August 3, 2021

The Home Run Committee’s Latest Report Isn’t the Final Word on Juiced Baseballs (FanGraphs)

SAN DIEGO — In the wake of a record-setting season for total home runs — 6,776, or 1.39 per team per game, an increase of 21.4% relative to last year, and 11.0% relative to the previous record, set in 2017 — on Wednesday morning, Major League Baseball released its long-awaited report from a committee of scientists and Rawlings representatives in their attempt to account for what has happened during the 2017-19 seasons. Shortly afterwards, an eight-member panel consisting of representatives from the committee, Rawlings, and MLB then fielded questions from the media. It was a lot to absorb, even given familiarity with the topic, but the general impression from all that’s been put forth is that MLB and Rawlings don’t have the firmest of grips on their product and its performance.

The full 27-page “Preliminary Report of the Committee Studying Home Run Rates in MLB” (PDF) is highly technical, and worthy of further scrutiny, scientific study, and perhaps skepticism, but a few things came through in the press conference and a cursory trip through the report. First, Rawlings and MLB denied that there’s anything underhanded when it comes to changing the ball. Said…

Read “The Home Run Committee’s Latest Report Isn’t the Final Word on Juiced Baseballs” at FanGraphs