Let me first start by saying that the city of Cleveland did a phenomenal job with all the All-Star festivities. E
It was incredible marketing for not only the city of Cleveland but also for the sport of baseball, especially the show Vladamir Guerrero Jr. put on during Monday’s home run derby.
However, Justin Verlander the American League starting pitcher for the 90th All Star game caused quite the stir with his comments regarding suspected physical changes made to the baseball this year.
While Verlander is not the only current or former player that feels that the balls are “juiced” he is one of the first active players to speak out about it. This came just hours after MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred admitted that the balls this year have less drag.
Manfred refuses to admit however, that Major League Baseball has any part in intentionally “juicing” the balls. Moreover, he clearly wasn’t happy with Verlander’s comments insinuating that the offense explosion this season is a result of tampering with the balls on behalf of the league.
According to a report on nj.com “According to The Athletic’s Jayson Stark, Joe Torre, Jim Leyland and at least one other MLB official met with Verlander on Monday afternoon in the wake of his comments.”
This lead to a seemingly modest take by Verlander when during Tuesday’s All-Star game Ken Rosenthal asked him about his previous comments. If MLB officials did meet with Verlander and ask him to tone down his comments it could be dangerous for the future of the sport.
With the current CBA (collective bargaining agreement) set to expire in 2021 and tensions between the players and owners seemingly ready to boil over, events like this could lead to another lockout and/or strike.
As a baseball fan I certainly do not want to see a repeat of any of the previous lockouts and especially not while there is all this good young talent in the game just waiting to be showcased. And so, I would encourage Commissioner Manfred, the players union, and the owners to use this incident to move forward and not backwards in terms of communication and to prevent a future lockout.