July 10, 2019
First, there was “Deflate-gate,” in January 2015, when New England Patriots quarterberback Tom Brady was accused of asking aides to under-inflate footballs during the team’s win over the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC Championship game. A deflated ball could be easier to grip in bad weather, such as in the heavy rain at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts, on the game day in question.
Verlander made the claim during an interview with ESPN. He surmised that baseballs have been “juiced” or altered because they are manufactured by an MLB-owned company.
“It’s a f—ing joke. Major League Baseball’s turning this game into a joke. They own [baseball gear manufacturer] Rawlings, and you’ve got [MLB Commissioner Rob] Manfred up here saying it might be the way they center the pill. They own the f—ing company,” Verlander said.
“We all know what happened,” he added, noting, “ Manfred, the first time he came in, what’d he say? He said ‘we want more offense.’ All of a sudden he comes in, the balls are juiced? It’s not coincidence. We’re not idiots.”
But, Fox pointed out, as reported by Deadspin, a spike in home runs has been observed for at least two years—and MLB purchased Rawlings last summer.
Recent changes in baseballs have made the the pitches more aerodynamic—so they produce less drag in flight but are not necessarily “juiced” to increase home runs as Verlander has claimed, the report said.
MLB did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.
Research contact: @FoxNews