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Joe Sheehan Prefers Preserving the Sanctity of Humidors

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"Keep them damn baseballs out of my cigar closet!" he says.

Okay, so he didn't say that, but he did say this:

In the case of the Rockies, they've implemented a solution that has radically changed the way the games are played at home. If the massive effects of the humidor are acceptable to MLB, then I believe it opens the door for teams looking to make less-radical changes. What I'd prefer, though, is for the league to step in and take a stand on how wet is too wet. Well, what I'd prefer is for no tampering with the baseballs at all, but I don't think that will happen.

What I do know is that Jeff Cirillo is right. The baseballs in use at Coors Field have been modified in a way that completely changes the game played there. Where batted balls used to go for hits, extra-base hits and home runs, they now become outs. If you want to give some credit to the Rockies' pitchers, you can, but the primary reason is the humidor. Cirillo's conspiracy theories are wrong--there's no swapping of dry and wet baseballs depending on the Rockies' situation--but he's right to point out what should have been obvious all along.

I won't get into all the numbers that Sheehan uses to prove his point, instead I would suggest subscribing to Baseball Prospectus and reading for yourself, but apparently we've been ratted out. According to the numbers our pitching staff is improved, but it's not that improved, despite the company line that it's due to the enhanced quality of the grass we've been getting as well. Nope, Sheehan smells a soggy rat, and he's not shy in saying so.

I say, well, numbers are one thing, but can you prove that the baseballs are sub-regulation? After all, Ken Macha and the athletics crew collected some during their series, what were the results of those tests? At any rate, until I see some hard evidence of illegal tampering come down, I'll put this up to more whining from fellow 'SC alums. It's not like the Rockies are deriving any sort of significant home field advantage from these baseballs, at the end of the day, two games over at home versus five under on the road is within reason. If you don't believe me check out the NL standings where Cirillo's Milwaukee team, Pittsburgh, Los Angeles, San Fran, Houston, St. Louis and Washington all derive more benefit from their home stadiums than the Rockies. As long as the same baseballs are being used for both the home team and visitors, which apparently they are, and as long as the commissioner isn't coming down on this, than I'd just sit down and enjoy the deadball era in Denver.