In 2019, that rate had grown to 15.3 percent.The Orioles, still in a rebuild, think they can win without spendingBeyond measuring COR, Alan Nathan, a University of Illinois physicist who has previously advised MLB on baseballs, studied drag — the force that works opposite the flight of the ball, caused by the way air moves around the seams and surface. Early in the season, when the weather is cold and the air relatively dry around the country, that flight has been more limited than in past years.League officials say they expected ball flight to dip early in the season, but that they also expect to see a change as weather warms and air grows more humid.In background of potential Nats sale, Lerners face uncertain real estate marketMeredith Wills, who has a PhD in astrophysics and has been studying MLB’s balls for years, said she isn’t sure that more humid nights will restore what looks to be a very dead ball to average flight. But the league is trying to address the grip question anyway.Multiple pitchers suggested a more standardized process of rubbing the balls with mud before use, and MLB has seemingly begun trying to embrace that suggestion: Instead of having to complete the process a few days ahead of time, the baseballs now must be mudded the day of the game.Similarly, the sport is testing out a pre-tacked ball in the Texas League, the second recent attempt at a prototype to help meet pitchers halfway.

As said here by Chelsea Janes