Baseball changed in June. Just how much it has changed will play itself out in the coming weeks and months, but the enforcement of the game’s foreign-substance rule already has had a massive effect on the on-field product, and the reverberations aren’t likely to go away any time soon.
To understand why, it’s important to focus on the numbers across the sport present and past. Spin rates have plummeted since the league threatened suspension to those caught using sticky stuff, and history illustrates how much better hitters are against pitches that spin less. It’s too early to say whether there is a direct and provable causative effect between the crackdown and the uptick in hitting numbers, but the correlation is impossible to ignore.
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