That is not what Ubiq is suggesting at all from my understanding of his post. His point is that that the sample size is extremely small and the methodology is flawed. The court of public opinion has no bearing on whether the balls of the present are more lively. The determination of this should be based on empirical analysis not public opinion.
Originally Posted by JRB
Again you are missing the point. I can't speak for Ubiq but my understanding of his point is that:
It seems that one of your foremost criticisms of this particular study is your claim that the balls from previous seasons which were tested were obtained through appeals made to the public on a talk radio show. However, stop and think for a minute. The very reasons any tests are being made is because people are highly suspicious of major league baseball and the company manufacturing the balls at their behest. It is believed that these entities have been pulling a fast one on the public. So where are the people conducting the study going to get the baseballs to be tested? From major league baseball? From the Company that made the ball? From some entity which has affiliations to or which is under the control of major league baseball? So, would you have the very people whose credibility is under question control and determine which balls are to be tested?
1) The sample size is too small
2) We have no idea where of how the 30-40 year old balls have been kept all this time.
It's not a question of the fan's ethics or agenda but how the balls were stored.
How else would the people conducting the study obtain legitimate samples from unbiased sources except by going to the public at large. Through questioning of the person providing the ball or other appropriate protocols I don't think it would be that difficult to obtain satisfactory authentication as to what year they came from or where they were kept since that date. In most cases, I wouldn't think that a souvenir or autographed baseball is likely to be misused.
A phenomena like hitting HRs is far more complex than trying to reduce to a just the ball and the bat. You don't just have two objects involved. And what happened in 1997? Home runs and runs scored went down.
Also, keep this in mind. Whether this study or that study was done effeciently is somewhat beside the point. We should know from simple deductive reasoning that the balls were altered for certain seasons. Baseball hitting is a simple example. You only have 2 objects involved, a ball and a bat. If there is a sudden explosion in home run hitting across the entire league by virturally the same players batting against the same pitchers in the same ball parks, as there was for example in the 1996 season in the American League, elementary logic dictates that either the balls and/or the bats have been altered, and if the bats have remained constant it has to be an alteration of the baseball. All of your criminal defense attorney type posturing on behalf of the "powers that be" does not change this simple logic.
I'll ask this question again. How do you address the issues of a deterioration of a ball over time? A ball is made out of leather, yarn, and rubber. You don't think if a ball is exposed to heat, humidity, and light for 30-40 years the ball's characteristics will not change over time? A ball from 1960 will assuredly not react off a bat today as it did back in 1960. That is the fundamental concern that no one seems to want to address.
Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis