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chaerulez
04-11-2006, 06:49 PM
In the past couple days, B&B have been talking about Hawk's comment about a "juiced ball" this season after Sanders' HR in the last game of the Royals series. Anyone else think this could be true? Bernstein mentioned the Derrek Lee HR with the winds blowing in as possible evidence and Arroyo's 2 HRs. The Sanders' HR itself is a good one to look at also, since at first it appeared to be a fly out. Also they pointed out that Hawk probably wouldn't have said this out of nowhere, that he likely heard it from others.

HotelWhiteSox
04-11-2006, 07:15 PM
I've heard many call Hawk a fool about the comments, but who knows. Tigers go on a record pace for HRs early, Adam Dunn hits one out of the park, almost at 500 feet, and all of Thome's have been moonshots. What's the average, mid 400s? Makes sense in a conspiracy sort of way. The long ball brought more casual fans, substance bans have made people wonder and may decline the number of home runs, try to pass it off as nothing changed?

JohnBasedowYoda
04-11-2006, 07:16 PM
It's certainly possible, they have changed the ball before....right?

How many hr's were in that cub game today? 6? That's nuts man.

Chicken Dinner
04-11-2006, 07:29 PM
That's just a bunch of BS. I'm sure that Rawlings recalled all the balls that they made last year that weren't used so they could put superball cork in the center. Yeah right. Hawk's crazy.

SouthSide_HitMen
04-11-2006, 08:18 PM
It's certainly possible, they have changed the ball before....right?

How many hr's were in that cub game today? 6? That's nuts man.

The wind was blowing out 17 MPH.

http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/boxscore?gid=260411116

There will always be variances year to year in home runs. 1 week is not enough time to determine what the home run rate will be for the 2006 season. B & B just need something to yap about and any hair brained idea will work on sports talk.

Brian26
04-11-2006, 08:22 PM
Hawk missed that homerun call, so he had to come up with an excuse. All of a sudden, the ball is juiced and everyone is running with it. The Thome homers have been bombs because he's a strong guy.

Chisox003
04-11-2006, 08:37 PM
Me and a friend of mine were talking about this last week.

The offensive numbers (seemingly) are a LOT better this season than what we remember in recent years.

Usually, hitters have to catch up to the pitchers coming out of spring break. This year it's just the opposite. :?:

Fuller_Schettman
04-11-2006, 08:54 PM
Well, through the first 5 games only 1 Sox player had homered. So if it is juiced, we didn't get that email...

cubhater
04-11-2006, 10:14 PM
Somethings gotta be juiced since the players can't anymore.

TheKittle
04-11-2006, 10:48 PM
Another possible answer. Lack of juiced PITCHERS.

" Many scouts wouldn't be surprised if, in the first season of Selig's three-strikes-and-you're-out steroid policy, there was a spike in home runs. There is a noticeable loss in velocity out there, particularly among relievers. One AL scout: "The thing that's most misunderstood is that steroids were 50-50 between pitchers and hitters. The general public thinks it's the power hitters. For me, it's the middle, setup and closer relievers. There are a lot of fastballs that are a foot shorter."

http://www.latimes.com/sports/baseball/mlb/la-sp-brown9apr09,1,1600747.story?coll=la-headlines-sports-majorbaseb

I have notice this too. The middle relievers who used to throw 95 before are now in the high 80's if they are lucky.

Garland_IS_God
04-11-2006, 11:42 PM
Dont forget...Mark Mulder just hit a HR as well. Hawk might be on to something?

daveeym
04-12-2006, 09:17 AM
Hawk missed that homerun call, so he had to come up with an excuse. All of a sudden, the ball is juiced and everyone is running with it. The Thome homers have been bombs because he's a strong guy. Now I don't deny this being a possibility but I knew this claim would be made this year and I thought it was very likely heading into the season that the balls will be juiced due to the spotlight on roids.

We'll know when/if the pitchers start bitching like they did a few years ago. "The ball feels like a rock." "See this? (pitcher holding a ball) See how I can pinch the cover of the ball and how it's a bit loose on the core?" Etc. Etc.

daveeym
04-12-2006, 09:19 AM
Another possible answer. Lack of juiced PITCHERS.

" Many scouts wouldn't be surprised if, in the first season of Selig's three-strikes-and-you're-out steroid policy, there was a spike in home runs. There is a noticeable loss in velocity out there, particularly among relievers. One AL scout: "The thing that's most misunderstood is that steroids were 50-50 between pitchers and hitters. The general public thinks it's the power hitters. For me, it's the middle, setup and closer relievers. There are a lot of fastballs that are a foot shorter."

http://www.latimes.com/sports/baseball/mlb/la-sp-brown9apr09,1,1600747.story?coll=la-headlines-sports-majorbaseb

I have notice this too. The middle relievers who used to throw 95 before are now in the high 80's if they are lucky. Yeah but this was supposed to effect the pitchers/relievers speed further into the season when they were going through deadarm periods and didn't have the roid recovery boost. It's a bs theory anyway since if it's 50/50 pitchers/players every thing should regress equally.

Trav
04-12-2006, 09:27 AM
If the 50/50 steriods theory is true, then this would be expected as most of the parks are much smaller than parks built before the steroid era hit full force. Every rule in the history of baseball that has been changed has been to benifit the pitchers. If I am wrong, please show me the light.

FYI, Four pitchers in the minors popped so far this year. No position players I don't think have failed yet this year.

However, I would put anything past bud-light including 'juiced' balls.

Mr. White Sox
04-12-2006, 09:37 AM
to those speculating this theory could be true, WAIT until at least the all-star break. The sample size is too small to infer anything yet; Chris Shelton isn't hitting 132 home runs this year. Everyone needs to calm down a bit, but if the warm weather actually increases the HR totals? Uhh, well then this might be a good discussion.

daveeym
04-12-2006, 09:38 AM
If the 50/50 steriods theory is true, then this would be expected as most of the parks are much smaller than parks built before the steroid era hit full force. Every rule in the history of baseball that has been changed has been to benifit the pitchers. If I am wrong, please show me the light.

FYI, Four pitchers in the minors popped so far this year. No position players I don't think have failed yet this year.

However, I would put anything past bud-light including 'juiced' balls. Yeah they've been playing in those parks for 10 years now though. So all in all the numbers should remain about the same.

downstairs
04-12-2006, 12:47 PM
We're 8 games into the season. Anomolies like this happen in 8-game spans all the time.

The reason people want to throw out a theory is because this 8-game streak is at the beginning of a season. So people want to think that "something happened in the off-season".

I'd be willing to bet there will be another 8-game streak where MLB home runs are way down from the average. And no one will even notice.

SoLongFrank
04-12-2006, 03:05 PM
I agree it's too early to blame roids testing for 1) velocity being down, 2) pitchers giving up too many HR's.

Look at Freddy. First start he looked weak. Couldn't throw better than 89 mph. Second start he's hitting 97 on the gun. I didn't even know he could do that. He blames the WBC. He says he didn't have enough time to get loose.

I've heard this argument elsewhere. The WBC turned some starters into relievers & they didn't get enough work in as a starter. In Freddy's case he just didn't get work often enough while being there.

That's the biggest problem with the WBC in ST. The guys running those teams care more about winning the games then the progress the players need to make towards the regular season.

Jenk's is another example. He shows up overweight (not muscle weight being added there) & looked weak. Now he's back to mid-90's.

It's also possible that with both greenies & roids testing in early ST many guys just got lazy in the off-season. They didn't have the will to work out without their drugs.

Ol' No. 2
04-12-2006, 04:48 PM
We're 8 games into the season. Anomolies like this happen in 8-game spans all the time.

The reason people want to throw out a theory is because this 8-game streak is at the beginning of a season. So people want to think that "something happened in the off-season".

I'd be willing to bet there will be another 8-game streak where MLB home runs are way down from the average. And no one will even notice.That will just prove the ball was juiced and they switched back when people started asking questions.:rolleyes:

champagne030
04-12-2006, 10:29 PM
Second start he's hitting 97 on the gun.

The gun was on roids, 'cause FG isn't hitting 97 except when the thermometer is.......

Steelrod
04-13-2006, 03:00 AM
That will just prove the ball was juiced and they switched back when people started asking questions.:rolleyes:
Paranoia abounds!

SoLongFrank
04-13-2006, 11:53 AM
Didn't they lower the pitching mound because they felt the balance had shifted to the pitchers eon's ago? As I understand it, mound height has a much greater impact on all this than juiced balls.

That's something they could probably do without the media even noticing.

popilius
04-13-2006, 11:54 AM
.

We'll know when/if the pitchers start bitching like they did a few years ago. "The ball feels like a rock." "See this? (pitcher holding a ball) See how I can pinch the cover of the ball and how it's a bit loose on the core?" Etc. Etc.

This is true. . . although it has been very noticeable that power numbers are up even after the first week and a half, the pitchers have not said anything. Pitchers would be able to feel any difference right away.

:gulp:

popilius
04-13-2006, 12:24 PM
Hawk just mentioned the juiced ball again in the telecast.

1. He mentioned that if Buerhle and Garland "all of a sudden have trouble fielding their position," then the ball is "juiced."

2. Right now he said that we'll see several guys with 50+ homers because of the new ball - "if the ball stays this way."

:gulp:

SoLongFrank
04-14-2006, 12:22 PM
http://www.suntimes.com/output/couch/cst-spt-greg14.html I agree fully. 2004 Was just a learning curve year. They know how to beat the test now.

MLB needs to stop thinking they've solved this & start looking at it practically. If a guy shows you with more than a 15 pd gain in muscle mass suspend him pending an investigation. It's the only way.

viagracat
04-15-2006, 10:21 AM
Apparently Steve Stone, who I respect, agrees with Harrelson that balls are jumping off the bats more this year so far, but neither, according to an article in the Trib today, consider this anything more than simply a batch of balls wound tightly from the factory in Costa Rica. According to same, the last time this happened, the suspect batch of balls lasted about a month and a half, then things settled down.

I would think in the wake of the steroids investigations, MLB wouldn't want to encourage a bunch of home runs right now because if this continues, that's the first thing a lot of people would say: "These guys must be on 'roids". So I don't think there's any conspiracy either. If there is, then Selig is dumber than I tell people. :D:

Ol' No. 2
04-15-2006, 12:45 PM
Unless they are making baseballs in such a way as to make pitchers throw them belt high and out over the plate, then no, I don't believe it. Two years ago there was also a large number of HR early. This is more about the weather.

SoLongFrank
04-15-2006, 01:05 PM
It certainly says something about Costa Rica's quality control.

Ol' No. 2
04-15-2006, 05:21 PM
It certainly says something about Costa Rica's quality control.Every ball is tested. They do a pretty controlled bounce test, and reject a fair number of balls, IIRC.

If it say anything about anything, it's people's love for conspiracy theories.

Brian26
04-15-2006, 05:29 PM
Hawk just mentioned the juiced ball again in the telecast.

1. He mentioned that if Buerhle and Garland "all of a sudden have trouble fielding their position," then the ball is "juiced."


Every year, Hawk has a gimmick that he beats into the ground. This is his 2006 version.

Railsplitter
04-15-2006, 05:57 PM
It's bad pitchers. With five man rotations and four more teams than 20 years ago, there are at least twenty starting pitchers in the bigs today whose skills would not have gotten them there in 1986.

MRKARNO
04-15-2006, 08:21 PM
There are two possibilities that I am open to right now:

1. We're at an extreme point in the HR-hitting cycle and the number of HRs is up only due to random chance

or

2. Amphetamine testing has disproportionately hurt pitchers, who have to be successful in execution almost all the time, where hitters can get away with poor execution the majority of the time.

I'm inclined to believe option 2. There were many rumblings before the season started about the possible huge effects of amphetamine testing and I think we are seeing it through the increase in offense. If this is true, then we might be at the beginning of a new offensive era in which run-scoring is higher than even the late 90's, though things might even out more as the season wears on. My early guess is that we're going to see unprecedented HR totals, with at least one or two players nearing or breaking through the 60 HR plateau.

Steelrod
04-15-2006, 10:59 PM
How 'bout the unseasonable warm weather thats been happening.
Balls travel further in warmer weather.

PKalltheway
04-16-2006, 12:17 AM
How 'bout the unseasonable warm weather thats been happening.
Balls travel further in warmer weather.
That's exactly what I've been thinking. It has been unseasonably warm in a lot of areas lately. It's hit 80 here in Cincinnati a few days this week.

DaleJRFan
04-16-2006, 01:57 AM
if everyone is so concerned with juiced balls, then take a HR or foul ball from last season and a HR or foul ball from this season, disect them and compare.

SoLongFrank
04-16-2006, 01:00 PM
I don't buy the amp excuse for pitchers. Starters throw every 5th day & a few minor sessions in between. They aren't that much of a part of the daily grind. Relievers never have the stress day in & day out of the daily grind because they mostly sit & watch the game until they are called upon for an inning of work.

Amps mostly impact everyday players.

I still think the Sun-Times is more on target. 2005 was a learning curve for players on what to do to beat the drug test. The penalties had become severe to where they couldn't risk it. Now they know what to do to beat the tests.

I can't trust any hitter any more. While I doubt there are many juicing to then extent that Sosa was there are probably more of them doing it now then ever before to get a slight edge. Just enough to to go from good to great, mediocre to good, or poor to mediocre.