Giants outfielder Austin Slater says that Major League Baseball actively discouraged him from sending baseballs for testing to see if the league was still using balls of different weights. The warning included a reminder that MLB could fire anyone who was found giving out baseballs to nonaffiliated organizations, Slater said.
Last November, Insider found that MLB had secretly been using two different baseballs during the 2021 season without notifying players. One was the ball MLB announced ahead of the season, which was lighter and therefore would not carry as far in the air after a batter hits it (which is commonly referred to as a “dead” ball). The other was a heavier (or “juiced”) baseball manufactured for previous seasons that the league had actively been trying get away from — and pitchers had been constantly maligning — because of the home run-happy game play it produced. Insider’s report forced MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred to cop to the differently weighted balls, and he promised afterward that the league would use equally weighted balls the following season.
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