Baseball in the US: As many home runs as ever – sports

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  • There are more Home Runs in the US Baseball League than ever before – is it coincidence or calculation?
  • It's also about the question of whether officials have secretly changed the balls, so they continue to fly.
  • Some players complain. “That's a goddamn joke,” scolds Justin Verlander, one of the league's best bowlers.

From Jürgen Schmieder, Los Angeles

Dock! This is the dull, short reverberation, that unique sound when a baseball bounces on a wooden racket – and from there, ideally, gets carried to the bleachers. There are Americans who say they do not have to see these home-run beats, they could hear them. These Americans are busy now: if the batsmen in the North American Baseball League MLB continue to beat the balls as often as they did last, the all-time home-run record for the 116-year-old league could be ten percent this season be improved. So far people have been docking 3691 times! belongs.

Home runs are spectacular. Fans want to catch the balls, take them home as souvenirs or sell them at auctions. The traditional home run derby, a competition of the league's best batsmen, was Monday's biggest attraction in the All-Star Week, which is currently taking place in Cleveland. It could therefore be all satisfied now in view of the spectacle – if there were not the suspicion that the home-run flood is reached by unfair means.

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No, this time it's not about doping, as it does in baseball. It's about the question of whether secretaries secretly changed the balls, so they continue to fly, but do not want to say that because it would only be half as nice. A baseball conspiracy?

“That's a fucking joke”

Yes, “the current balls have less air resistance,” said the league boss Rob Manfred just added. A tightened seam obviously leads to them continuing to fly – and thus more often over the fence or even out of the stadium. The league has nothing to do with it, says Rob Manfred, the balls are just handmade, because it could ever come to deviations. The manufacturer, the company Rawlings, probably made a few minor changes in the production process. All coincidence?

Well, the league bought the manufacturer a year ago, along with an investment firm, for $ 395 million. You would need to be aware of changes as the owner of Rawlings or not? “That's a damn joke,” scolds Justin Verlander of the Houston Astros, one of the league's best throwers, “If one company buys another and the product changes so dramatically, then I do not need to think twice about what happened, we're not idiots. “

So, did the league change the balls without informing the players to make their performance even more spectacular? That would be a minor scandal. Though none of that dimension of baseball scandals in 1919 or 1947 when it came to bribery and racism. Today it's just about that the modern professional sports betrays its roots, if it serves the entertainment.

Still the thing is not cleared up. “We know that changes to the ball fundamentally change the sport,” Ligachef Manfred actually promised: “If we do that, we'll be transparent.” Three months later, after all, he admitted that the balls now have less air resistance. Dock!

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. (tagsToTranslate) Baseball (t) Süddeutsche Zeitung Politics (t) US Baseball (t) US Sport (t) Sports (t) Süddeutsche Zeitung (t) SZ

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