A home run by Cleveland Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor on Sunday has reinforced rumors that the ball is juiced in Major League Baseball this season.
Lindor, who is a power hitter, managed to launch the ball several rows deep into the right-field seats of Cleveland’s Progressive Field despite lunging at the ball and dropping to a knee. He appeared to release the bat too soon with his left hand as well.
"wE aReN't JuiCiNg tHe BaLLs." pic.twitter.com/LGlcyTr6pt
— Matt Galloway (@themattgalloway) July 21, 2019
“Francisco Lindor’s one-handed HR should be evidence of MLB’s juiced baseballs,” USA Today’s For the Win headline said.
“One-handed” might be pushing it but certainly Lindor’s off-balance swipe was no Ruthian cut. Yet the ball traveled pretty darn far.
The Spun also noted that “Lindor blasted one out to right with basically one arm” and called the shot “ridiculous.” It noted that many will point to it as proof that the ball is indeed “juiced” or somehow manufactured to produce greater distance.
(Incidentally, Lindor’s two-run blast helped the Indians defeat the Kansas City Royals, 5-4. The outcome was marred by a foul ball off his bat that injured a child, highlighting another controversy facing MLB.)
Houston Astros ace Justin Verlander is certain the balls have been purposely produced to travel greater distances to inject more offense. According to Commissioner Rob Manfred, scientists have said the balls have less drag this year and, because the product is handmade, “there’s gonna be variation year to year.” But there has been no change in materials or intent, he added.
The Washington Post noted before the all-star break earlier this month that the league was on pace to “obliterate” the 2017 record of 6,105 home runs in a season.
Do you think the balls are juiced in MLB? Let us know in the comments.
Here’s Lindor’s swing again.
*How not to swing and still hit a massive home run
With Professor Lindor pic.twitter.com/KAarJsakFZ
— Cleveland Sports Talk (@CLEsportsTalk) July 21, 2019