NEW YORK – Met’s acting general manager Zack Scott denied New York’s first baseman Pete Alonso’s accusation that Major League Baseball has manipulated baseball into harming potential free agents, saying changes to the ball would have “no effect on how players become. valued or paid. “
When Alonso was asked on Wednesday about the smoldering debate over pitcher use of foreign substances, Alonso claimed that MLB deliberately juiced baseballs before star pitchers like Gerrit Cole hit the open market and then the ball died this season with a talented group of hitters ready to to become free agents.
“I did not know Pete was a conspiracy theorist,”
The league did not comment on Alonso’s allegations.
Scott said he does not think the theory holds up, saying the front office and their analytics teams are smart enough to normalize performances in changing offensive environments.
“The way teams value and rate performance is proportional to levels, so we are not fooled by offenses, far up or down,” he said. “We have to look at players about, in terms of how the league plays. So that would have no bearing on how players are valued or paid.”
MLB announced the teams in February that they plan to dampen the baseballs slightly in the 2021 season after a year-long rise in home runs. In 2019, 3.6% of the record’s appearances ended in a homer, a figure that has dropped to 3.1% this year.
When Scott was asked about the adhesive debate, uncertainty about future enforcement said challenges for scouts and analysts. The league is soon expected to start punishing pitchers – a drastic mid-season change after generations of looking the other way at all but the most serious offenders.
“It’s challenging,” Scott said. “We don’t really know what guys are doing, even within our own organization versus outside, or if they’re doing anything at all.”
The first-year GM said it does not matter to him what the MLB decides as long as it is clear and enforceable.
“We’re really just talking about enforcement,” he said. “It’s always been on the books that you should not put things on baseballs, so it’s really how they communicate with the referees and what the expectations are. And I think, to be fair to the referees, there has to be clarity as well. “