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Mets’ Pete Alonso presents weird conspiracy theory on why MLB changes balls

Mets first baseman Pete Alonso has a problem with baseballs, but that doesn’t relate to pitchers loading sticky stuff on them to gain an advantage. In fact, Alonso says, he doesn’t care what pitchers put on their hands.

“I would prefer the guys to have as much stick as possible and focus on throwing the ball into the box (strike zone),” Alonso told reporters ahead of his game Wednesday in Baltimore.

No, his criticism is about MLB, and for some reason few people would think or, frankly, believe: Alonso claims that he and other players are confident that the commissioner’s office changes the properties of the ball every year based on strong points. the next class of free agents and the number of players behind in the salary arbitration process.

MORE: What Was Gerrit Cole’s Turnover Rate Against Twins?

“Oh, no, it’s a fact,” Alonso said, according to Newsday’s Tim Healey (subscription required). “Yes, the guys have talked about it. But in 2019 there was a huge class of free agent throwers, and it’s in quotes the juice balls. 2020 has been a weird year with the COVID season. But now that we’re back to playing in a regular season with a ton of shortstops or players in position who are going to be paid a lot of money, high caliber players, yeah, that’s no coincidence. C ‘s certainly something they did. “

Alonso teammate Francisco Lindor has established the market for shortstops in spring training by signing a 10-year $ 341 extension that begins in 2022. Trevor Story, Corey Seager, Carlos Correa, Javier Baez and Marcus Semien (who plays second base for the Blue Jays this year) remains in this busy class. Trea Turner will be eligible for arbitration for the last time in 2022, meaning he can base his salary number on free agent contracts.

Freddie Freeman, Nolan Arenado, Anthony Rizzo and Kris Bryant could also go into the market.

But if Alonso and others are convinced MLB is playing with the ball to keep players from getting paid, they might want to look at that group’s numbers above. Baseball isn’t all that hot in devaluing these hitting stars:

Player GP HOUR wRC + f WAR
Bryant 57 13 160 2.6
Correa 58 11 146 2.3
Semien 59 13 143 2.7
Turner 58 ten 130 2.4
Arénado 61 11 128 1.8
Rizzo 55 6 122 1.0
Seager 37 4 122 0.7
Free man 58 13 115 0.8
Baez 54 14 104 1.3
History 50 5 89 1.0

In other words, most of the best players of the contract year are statistically positioned to cash.

As Healey noted, the top of the free agent pitching class of 2019 included Gerrit Cole (nine years old, record $ 324 million Yankees contract), Stephen Strasburg (seven years, $ 245 million Nationals). ), Zack Wheeler (five, $ 118 million from the Phillies), Madison Bumgarner (five, $ 85 million from the Diamondbacks) and Hyun-Jin Ryu (four, $ 80 million from the Blue Jays). The leader of this class did very well.

There’s a chance the 2021-22 free agents won’t get their money, but it won’t be because of a dead ball; rather, it will be because of the toxic relationship between MLB and the players’ association. The collective agreement expires on December 1. If there is no renewal by then, no one gets paid.

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