Samson: Why MLB should’ve addressed ‘un-juiced’ baseballs ahead of spring training


In the last week, New York Yankees pitcher Masahiro Tanaka and Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Zach Eflin have come out and said that the baseballs in this year’s spring training feel quite a bit different than last year’s. Both Tanaka and Eflin feel like they can get a better grip on the balls this year.

During Monday’s installment of “Nothing Personal with David Samson,” David Samson weighed in on the “juiced” balls. Samson, the ex-Miami Marlins president, believes that MLB should have gotten out in front of the debate regarding the baseballs and announced that the league made an effort to restore the balls back to their pre-2019 version.

“What do I do? Very simply, I take the microphone and say that we have made a change to the baseball,” Samson said. “We would like to get the baseball back to the way it was as best as we can. We have told Rawlings and the people that actually make the baseballs that we want to make sure the seams are actually the way they were. To do that, we have worked with the players union. We have worked with pitchers and we have gotten to the point where the pitchers feel that everything was exactly as it was. Do you know what happens when you do that baseball? The story’s over.”

Tanaka recently admitted that he believes that the baseballs feel similar to the way they did in 2017.

“But when you look back at last year,” Tanaka said last week, “it feels like it was good in spring training and then it changed once the season started. So that’s my take on it.”

Eflin echoed similar sentiments saying that it felt quite different last season.

“I think it’s awesome,” Eflin said. “To me, they feel a little softer and you can definitely notice the seams a little more. Last year, it was like throwing a cue ball.”

There were 6,776 home runs hit last season, shattering the previous record of 6,105 home runs that was set in 2017. MLB released a study after the 2019 campaign, saying that the baseballs were not intentionally juiced.





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