Houston Astros pitcher Justin Verlander slammed Major League Baseball and commissioner Rob Manfred, accusing 'em of using juiced balls to satisfy the commissioner’s desire to see more offense in the game.
Verlander told ESPN,"It's a f---ing joke. Major League Baseball's turning this game into a joke. They own Rawlings, and you've got Manfred up here saying it might be the way they center the pill. They own the f---ing company. If any other $40 billion company bought out a $400 million company and the product changed dramatically, it's not a guess as to what happened. We all know what happened.
“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."
Manfred took over the commissioner’s post from Bud Selig in 2015. One of his first stated priorities was to find ways to “inject additional offense into the game."
And he acknowledges the balls are different.
The commissioner tells ESPN,"We think what's been going on this year is attributable to the baseball.Our scientists that have been now studying the baseball more regularly have told us that this yeart he baseball has a little less drag.
“It doesn't need to change very much in order to produce meaningful change in terms of the way the game is played on the field. We are trying to understand exactly why that happened and build out a manufacturing process that gives us a little more control over what's going on. But you have to remember that our baseball is a handmade product and there's gonna be variation year to year."
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