View Poll Results: Was a more lively ball introduced in 1919?

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  • Yes, I believe a livlier ball was introduced into at least one league in 1919.

    45 71.43%
  • No, I do not believe that the ball was enlivened in 1919.

    18 28.57%
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Thread: Discussion on Baseballs through the years

  1. #76
    Quote Originally Posted by Sultan_1895-1948
    Of course some might say that he was reluctant to celebrate passing Mays, because Mays is his Godfather. I'm not saying that doesn't play a part at all, for any human it's got to be a factor, but I think when comparing white Ruth to black Mays, there's something else at work there. I think Barry loves the fact that there's gonna be 3/4 black guys atop the career HR list. He doesn't care that Aaron took over 7 seasons worth of AB (based on 550) to get only 41 more homers than Ruth. He still sees Hank as the better HR hitters. Shows some bias there. And he doesn't care that he himself wouldn't be anywhere near, forget Aaron, Ruth, or Mays, he'd be behind Frank Robinson imo, without steroids and a natural decline. He doesn't care. Of course even he would never say this to the press.
    I did consider but did not mention that in my post and I believe it played into Barry's feeling on passing Mays. However I think that played a small part, a very small part, skin color was a bigger factor. A while back when asked about how he thought he would be viewed compared to Ruth when he leaves the game Barry gave some words but ended with, "don't forget I'm black and Ruth was white. Many times he has brought skin color into his statements over the years.

  2. #77
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    An article from the Sporting News. March 10th, 1938
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  3. #78
    Quote Originally Posted by Ubiquitous View Post
    Except if you read the articles of the time the ball was not changed. The leagues stated publicly that the ball was not altered. Studies came out that stated the ball was not changed. So if indeed the ball was changed they either knew and lied or found out and covered it up.


    For me though the funny thing is that we sit here and discount what players did today based on balls, bats, stadiums, healthcare, etc, etc. But look at what I just quoted. You don't think people were doing the same thing in 1921? You honestly think "traditionalist" baseball fans saw the changes that took place in the early 20's as needed and beneficial?

    Basically no one point in baseball is the true moment, the real moment when everything was authentic. There is no one era in baseball where one can point at and base everything else on how it compares to that one moment. There is no golden moment, there is opinions and choices but no Holy Grail.
    I would say and I have read that the new brand of baseball that came on to the scene in the early 20's in some minds was not needed or beneficial. In fact it was looked upon with disdain by many. The fans loved it just as many of todays fans loved the surge that took place in the early 1990's.

    I gave some reasons, some changes as to why it took place, in reply to a post that asked why we didn't look down on that change as some did the change in recent years. That was long ago and perhaps that makes no difference, the change then and the change now. It's possible had I been around at that time, had some of us been living in that time we may have reacted the same as some did in recent years.

    No way to tell what my reaction would have been had I lived back in that time.

  4. #79
    Quote Originally Posted by Ubiquitous View Post
    Except if you read the articles of the time the ball was not changed. The leagues stated publicly that the ball was not altered. Studies came out that stated the ball was not changed. So if indeed the ball was changed they either knew and lied or found out and covered it up.
    All of that could be true. Different stories from MLB. A better grade of yarn was now available (1919) and improvements in the manufacture of the ball. This is old stuff, for sure you and most on this board have heard this one. Maybe some new posters have not.

    Hard to believe anything MLB ever said about the ball in the long history of the game. Would they admit they changed the ball, I doubt it in all cases but one time they did reveal a change in the ball.

    In the NL winter meeting in 1929 the owners did decide to go to a different ball for the 1930 season. Lower seams, thinner cover and the NL exploded that season. Right from the start pitchers complaining about the lower seams and the thinner tighter cover, harder to grip and harder to get "stuff' on the ball. This was also the same complaints a number of pitchers made in the 1990's.

    One look at the NL league batting average and total home runs in 1930 and 1931 tells the story. In 1931 the owners went back to the old ball and the NL came back to the real world.

    The owners knew it then and they know it now, chicks are not the only ones that dig the long ball. It's a game but as we know it's also a busine$$.
    Last edited by Bill Burgess; 07-23-2007 at 05:38 AM.

  5. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by JRB View Post
    As far as Babe Ruth is concerned, he didn't need any of those changes. He was alread head and shoulders above the other hitters in the league, and he would have continued to dominate without any changes. I think an interesting question is how many home runs in one season do you think Ruth would have eventually hit with the dead ball (he had just hit 29 in a partial season). Would he have eventually set the record at around 40, 45, or 50?

    c JRB
    Babe Ruth never played a major league game with a dead ball. Now having said that I will say that he most certainly did play with scuffed balls, beat up balls, discolored balls, lopsided balls, and pretty much anything else one can do to the ball due to wear and tear or on purpose.

    The "new" ball, the "live" ball that would fuel the boom of the 1920's was introduced in 1910 and it had an amazing effect on the game. So much so that the leagues allowed players to "cheat" and made it allowable for a pitcher to basically do anything they wanted to a baseball in order to get around the live ball.

    At best we can say that post war machinery improved thus the consistency of the ball improved, but the ball and its characteristics were created and introduced into the league in 1910. What we saw post WWI is what replacing baseballs and not allowing pitchers to alter the ball will do to the 1910 ball.
    Last edited by Ubiquitous; 07-22-2007 at 10:01 PM.

  6. #81
    Quote Originally Posted by Ubiquitous View Post
    Babe Ruth never played a major league game with a dead ball. Now having said that I will say that he most certainly did play with scuffed balls, beat up balls, discolored balls, lopsided balls, and pretty much anything else one can do to the ball due to wear and tear or on purpose.

    The "new" ball, the "live" ball that would fuel the boom of the 1920's was introduced in 1910 and it had an amazing effect on the game. So much so that the leagues allowed players to "cheat" and made it allowable for a pitcher to basically do anything they wanted to a baseball in order to get around the live ball.

    At best we can say that post war machinery improved thus the consistency of the ball improved, but the ball and its characteristics were created and introduced into the league in 1910. What we saw post WWI is what replacing baseballs and not allowing pitchers to alter the ball will do to the 1910 ball.
    Ubi: I disagree with your characterization, which seems like semantical gamesmanship.

    It is well known that changes were made to the ball that was introduced into the AL early in the 1920 season and to the NL in late season. Australian yarn was used and wound tighter so that the ball's bounce and hardness substanially increased.

    The so-called 1910 ball to which you refer reflects the date MLB officially approved the use of a cork centered ball (which incidently had been used even before 1910). That ball was considered much more lively however it was surely trumped by the later ball. I think it is generally accepted that the "deadball" era lasted until or through 1920, and thereafter the "liveball" era began. Babe Ruth's home run hitting accomplishment in 1919 was remarkable whether you call the ball he used a "dead ball" or simply a "deader ball" (than the one subsequently used).

    c JRB

  7. #82
    One thing is sure: the ball Ruth was hitting over 500' was a much, much, much deader ball than the ones used today. No one could hit one as far as he did in his day, nor can they hit one as far today. That's how amazingly powerful he was as a hitter. Today, he'd be bashing them out of stadiums with even greater frequency.

    Perhaps the chart below will help with the analysis. Ruth was clearly in his own league.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by TRfromBR; 07-23-2007 at 02:25 AM.

  8. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by JRB View Post
    It is well known that changes were made to the ball that was introduced into the AL early in the 1920 season and to the NL in late season. Australian yarn was used and wound tighter so that the ball's bounce and hardness substanially increased.
    It is well known? Okay show me where the proof is that a new ball was introduced in 1920.

  9. #84
    Quote Originally Posted by Ubiquitous View Post
    It is well known? Okay show me where the proof is that a new ball was introduced in 1920.
    Ubi: You crack me up. You mean you've never heard or read about the changes made to the ball around that time? Surely you're only feigning ignorance. However, I'll play along for now.

    It's been discussed in numerous articles and books for many decades. Since we've been discussing Ruth let me refer you to one of his biographers, Marshall Smelser. On pages 188-89 Smelzer writes:

    "During the First World War the Bureau of Standards studied baseballs to set rules for their purchase by the armed forces. The services bought the kind which was made to last the longest. This study of the ball would not make it lively, but for the first time the makers had all the facts they needed to make a ball with predictable performance. The makers' story is that in 1919 they got better machinery for winding yarn, and a better grade of Australian wool yarn. The new machines wound the new yarn more tightly and the ball bounded further off the bat. The makers may have been honestly ignorant of a difference for a year or so."

    Smelzer also relates that Earnshaw Cook (author of Percentage Baseball) is convinced that the 1920 ball was 16% more resilient than earlier balls.

    c JRB

  10. #85
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    Every single change to the ball in those had been made public. Yet nothing was written about the "new" ball of 1920. In 1910 they put out ads stating they had a new ball. In 1925 they put out ads saying they had a new ball.
    They tested balls from 1914, 1923, and 1925 and concluded that the elasticity was "practically the same". William Curran who wrote Big Sticks writes that no change occurred for the 1920 ball. All throughout the 20's people were looking at the ball and they could find no differences.



    Here is what the Bureau of Standards had to say about the balls in August of 1920 Notice how they say no changes?


  11. #86
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    I've said this before but take a look at the offensive levels of 1911 and 1912, and for the NL 1910. Then think about what hitters were up against in 1911 and 1912. Even though they had new balls they were not replaced at anything close to the frequency of replacement in say 1921 or so. Pitchers were allowed to scuff, shine, spit on, and do whatever else they wanted to a ball and yet despite all of that offensive levels were similar to what was put up in the early 1920's.

  12. #87
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ubiquitous View Post
    How come basically two guys on drugs are the only ones who can hit 450 ft+ homers?
    Are you joking? Can you get a list of the "reported" distances on some homers over the past decade or so? There have been many balls that went 470+, including at least a few hit by easy swinging Miguel Cabrera. Let's not be naive and think baseball can't adjust this game like a puppet on a string. Did you read this from Popular Mechanics?

    "But while all balls were in MLB spec as far was weight (5 to 5.25 ounces) and COR, balls at the lightest and liveliest end of the tolerance specs, compared to balls at the heaviest and deadest end of the tolerances, would typically travel 49.1 ft. farther than the heavier ball, on a 400 foot hit. That's a 10 percent performance difference within MLB's own specs and could mean the difference between a lazy fly ball and a home run."
    "Everyone left here, but I remain at my post, documenting my sports writers and photos. I don't do Ty Cobb anymore. I did for him everything I could do. Work will live on. Personalities will fade.

    Fever members come and go. Not relevant. Your documentations will live FOREVER, my brother. That outweighs all the Fever jack-asses. Ignore what you must, document all you can."
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  13. #88
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    You mean the popular mechanics article in which the very next line is:
    So while the "scientists" on the field say the difference in balls is wide and significant, the scientists in the lab conclude that the old and new balls are virtually identical.
    With the "scientist" on the field being a pitcher.

    Two things I would like to know which Popular Mechanics never got into. A)how many balls are at the extreme ends? What is the variation on balls? Is it that .5% of balls are at the extreme while 95% of balls are within very slight differences? They don't tell us any of that. If you think the ball is inconsistent now then what do you think was going on 88 years ago? B)What in the world does this sentence mean anyway, "would typically travel 49.1 ft. farther than the heavier ball, on a 400-ft. hit."? ARe they saying one would go 400 feet and the other 449 feet? Are they saing one would go 400 feet and the other 351 feet? Are they saying that they average ball would have gone 400 feet but one ball goes 424 feet and the other goes 375 feet? I'm willing to bet it is the last option and I'm willing to bet that they chose to show the extremes to make the bigger splash. It doesn't sound as nice or as dramatic to say that the high extreme and the low extreme can deviate from the norm by 5%.

  14. #89
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    By the way for anyone interested in the science of bats you should check out the Baseball Research Center website. They are the place that did the testing for the PM article and for MLB in 2000. Unfortunately for us the center is a bat testing center so all the articles are on bats but they do have this blurb:
    In 2000, the Baseball Research Center helped MLB resolve the “juiced-ball controversy.” A record number of home runs were being hit and the media and fans were poised to blame changes in the baseball. The Baseball Research Center performed a number of tests for MLB and proved that the 2000 baseball was within MLB specifications.
    They also have a nice article on the impact of temperature on baseballs. note the differences are not that great .
    Last edited by Ubiquitous; 07-24-2007 at 10:17 PM.

  15. #90
    The University of Rhode Island Forensic Science Partnership's study of the comparative liveliness of Major League balls - 1995 & 2000 versus those from the 1960's and '70s - has scientifically confirmed that the modern ball has been far more lively - occasionally up to 33% bouncier! Moreover, it's findings raised very serious questions about the integrity of both the MLB and Rawlings with respect to their claims concerning the manufacture, specifications, and performance of MLB balls. They found that the balls were not manufactured according to published claims, leading to exceptionally lively balls.

    The Baseball Research Institute, which was founded on $400,000 of funds provided by the MLB and Rawlings, did issue an MLB/Rawlings report in the same Year 2000 timeframe, but that report has been thoroughly discredited by the more independent, more thorough, and more scientifically accurate URI study.

    An objective review of all scientific testing and data available makes it indisputably clear that the 1995 & 2000 balls manufactured by Rawlings were far more lively than the Spalding balls of the 1960's and '70s, and that Rawlings' and MLB's public descriptions of ball manufacture and performance specifications were inaccurate, leading the public to underestimate the greatly increased liveliness of the new age ball.

    The URI findings are fully consistent with, and backed up by, overwhelming anecdotal evidence provided by many expert witnesses who have played and closely observed the game since the '50's and '60s.

    Based on these facts, it's unmistakable that balls of the last decade have been exceptionally lively, thereby contributing to the explosion of offense we have witnessed. Since the URI study, the MLB may have taken some action to tweak back some of this increased liveliness.

    Brown University contributed to the URI study with spectrographic analysis tests that proved the MLB & Rawlings were using different and far more lively [rubberized] materials than they publicly claimed. It has also been found that the new method of stitching and the increased tightness of the outer surface impairs pitching and therefore increases batting performance.

    These far more livelier balls would have obviously increased Ruth's home run performance. These tests also serve to confirm the surreptitious nature of the MLB's methods and means of deluding fans into accepting the contrived offensive explosion that is modern baseball.


    Last edited by TRfromBR; 07-25-2007 at 09:19 AM.

  16. #91
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    I take it you actually read what URI did right?

    You do realize that they tested exactly one ball from 1963, 1970, 1989, 1995, and 2000 and all of these balls were obtained through a radio call in show from people who were willing to donate a ball? So right off the bat the scientific value is dubious. You have an extremely small sample size and you don't even have controlled environment. You have no idea what was done to these balls over the years, how they were stored, where they were stored, or if they are really truly from those years. They didn't scientifically confirm anything. They didn't find that they were not being made to spec and therefore got exceptionally live balls. What they found was artificial fibers which they themselves had no real idea what it would do but they thought that maybe it would lead to livelier balls, but in truth they don't know what it will do.

    By the way here is what Hilliard said about his own URI tests:
    It's very hard to control for age. Without more tests, we can't say anything conclusive.
    Here is what Linda Welters said about the synthetic fibers which she tested for (which as it turned out they had only completed the test on the 2000 ball and had no results on the 1989 or 1995 ball, but did find that the 1977 ball had synthetic fibers in it)
    The synthetic fibers may not be uniformly distributed in the winding, so we'll need more tests before we can say anything conclusive."
    Here is what Paul Dubin says, the supplier of wool:
    Paul Dubin strenuously disagrees. He says his company tests the yarn every day to ensure that it is within Major League guidelines.
    Now obviously Mr. Dubin could very well be lying afterall who is going to say they are not doing what they are supposed to be doing?
    Last edited by Ubiquitous; 07-25-2007 at 10:28 AM.

  17. #92
    Quote Originally Posted by Ubiquitous View Post
    I take it you actually read what URI did right?

    You do realize that they tested exactly one ball from 1963, 1970, 1989, 1995, and 2000 and all of these balls were obtained through a radio call in show from people who were willing to donate a ball? So right off the bat the scientific value is dubious. You have an extremely small sample size and you don't even have controlled environment. You have no idea what was done to these balls over the years, how they were stored, where they were stored, or if they are really truly from those years. They didn't scientifically confirm anything. They didn't find that they were not being made to spec and therefore got exceptionally live balls. What they found was artificial fibers which they themselves had no real idea what it would do but they thought that maybe it would lead to livelier balls, but in truth they don't know what it will do.

    Ubi; I haven't read the University study which you and TR have been discussing. My comments are directed to the logic of some of the assertions you are making in your attack upon the study.

    First, if the study was done unprofessionally or haphazardly as your comments seem to be suggesting then its results will not carry much weight in the court of public opinion.

    It seems that one of your foremost criiticisms 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?

    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.

    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 viturally 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.

    c JRB

  18. #93
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    Quote Originally Posted by JRB View Post
    First, if the study was done unprofessionally or haphazardly as your comments seem to be suggesting then its results will not carry much weight in the court of public opinion.
    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.

    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?
    Again you are missing the point. I can't speak for Ubiq but my understanding of his point is that:

    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.

    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.
    It's not a question of the fan's ethics or agenda but how the balls were stored.

    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.
    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.

    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

  19. #94
    Quote Originally Posted by Honus Wagner Rules View Post


    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.

    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.
    No, as I stated in my previous post as long as you have the same batters, and the same pitchers, and are playing in the same ballparks, when there is a sudden and massive increase in home runs by these same batters batting against the same pitchers in the the same parks as happened in the AL in 1996 then simple logic dictates that it is due to alterations of the bat and/or baseball, and if the bats haven't changed then is must surely be the baseball. It is a matter of common sense that the baseballs had been altered, the only question that might possibly be answered by testing is to determine the precise extent of the alteration and the means by which it was carried out.

    If home runs go down dramatically the year following a season in which home runs rose dramatically it likely only means that the baseball was again tweaked prior to the next season.

    c JRB

  20. #95
    One of the major difficulties in reaching any decision on the exact specifications and performance of baseballs has been the MLB's record of secrecy and deceit. I am certainly open to considering any scientific studies, but the citation above to the Baseball Research Institute contained absolutely no scientific data that I could find, and its conclusions are inconsistent with the opinions of ballplayers and other hands-on experts who regularly comment on the balls batting-enhanced characteristics. Also of grave concern is that the Baseball Research Institute was founded on funds from the MLB and Rawlings, and conducted the referenced tests at their behest.

    The URI Forensic Sciences Study (in association with Brown) was indeed very scientific. Moreover, they published their methodologies, findings, and conclusions. And, in true scientific form, they acknowledged the limits of their testing methodolgies. They did not hide anything, as have the MLB, Rawlings, and the BRI. This demonstrates more scientific integrity and reliability.

    The URI findings are indeed scientific, and more in comport with experiential evidence. I can't understand why someone would so easily accept an MLB/Rawlings sponsored test as superior to the URI study, when its the MLB and Rawlings themselves that are the parties suspected of deceiving the public - especially when their findings are so obviously in conflict with what others are observing.

    If anyone, including Ubi, has access to any published scientific studies on the MLB balls, please direct me to them. If anyone, including Ubi, has read their reports, but cannot cite or post them, please summarize the methodologies and findings.

    So far, from what I've seen, the URI findings and conclusions are of far greater accuracy and integrity. But I'm willing to read whatever's available.

    As with the steroid issue, the MLB has little if any credibility when it comes to their denying contrived factors behind the offensive explosion of the '90s forward. Believing them, or Rrawlings, would be like believing (Big Tobacco's)Tobacco Research Institute's claims about how harmless cigarette's are.

    I can't understand how anyone could so totally dismiss a scientific study like the URI's, and simultaneously give credence to (and disseminate) totally unsubstantiated rumors that Babe Ruth used farm animal semen to boost his home run production. Something very odd about that.

    This is also similar to false claims that steroids in Baseball were not a known problem in the early '90s, when indeed they were. The MLB has obviously been engaged in fraud and deception order to hide from the public the true reasons for the home run bonanzas of recent years - from Canseco to Bonds.

    Below is a current ball, signed by Mr. Credibility.

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    Last edited by TRfromBR; 07-25-2007 at 01:09 PM.

  21. #96
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    Quote Originally Posted by JRB View Post
    No, as I stated in my previous post as long as you have the same batters, and the same pitchers, and are playing in the same ballparks, when there is a sudden and massive increase in home runs by these same batters batting against the same pitchers in the the same parks as happened in the AL in 1996 then simple logic dictates that it is due to alterations of the bat and/or baseball, and if the bats haven't changed then is must surely be the baseball. It is a matter of common sense that the baseballs had been altered, the only question that might possibly be answered by testing is to determine the precise extent of the alteration and the means by which it was carried out.

    If home runs go down dramatically the year following a season in which home runs rose dramatically it likely only means that the baseball was again tweaked prior to the next season.

    c JRB
    Pleese don't speak in absolutes as if your statements are logical tautologies. They are not. These are the things that are in dispute. Plus you are employing circular logic. We are trying to determine why HRs have gone up dramatically. One possible answer is that the balls have been changed. Then you assert the balls have been changed and we know this because of the increase in HRs. Do you see the problem with this line of thinking?
    Last edited by Honus Wagner Rules; 07-25-2007 at 11:44 PM.
    Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis

  22. #97
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    So apparently the ball was changed in the AL and only in the AL in 1996? That is the damning proof? The NL from 1994 to 1998 stayed pretty constant with their homer rate at about .96.

    The AL actually shot up in 1994 and stayed high with a peak in 1996 that the AL didn't approach again until 2000. Peaks are nothing unusual in and of themselves. So what happened in 1994? Well Cleveland Stadium got replaced with Jacobs Field, Camden was in its second year, and Texas moved into their new stadium. Do three new stadiums explain it all? Of course not but it isn't as simple as saying the only things that matter is bat and ball. You had expansion the year before, new stadiums built, and a newer group of players playing. Does all of that explain it all? Of course not again. But my point is that there is more to it then bat and ball. We haven't done enough yet to simply reduce the equation to bat or ball.

    HWR pretty much summed up my view on the baseballs. For TR I will say that the BRI tested over 150 baseballs, URI tested 5 balls and had absolutely nothing convincing to say. They said a 5 month old ball is livelier then a 40 year old ball stored god knows how. Well I honestly don't need a scientist to tell me that. The data and the numbers provided don't mean a thing, they are false numbers. It reminds me of the old Greek experiment in which they stored meat in a sealed container and when they saw flies buzzing about after a couple of days they pronounced that flies spontaneously produce from spoiled beef. The proof? Why just look in the container, see the flies, isn't that proof enough?

    I'm pretty much have no doubt that balls have gotten consistently better over the years. I bet the +/- on balls is much much smaller now then it was 30 years ago or 40 years ago or 50 years ago. I am pretty sure that balls fly farther now then then.

  23. #98
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    6 km from Comerica Park
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    (AP) Scientists prove that bread is better today than in the 1920's.

    In an investigation of a common loaf of bread, scientists at Doofusville College have found that the modern loaf is denser and softer than a loaf of bread baked in 1924.

    Mass-spectrometer analysis showed that the modern loaf of bread contained approximately 25% water, while the 83 year old loaf had virtually no water at all in it. Furthermore, resiilience tests on the old bread found it to be "hard and inflexible, and very easy to break".

    The 1924 loaf was discovered stored in an abandoned icebox in a Chicago apartment formerly used by gambler Arnold Rothstein. It stayed immune to rodent and insect infestations due to the sealed cover of the icebox.

    "It's hard to figure out how those guys back in the 20's ate this stuff." said Dr. N.O. Control of Doofusville U. "It was hard as a rock. Those people must have had terrifically strong teeth. It's a sign of the degeneracy of modern youth that we can't eat bread like this any more."


    The moral of the story, of course, is that baseballs are made of leather, yarn and cork. All of these substances are organic, contain water, and will lose mass, resiliency, and elasticity as they age. An old, unused baseball will always act "dead" compared to a newer one.

    Any other ideas of a secret conspiracy to change baseballs in 1920 or 1987 or 1996 should be sent to the Conspiracy Investigations Office, Roswell, NM.

  24. #99
    Well, now it's perfectly clear to me why you completely missed the steroid scandal in Baseball from the late '80's on, Ubi. And why you are able to completely disregard scientific tests that disprove your inaccurate theories, yet disseminate totally false and unsupported rumors about Babe Ruth using steroids.

    And Gee Walker, perhaps the modern brain is denser than the ones from 1924, too. For you not to recognize that the MLB has indeed been engaged surreptitiously in boosting home run production is more amazing than the Roswell rubber alien. And the Owners have made a lot of bread. Perhaps you, too, failed to see the steroid scandal.

  25. #100
    Quote Originally Posted by Gee Walker View Post
    (AP) Scientists prove that bread is better today than in the 1920's.



    Any other ideas of a secret conspiracy to change baseballs in 1920 or 1987 or 1996 should be sent to the Conspiracy Investigations Office, Roswell, NM.
    Ah, you are so witty and brilliant. Of course anyone that doesn't think in lock step with your group must be delusional

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