SAN DIEGO — Baseball is sticking to its story: The balls weren’t juiced.
A record number of home runs in 2019 resulted from less drag on the baseballs and players’ increased focus on launch angles, Major League Baseball contended via a 27-page study that it released — and presented as independent of MLB — on Wednesday morning.
The report, put together by a quartet of professors with doctorates ranging from mathematics to physics to engineering, asserted, “No evidence was found that changes in baseball performance were due to anything intentional on the part of Rawlings or MLB and were likely due to manufacturing variability.”
Players hit a total of 6,776 homers during the regular season, shattering the previous mark of 6,105 established in 2017. At the season’s All-Star break, veteran Justin Verlander accused the commissioner’s office of purposely tinkering with the baseball’s manufacturing to produce more homers for action-starved fans.
Commissioner Rob Manfred denied such accusations then, yet he acknowledged a serious quality-control issue with the sport’s primary product. This report did confirm that and offered recommendations for how to remedy…