Rather than bore myself with hard-to-follow stories about seams on baseballs, or how they are made or how much or little drag was on the ball in 2019, I just looked at a few numbers, and they led me to a conclusion.
Major League Baseball officials need to use a baseball in 2020 that leaves the bat and moves more like a baseball than a Titlelist. Yes, it has gotten ridiculous.
Do fans truly like this version of the game? Attendance is down slightly, and many seem to be tiring of a steady stream of homers and strikeouts.
Heading into this year, the 2018 Yankees held the major league record for homers in one year with 267. This year the Twins broke that record. But so did the Yankees, Astros and Dodgers.
Minnesota mashed its way to 307 home runs while New York hit 306, Houston 288 and Los Angeles 279 as they all passed the previous mark.
In 2018 the average runs per game scored by a team was 4.45 and the average for team homers over the year was 186. This year the average marks were 4.83 and 226.
The Orioles, as we all well know, set a major league record by allowing 305 homers, well past the previous mark of 258 set by the 2016 Cincinnati Reds. But three other teams also broke that record, and one tied it. Colorado allowed 270 home runs, followed by the Los Angeles Angels with 267 and Seattle at 260. In allowing 258, Philadelphia tied the previous mark. Three other teams gave up 248 or more.
Then there is this: There were 15 teams this year that either set or tied their season record for homers hit. That is half of the sport setting or tying their previous marks.
Is it clear that they’ve gone too far? Yes, crystal for me. I don’t have the answer except to say MLB has to reign in the homers. There were 6,776 home runs hit during 2019, which was 671 more than the previous high, set in 2017.
The Twins’ record of 307 home runs not only set a major league record but passed the club’s previous mark by a mile. That was 225, set in 1963. The Twins broke that record on Aug. 9 versus Cleveland.
Minnesota’s Nelson Cruz (41), Max Kepler (36), Miguel Sanó (34), Eddie Rosario (32) and Mitch Garver (31) became the first set of five teammates in baseball history to reach the 30-home run plateau. Twins catchers combined for 44 home runs (Garver - 30, Jason Castro - 13, Willians Astudillo - 1), setting a major league record. Cruz and Kepler were one of five sets of teammates with 36 or more homers.
The Twins set the franchise record for runs scored in the 2019 regular season, scoring 939 runs. The previous record was set in 1930, when they were the Washington Senators (892).
Is enough enough?
For me it is. Four teams passed the previous major league record for team homers hit, and four passed the mark for homers allowed, led by the Orioles. There were 15 teams that tied or set team records.
Time for MLB to fix this.