Baseball takes steps to avoid its own messy #DeflateGate

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Obviously there’s no air in theirs, but Major League Baseball is trying to make the handling of their balls a little more airtight.

According to the Associated Press, MLB has added layers of security for their game balls this year in the wake of the #DeflateGate flap that cost Patriots quarterback Tom Brady the first four games of the year.

This season, an MLB representative eyeballs the balls while a clubhouse attendant carries them from the umpires room to the field (presumably with no pit stops). And if they run low during a game, an MLB security representative is sent to get more from the umpires room, something team ball boys did in the past.

We can’t deflate ’em,” Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia said. “It’s precautionary, I guess.”

The league said some of the the changes were discussed at last December’s winter meetings, before Brady was found “more probable than not” of tampering with balls in the AFC Championship Game. But MLB said they were aware of the Patriots situation when putting new rules into effect, which include storage (around 70 degrees, about 50 percent humidity) and chain of command.

Of course, MLB looks like the proactive one here, as many of the problems the NFL is dealing with now might have been avoided with the addition of one league staffer — a ball steward who takes footballs from the two teams and holds them for officials after pregame checks.

It’s an easy fix, and a position that ought to have been created already.

45 responses to “Baseball takes steps to avoid its own messy #DeflateGate

  1. Baseball is a joke….Bud Selig ruined the game. They’ll do anything to try to spin some positive PR

  2. The NFL can’t afford that! An extra employee, are you kidding, the NFL is there to make money not create welfare jobs.

  3. I miss the days of the uniform police, where the biggest revelation/fine to come from a game was a guy wearing his socks too high.

    This is all so ridiculous.

  4. Here’s some truth for ya:

    “the Patriots provided substantial cooperation throughout the investigation” appears in Wells’ report. Page 23, if you’re interested.

    The Patriots did cooperate. They turned over text message records of employees, security tapes, secured interviews with dozens of their employees. “The failure to cooperate” is the NFL’s pandering at its worst. The “failure to cooperate” is this: The Patriots say McNally was made available for four interviews but the investigators were turned down when a fifth interview was requested. Brady met with investigators, answered all their questions, but refused to provide text messages and emails. That’s it. That’s the extent of “failure to cooperate.” There are no other examples of any lack of Patriots cooperation in the report.

  5. What they should do is have 3 or 4 official balls…that are for both teams to use. Stop with each team bringing their own special balls.

  6. But the NFL, a billion dollar organization, couldn’t come up with the money to have some sort of ball steward? Or are they so inept that they couldn’t have one or a couple of them at each game? There would be no less than 16 working each week. Are they that ignorant not to have thought of doing it, or is there another reason? A reason that the NFL doesn’t want anyone to know about?? Sounds like a conspiracy, I will give you that, but the NFL totally messed up things with the DeflateGate scandal. No matter which side of the fence you were on the DefateGate stuff, the NFL front office compromised the the “integrity” of the sport more than Brady and the Patriots ever could. I am neutral when it comes to the Patriots, but still, I thought Brady was guilty. That doesn’t bother me nearly as much. The NFL front office was actually the guilty party here with how they handled it.

  7. Or just have the refs handle the balls before every play to ensure nothing seems wrong with them. There’s no way they could let a team use them for half a game and then suddenly claim they’d been tampered with even though the refs didn’t record the inflation levels or even remember which pressure gauge they used. That would com across as either incompetent or stupid, and the NFL is neither.

  8. This is likely overkill. Their are no teams with a precedent of being above the law like the Patriots in the NFL. Cheaters can win in the NFL.

  9. MLB isn’t rampant with low life rats like the NFL. 162 games a year complete with the guys you mostly trust breeds a loyalty and respect most NFLr’s, coach and player, will never know. NFL just further damaged it’s brand by criminalizing a great athlete and outstanding member of culture and society, a family man. MLB suits should stay well away from the misguided and toxic sub culture that is NFL.

  10. Kudos to MLB for understanding that by protecting the INTEGRITY of the game, they also protect the POPULARITY of the game.

    The biggest failing in the deflategate controversy is that the league went for popularity when they loosened the rules for teams to “condition” the game balls as they saw fit.

    That “anything for ratings” vibe from the league office, coupled with lack of oversight on game ball conformance is what led to this mess.

    The harsh penalty is simply damage control, as the league tries to deflect attention from the root cause of the problem – leaving decisions about what’s “fair” to the individual QBs.

  11. At long last … something positive has come out of this deflategate circus.

  12. Its incorrect to say there is no air in baseballs. There is, in between the components of the ball, just not pressurized above normal atmospheric pressure.

  13. Have neither team supply footballs for a game. The league brings twenty four brand new footballs to each game, properly inflated, no scuff marks, no stickum, nothing, just brand new regulation footballs.

  14. “snowdood163 says:
    May 12, 2015 8:45 AM
    Rog doesn’t believe in simple fixes, he’s a lawyer.”

    Actually, Goodell is not a lawyer. He’s famous for rising from college graduation, to an internship with the NFL and Pete Rozelle, all the way to the commissioner’s job {other than his time with the Jets}. Perhaps things might be a bit smoother if he was a lawyer, was trained to think like one, etc. Troy Vincent is hardly a brain trust, let alone a lawyer. THis guys are over their tips. Not good for the NFL.

    Hopefully MLB puts some simple steps in place to eliminate any needless noise over the integrity of their balls….Such a waste of time, money and energy.

    Goodell…..$40Mil a year. Realllllly??

  15. ‘I wonder if they doctor basketballs or hockey pucks… lmao’

    Baseballs can indeed be altered by knicking the cover,it gives the ball a different reaction when thrown at high velocity,pitchers used to do that alot.

  16. nolongerwatchingthenfl says:
    May 12, 2015 9:43 AM

    Now if only baseball could actually reduce the playing time down 2 under 2 hours, maybe doubleheaders will come back

    What you don’t like spending 8 hours at the ballpark 😉

  17. Basketballs can be under inflated but why do it as the players hands these days are so large they grip it like baseballs anyway.

  18. A sure sign of Goodell’s incompetence is that MLB now looks like the proactive organization. of course, that also could be because Selig is retired.

  19. The Rockies have owned last place ever since the umpires and the league have controlled their humidor. Not many 8th and 9th inning miracle comebacks since the Rockies lost control.

  20. @danielwonderful2015 says:

    Have neither team supply footballs for a game. The league brings twenty four brand new footballs to each game, properly inflated, no scuff marks, no stickum, nothing, just brand new regulation footballs.

    I’m sorry Dan, it makes too much sense and we all know the NFL doesn’t like making sense.

  21. $20 bucks an hour? Give me free tickets behind home plate and I’ll do it for free.

    Still isn’t going to stop Kenny Rogers or Michael Pineda from using pine tar or Mike Scott from scuffing.

  22. ‘I wonder if they doctor basketballs or hockey pucks… lmao’

    Baseballs can indeed be altered by knicking the cover,it gives the ball a different reaction when thrown at high velocity,pitchers used to do that alot.
    Biscuits can also can be tampered with. NHL freezes them before the game which causes them to travel smoother and faster. You’d want to play a good possession, low turnover team with a warm puck and make things more difficult.

  23. Baseball, for perhaps the first 50-60 years or so of its existence, was all about doctoring the baseball. Entire eras. Way before spitballs and Vaseline, pitchers would literally cover the entire ball in dirt making it incredibly difficult to see. There are many Hall of Famers from this era. Again like I’ve said before, as a former QB, this deflate deal envokes zero emotion in me whatsoever. The real scandal will be HGH and steroids, look what happened in baseball, absolute holy records were tarnished forever by what is now known as “The Steroid Era”. WHEN it happens on NFL, it will be the greatest scandal in sporting history…. Roidgate>Bountygate>……>Deflategate.

  24. NHL Rule 13.2 states: The home team shall be responsible for providing an adequate supply of official pucks which shall be kept in a frozen condition. This supply of pucks shall be kept at the penalty bench under the control of one of the regular off-ice Officials or a special attendant.

  25. neutronjimmy123 says:
    May 12, 2015 9:07 AM
    I wonder if they doctor basketballs or hockey pucks… lmao

    Even if they are both teams are playing with the same one. In the NFL each team uses their own doctored football to their own QB/Kicker’s liking.

  26. This is exactly the same as the Pine Tar issue that some pitchers have been caught with. Doctoring a ball for better grip. It’s illegal, it’s punished with a suspension (although not nearly the percentage of suspension that Brady just got), and it’s forgotten. No one acts like the game is dying over it, and the media moves on. Michael Pineda is dominating right now, no one cares about his pine tar past. The same should be with Brady but football fans are insanely emotional and completely unreasonable.

  27. My question would be more about what baseball does to examine bats that are used by the players?

    Guys have corked before– What really prevents them from doing it?… Do umpires inspect them? Does Major League Baseball monitor it?

  28. Um, you don’t have Goodell running the show. No worries on an issue being completely botched and mishandled.

    Only Goodell could make Selig look competent by comparison.

  29. Better idea. The balls go straight from that little factory in Kentucky straight to the field and we never have to hear about bent needles, or deflators, or ideal gas again.

  30. The MLB replaces the ball seemingly every time it touches the ground. The NHL replaces the puck after every 2 minutes of game play.

    NFL should also be constantly swapping out footballs for fresh ones at the refs discretion.

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