This MLB postseason has seen an abundance of home runs and there might be an explanation for it. Many Dodgers and Astros players and coaches have reported that the World Series baseballs are slicker than that of those in the regular season.
Astros pitching coach Brent Strom said after Game 4, “I just want to know why. Why in the world would the baseballs in the World Series be different? Because you can see the difference. You can feel it. I don’t understand it at all.” He added, “It’s obvious. You can see it and you can feel it. It’s not the same. Someone’s got to explain to me why.”
Dodgers pitching coach Rick Honeycutt said, “Yu [Darvish] noticed the difference. He told me the balls were slicker and he had trouble throwing the slider because of how slick they were. He wasn’t able to throw his slider the same way.”
— Baseball is Fun (@flippingbats) October 27, 2017
Strom might never get his answer as the Senior vice president of baseball operations, of Major League Baseball, Peter Woodfork, said World Series balls are tested at the time of manufacturing and are made from the same materials and to the same standards as regular season baseballs.
“The only difference is the gold stamping on the baseballs,” he said, a switch from the blue ink used during the regular season.
Even with Woodfork denying the allegations, players have tested the balls themselves and truly believe that the World Series balls they’re provided are positively different.
Astros Game 4 starter Charlie Morton said, “Lance McCullers took the blindfold test in the bullpen. He could tell which ball was which with his eyes closed. It’s that different.”
Verlander said, “The World Series ball is slicker. No doubt. I’m telling you, we’re in here signing [World Series] balls before the game, and it’s hard to get the ink on the ball sometimes.
You know when you sign a receipt at Starbucks, and if you don’t hold the paper down with your hand, the pen just slides across the paper and the ink doesn’t stick to it? That’s what it’s like sometimes trying to sign these balls. That’s how slick the leather is.” He continued, “It’s different. I noticed it especially throwing a slider. It didn’t feel the same. The home run I gave up to [Joc] Pederson was a slider.”
Verlander. Hill. Game 6.
— MLB (@MLB) October 31, 2017
It seems the most difficult throw for the players with these balls is a slider, with both Verlander and Honeycutt saying so. Without sliders and slick balls, it’s no wonder there have been so many homers.
It might just be a conspiracy theory but why would both teams come out and report the situation then? Wouldn’t it be a one sided thing if one team wanted to sabotage another? Seems like the ones with the motives would be the organization itself. What’s more exciting than a home run at the World Series? If they could make that happen, why wouldn’t they?
If this is the case, they should have probably told the teams playing so they could take that into account and not put the organization on blast instead. We shall see where this witch hunt takes us as the World Series continues.