Dr. Meredith Wills Has Examined the Baseballs the MLB Used During the Past Season
MLB has had ball issues for multiple seasons. First, the league had a deal with Rawlings in 2018, and the following season the home-run scores surged significantly until they reached an all-time high. MLB has since shared that the 2019 batch of balls were different but not intentionally juiced. The league then attempted to cut down the exploding home-run rates by using balls with lighter cores. Dr. Meredith Will found out that these balls were actually used during the last season.
MLB Has Stated That the Mistake Could Be Due to Production Delays
MLB confirmed it did use two different balls during the 2021 season but claimed the mishap was due to production delays. However, Wills’ research contradicts the MLB’s statement. The date each ball was manufactured is actually written in the batch code, and according to her research, those batch codes showed there were different balls used multiple times all the way back to 2019. According to MLB officials, it had informed the MLBPA it would use two different balls this year, but it seems if the union knew about that change, the players certainly didn’t get wind of it. None of them have stated that they had a clue they were using different balls.
What exactly was the impact of the use of different baseballs in 2021 is still uncertain, but the implications are certainly significant. The impact is definitely there for the teams and players who could have had different performances during the past season. It could have also been significant for the gambling industry because MLB has recently embraced in-game wagering.