February 11, 2007

MLB Requires Chilly Balls

Major League Baseball is now mandating that all of the teams keep their balls in similar conditions, according to ESPN.com (via):

The commissioner's office is telling teams for the first time that balls must be stored at a uniform temperature after they are delivered from the manufacturer.

“The specifications that Rawlings recommends are a 70 degree temperature and 50 percent humidity,” baseball senior vice president Joe Garagiola Jr. said Friday.

This move is obviously in direct response to the Rockies' practice of storing their balls in a humidor, which appears to have drastically reduced the number of home run balls given up by their ballpark. The humidor controls the humidity of the ball storage conditions.

At the same time, the move is distinctly characteristic of the MLB in that it doesn't actually address the humidity of the storage conditions:

“We have contacted all 30 of the clubs, and they have all confirmed to us that they will all be storing their baseballs in a temperature-controlled facility. We're not going to have humidors everyplace, but every place will be temperature controlled, and so I think there will be a very high degree of uniformity.”

So if we accept that the storage temperature will have any impact at all, the question becomes how will this affect the Reds? I can envision several possibilities:

  • Eric Milton never gives up another homer, prompting headlines such as “Secret to Milton's Success: Cool Balls
  • Adam Dunn never hits another homer, prompting Marty Brennaman's head to actually explode
  • On those hot August days, “The Ball Locker” becomes the coolest place to hang out, despite sounding like a gay bar.

7 comments to “MLB Requires Chilly Balls”

  1. smartelf says:

    That is simply LAME… humidity is by far the more important variable as evidenced by the Rockies reduction in home runs allowed, yet they only specify the temperature. Either all teams should use a humidor at the same setting or none of them, if the commissioner is goig to weigh in on the subject on the behalf of uniformity.

  2. Daedalus says:

    I actually like this, because the Rockies were pretty much cheating. Of course, there weren’t people screaming about this kind of cheating, maybe since God was guiding the Rockies’ hands… 😛

  3. smartelf says:

    BUT nothing is being done to stop the cheating unless they specify a humidity setting for all teams. Otherwise the Rockies can continue to use their own humidity percentage with no uniformity to the rest of the league. Mine as well just soke the balls in a tub of water, it amounts to the same damn thing.

  4. smartelf says:

    sorry, soak not soke… Jeez… we really need an edit option. My fingers are often faster than my brain.

  5. otto says:

    This is as groan-worthy as your “playing with his Wii” joke.

    I love it. 😀

  6. DPardue says:

    The words “Eric Milton” and “balls” should never be used in the same story.

  7. Zeldink says:

    But how about the words [url=http://www.red-hot-mama.com/comments.php?id=375_0_1_0_C]”Eric Milton” and “rubber position”[/url]?