MLB Roundtable: Are juiced baseballs the league's future?

Mark Townsend
·Yahoo Sports Contributor

The baseballs are different this season.

That much everyone, from MLB commissioner Rob Manfred, to Rawlings Sporting Goods, the league's longtime baseball manufacturer, can agree on.

But are these "juiced" baseballs good for the game? Have they changed the standards too much? Is there any going back? Those are the questions that have gained momentum and sparked new debate this week as MLB's All-Stars gathered in Cleveland.

They’re also the questions Yahoo Sports' Hannah Keyser and Tim Brown unravel and dissect in their All-Star Roundtable.

The juiced ball topic is one that’s dominated headlines all season. MLB players have hit 3,691 home runs through the first half of the 2019 season and are on pace to hit 6,669 home runs for the full year. That would crush the existing record of 6,105 home runs during the 2017 season.

Houston Astros right-hander Justin Verlander has allowed 26 of those home runs. That leads MLB and is only four off his career high. He was also the American League’s starting pitcher in Tuesday’s All-Star Game.

Verlander, like most pitchers, can feel the difference and is demanding answers that MLB commissioner Rob Manfred doesn’t have, or simply isn’t willing to give.

Our All-Star crew breaks down the wide range of circumstances surrounding MLB juiced balls, including the league’s transparency and the possibility that what’s happening to the baseball is beyond the league’s control.

It’s a fascinating discussion that offers a deeper look into a potentially game-changing development for the league.

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