Jose Canseco is known for a few things — a 40-40 season, the forearm-bash celebration and, yes, steroids — but arguably his most memorable baseball moment was the time he really kept his head in the game.
That was May 26, 1993 — 25 years ago today — the time the Rangers outfielder took a ball off the noggin and helped the Indians’ Carlos Martinez boost his home run total.
Cam Bedrosian threw a perfect eighth in relief, and Blake Parker pitched a perfect ninth to earn his ninth save.
It’s been good to win and good to hold some leads and get a little momentum after a couple, I wouldn’t say bad outings, but a couple outings where I gave up some runs, Parker said. I just wanted to stay aggressive and continue to throw quality strikes. It was a big win. The bullpen, in particular, would like to keep coming in and shutting it down and carry that on into the road trip.
Asked about Upton’s leaping catch, Heaney said: It’s just what they do. It’s not abnormal. They do that all the time. You get numb to stuff that Simba (Andrelton Simmons) does over there. Valbuena has been playing great. We’ve got tons of guys who can make plays like that, so it’s great to have them behind me.
Despite not knowing the real cause of this aberration, the committee did recommend that MLB monitor the humidity at which baseballs are stored.
Let’s backtrack a bit, and talk about what has been up with the ball, and why storing the balls in a humidor will change the way the ball flies.
Telling was the fact that the rate of home runs per fly ball rose from 9.5 percent in 2014 to 13.7 percent in 2017 — a massive jump, and largely unrelated to the increase in rates of fly balls. The rise in HR/FB rate indicated that balls were coming off the bat harder than ever.
Fans, analysts, even Cy Young award winners weighed in on the notion that the ball was juiced — something physical about the state of the baseball was causing it to come off the bat with more energy, resulting in it flying faster. It’s a simple explanation for what has been happening with home runs.
The problem? According to MLB’s committee, a group of independent analysts, scientists and physicists, there is nothing identifiably different with baseballs today compared to baseballs before the 2015 All-Star break. The balls themselves are acting differently, but nothing about the composition of the balls has resulted in making them springier, according to the report.