Sportress of Blogitude

MLB instituted new ball security measures in response to DeflateGate

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The NFL’s swift reaction in doling out punishment to the New England Patriots and Tom Brady upon the release of Ted Wells’ report into the DeflateGate scandal obviously is the biggest sports-related talker of the week.

Major League Baseball, in reaction to DeflateGate and perhaps to rub the NFL’s nose in the fallout of the scandal, has instituted new security policies related to preserving the integrity of game balls.

An Associated Press report details how starting this season, MLB representatives now will oversee the entire process related to how baseballs are brought to the field before games, beginning when a clubhouse assistant delivers them to the field from the umpires’ clubhouse before the game.

Further, if and when additional balls are needed during a game, ball boys or girls previously were solely responsible for transporting the them from the umpires’ room to the field. Now an MLB security staffer retrieves from the umps’ room any additional balls needed.

According to the report, the league additionally sent out memos to all 30 teams before opening day in which a nine-step procedure is detailed, primarily related to guidelines regarding chain of command. Home teams reportedly store game balls during the season before umpires’ clubhouse attendants rub up about eight dozen prior to games.

Given the relatively short amount of time baseballs are used in a given game — not to mention how difficult it is for a ball to be doctored without notice — some may argue this is a case of overkill on the part of the MLB. Los Angeles Angels pitcher C.J. Wilson concurs.

“Obviously, there’s not as much that you can do to baseballs,” he said . “I mean, you can’t change the density of the baseball at any point — unless you dunk them in water. Then they’re going to be 9 ounces, and everyone’s going to blow their arms out.”

While Major League Baseball arguably deserves credit for getting out ahead of a potential controversy, it seems to be much ado about nothing more than anything else.

[H/T Hardball Talk, image credit: MLB.com]