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Nightengale: MLB Tells Players ‘No Evidence’ Ball is Juiced

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Los Angeles Dodgers left fielder Cody Bellinger (35) follows through during the fifth inning against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park. MLB is on track to obliterate the home run record set in 2000, the height of the so-called steroid era. Photo: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Major League Baseball, stung by a rising level of consternation and suspicion regarding the composition of its baseballs, sent a memo to all 30 clubs Saturday detailing the rigorous testing process its balls undergo, and concluding that “there is no evidence that the composition of the ball has changed in any way.”

The memo, obtained by USA TODAY Sports, was sent one day after a story cited 12 players, coaches and managers who strongly believe the baseballs are sailing abnormally off the bat, whether due to a production flaw or other intervention to possibly stimulate home runs.

MLB is on track to obliterate the home run record set in 2000, the height of the so-called steroid era.

The memo, a one-page, 18-point document, notes that balls are tested at the University of Massachusetts-Lowell Baseball Research Center at least three times a year. Those tests measure the ball’s size, weight and COR (bounciness), seam height, circumference and weight.

MLB notes that the average COR measure of balls used this season was 0.555, slightly lower than the 2016 figure, which it did not cite. The higher the COR, the greater the ball’s exit velocity on contact.

The memo’s summary reads: “The baseball in use today tests well within the established guidelines on every key performance metric. Furthermore, there is no evidence that the composition of the ball has changed in any way that would lead to a meaningful impact on on-field play.”

By Bob Nightengale

This article was republished with permission from the original publisher, USA Today. Follow Bob Nightengale on Twitter and Facebook

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