Much has been made about MLB allegedly “juicing” baseballs to generate an influx of home runs during the second half of the 2010s and, more recently, about top-tier pitchers such as New York Yankees ace Gerrit Cole potentially using illegal substances to doctor baseballs and increase spin rates.
New York Mets slugger Pete Alonso had a baseball take ahead of Wednesday’s game at the Baltimore Orioles, and it’s one that surprised some fans and observers.
“The biggest concern is that Major League Baseball manipulates the baseballs year in and year out depending on the free-agency class, or guys being in an advanced part of their arbitration, so I do think that’s a big issue: the ball being different every single year,” Alonso said, according to Ryan Morik of SNY.
“With other sports, the ball’s the same, like basketball, football, tennis, golf, ball’s the same. I think that’s the real issue with the changing of the baseballs.”
“That’s a fact. Guys have talked about it, but in 2019, there was a huge class of free-agent pitchers, and that’s quote-unquote the juiced balls. 2020 was a strange year with the COVID season, but now that we’re back to playing a regular season with a ton of shortstops or position players that are owed and gonna be paid a lot of money… it’s not a coincidence, and I think that definitely is something that they do.”
Alonso also explained why he, as a hitter, is in favor of pitchers using sticky substances such as Spider Tack during games: