(WFRV) — This years All-Star game in Cleveland had plenty of great moments, that baseball hadn’t had in recent memory. Young talent in both leagues that shined in so many ways along with a handful of older players who wanted to be sent off into the sunset. Adding to the intrigue, certain guys were wearing a microphone and being interactive with the announcers at a level we haven’t seen before. Hearing players thoughts as they are watching from the outfield, standing at the plate, or calling the shots from the dugout, was a unique way to get inside the game. There is so much downtime in baseball, that it lends itself for a relaxed atmosphere, so why not showcase the players and their other talents and opinions? One of the hot topics coming out of the midsummer classic, is whether or not the baseballs are “juiced.” American League starter Justin Verlander didn’t mince words when he told ESPN on Monday that the balls used in Major League Baseball are “turning this game into a joke. They own Rawlings, and you’ve got Manfred (MLB commissioner) up here saying it might be the way they center the pill.”
Verlander has a point. He’s allowed a major league-high 26 home runs this season and right now the entire league has set the record the first half for homeruns in MLB History at the All-Star break.
When asked if he believed the baseballs were intentionally juiced by the league, Verlander said:
“Yes. 100 percent. They’ve been using juiced balls in the Home Run Derby forever. They know how to do it. It’s not coincidence. I find it really hard to believe that Major League Baseball owns Rawlings and just coincidentally the balls become juiced.”
Last night Brewers outfielder Christian Yelich was asked directly about the use of performance-enhancing drugs. One look at Yelich physically? Nothing about him screams performance-enhancing drugs. He’s a long and lean lefty who flies around the bases. His swing is effortless like a butterfly, but he stings like a bee. And Yelich is so smooth, he completely blew off the question and moved forward.
At this point. 13 teams in the major-league baseball are on pace to break their single-season homerun record. That is almost half of the entire big leagues. We all know of the era with Mark Maguire, Sammy Sosa, and of course Barry Bonds and how they saved the game in many ways with the long ball, but at what cost. Especially to the pitchers.