2019 Twins + Juiced Balls Will Lead to New Era in MLB History OR an Asterisk on This Season

Photo: Jordan Johnson-USA TODAY Sports
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It was one of those moments that you’ll never forget. You remember where you you were and what you were doing. You remember who you were with and what they said when it happened. It’s iconic. It’s the MLB home run record. What is more iconic than that? 

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Or not… I guess. If you break the homerun record and nobody cares… did you really break the homerun record? That’s a question I can’t help but ask myself. If you are old enough to remember Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa gunning for the Single Season HR Record back in 1998 or when Barry Bonds ran McGwire’s record down in 2001, then you should be a little surprised at how little steam the Twins have gotten for demolishing the Single Season Team Homerun Record this season or even the Yankees BARELY surpassing the previous record last year…

 Sure, the Yankees got more run on the topic last season than we did this year, but that’s expected for obvious reasons that we don’t need to go into. Last year though, even for the Yankees, the uproar about breaking a HR record that was held since 1997 (21 years) was pretty damn quiet… and now a year later, as the Twins overshoot the new record by 30+ bombas… the sports world would rather watch the US Open (Tennis not Golf) or talk about European Kickball… than track this record-setting team.

 There is some logic behind this hush-hush nature, though. The biggest problem are these juiced baseballs. Nobody gives a fuck about a HR record when everyone in the MLB might as well be on steroids. Everyone is hitting homeruns and three 2019 teams alone, are going to break the record set last year by the Bronx Bombers…including the 2019 Bronx Bombers (plus the Twins and the Dodgers) These new baseballs are going to change the record books for America’s Pastime forever and I see it happening in one of two ways.

  1. Asterisk on 2019: The MLB goes back to the old baseballs or makes changes to the ball/bat/game that make the ball go over the fence at what was a normal pace before this season, leading to an asterisk next to 2019 as the “juiced baseballs year”.
  2. New Baseball Era: The MLB stays with the current baseballs, they continue to go over the fence at a ridiculous rate for the next handful of years, and you now have to decipher why baseball, up until 2019, hit so few homeruns. The “Live Ball Era” will become the “New Baseball Era” or something wittier than that.

It’s something that is kind of hard to think about when it is happening but we are going to need a way of explaining to our kids and grandkids why the MLB was such a pussy league before 2019 OR why the only power record held by a Minnesota Twins team is shrouded by juiced baseballs…

Either way, I’m sure glad the Twins are a part of the conversation.

Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan

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