Davis: New study says 2019 playoff balls were de-juiced, but MLB still has no answers

From Bradford Davis at the New York Daily News on March 31, 2020, with mention of SABR member Meredith Wills:

Baseball has enough problems to deal with. For one thing, it’s nearly April and there’s no baseball. Still, a problem found does not resolve a problem left for later, and there is at least one major unresolved issue from last season: the so-called “juiced ball,” and whether or not MLB made a quick-change for the 2019 playoffs.

Thanks to new research using game-used balls, clarity may finally be near.

The 2019 MLB season saw a record 6,776 home runs, up nearly 1,200 from the previous year and far exceeding anything from the infamous “steroid era.”

Then, suddenly, whatever caused the baseball to rupture the atmosphere from April through September vanished in October. Fly ball distances plummeted through the postseason, leading outside researchers and at least one team’s in-house analytical department to attempt to pin down a common cause. Confused outfielders ran button hooks on shallow flies they were sure had left the yard.

Read the full article here: https://www.nydailynews.com/sports/baseball/ny-mlb-juiced-ball-new-study-meredith-wills-20200331-br5s6kt6mfhm7lcmpz7mxo5ghy-story.html

Originally published: April 1, 2020. Last Updated: April 1, 2020.