Verlander Criticizing League Over Alleged 'Juiced' Baseballs
Justin Verlander isn't mincing words when it comes to what he calls the use of juiced baseballs over the past few seasons.
The Houston Astros star, who will start Tuesday night for the American League in the Major League (MLB) All-Star Game, called the new baseballs a “joke,” yesterday.
The former Tigers pitcher previously criticized MLB for using balls that felt different during the 2017 World Series, which was later proven by an independent study.
Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred says ''there is no evidence from the scientists that the ball is harder'' but says "the drag of the baseball is less."
''Pitchers have raised issues particularly about the tackiness and seams on the baseball and we do believe those could be issues,'' he tells the Baseball Writers' Association of America.
In the middle of a season that has seen home runs being hit at a record pace, union head Tony Clark says, ''I believe that the ball suddenly changed and I don't know why.''
Clark and Verlander have questioned whether Major League Baseball has more input into the ball since Rawlings Sporting Goods Co. Inc., which manufactures the ball, was purchased last year by Seidler Equity Partners. Peter Seidler, the San Diego Padres general partner, has chief oversight of all activities of Seidler Equity Partners.
With Verlander on the bump for the AL tonight, Hyun-Jin Ryu will go for the National League.
The A-L enters the contest on a six-year winning streak.
First pitch is at 8:05pm.
— With files from Metro Source