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#pounditWednesday, October 5, 2022

Jon Lester wants MLB to admit if balls are juiced

Jon Lester

Baseballs are being still blasted out of ballparks at a record pace more than a month into the MLB season, and the theory that it is now the balls — not the players — that are juiced is gaining popularity by the day. If that is the case, Jon Lester thinks the league should just admit it.

Last week, Boston Red Sox pitcher David Price urged MLB to just “come clean and say it” with regard to balls being juiced. He and others feel the number of home runs and the distance they are being hit tell an obvious story, and Lester was asked on Tuesday for his thoughts on the topic. The Chicago Cubs veteran agrees with Price.

To this point, Major League Baseball has not admitted anything. Commissioner Rob Manfred said last week that studies have confirmed there is less of a drag on the baseballs now than there used to be, but he insists that was not an intentional change.

“They could not conclude why that is, but they did have some theories, which in part were that the baseball is a hand-made product that is almost exclusively made from natural products,” Manfred said of the studies. “The result of that is there’s going to be some variations in baseballs. You cannot escape that fact.

“We’re in that range of variation that we don’t know how to eliminate. When the drag goes down, the ball goes further, and you’re going to have more home runs.”

We know one MLB legend who said last year that he believes the balls are being juiced, so this isn’t a new idea. There have been concerns about baseball decreasing in popularity in recent years, so it would not be a surprise if MLB did something to increase the number of balls sailing over the wall. Many pitchers seem convinced that is what has happened, but they want the league to come clean about it.


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