Justin Verlander is a paid employee of Major League Baseball and the Houston Astros; that does not mean he should be censored for expressing his opinions regarding his work place environment. And as a future Hall of Fame pitcher, speaking out about how he feels the baseballs being used in the game are different in years past is something he is more qualified to discuss than anyone who works in the Park Avenue offices of Major League Baseball, including Commissioner Rob Manfred.
In the words of Justin Verlander, “Manfred the first time he came in, what’d he say? He said we want more offense. All of a sudden he comes in, the balls are juiced? It’s not coincidence. We’re not idiots.”
— USA TODAY Sports (@usatodaysports) July 8, 2019
Commissioner Manfred is on record telling officials from every Major League team as well as the media on Monday prior to All-Star Home Run Derby that yes, the balls being used in 2019 are different than from several years ago, but no changes in the manufacturing process were made by Rawlings at the request of Major League Baseball. Something Verlander addressed in his original comments Sunday, “It’s a fucking joke. Major League Baseball’s turning this game into a joke. They own Rawlings, and you’ve got Manfred up here saying it might be the way they center the pill. They own the fucking company. If any other $40 billion company bought out a $400 million company and the product changed dramatically, it’s not a guess as to what happened. We all know what happened.”
Major League Baseball either knows what is going on with the baseballs or is the dumbest group of people in the history of both business and sports. Verlander is 100% correct, with MLB’s purchase of Rawlings, not only can the powers that be make changes to how a baseball is made, they don’t need to explain it to anyone. As with any “monkey business” it is not the action that causes the most issues, but the cover-up after the fact; in this case, the cover-up is Rob Manfred sending his lieutenants (former managers Joe Torre and Jim Leyland) and telling Justin Verlander to shut the Hell up about the baseballs.
Rob Manfred on Justin Verlander's comments: "I'm not going to respond specifically. I'm going to stand by what I said. What we need to be on the baseball issue is transparent and forward-looking."
— Chandler Rome (@Chandler_Rome) July 9, 2019
Either players are going to be accused of being back on the juice or Major League Baseball needs to come clean and admit that the baseballs travel further than before, regardless of if they intended them to or not. Otherwise the game’s best pitchers are going to continue to be upset and the game’s best hitters will need to answer questions about what’s in their lockers, what have they changed to become a power hitter and what is so different now from when they were in the minors only hitting five home runs a year.
Keep speaking out Justin Verlander; don’t let Major League Baseball silence you.