Author Topic: McGwire's 70th HR ball was juiced  (Read 1797 times)

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Offline tomterp

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McGwire's 70th HR ball was juiced
« Topic Start: January 04, 2007, 01:51:02 PM »
An emerging story today, sure to gain momentum.  Here's a link to the article, with pictures

http://www.prnewswire.com/cgi-bin/stories.pl?ACCT=104&STORY=/www/story/01-03-2007/0004498891&EDATE=

Hall of Fame Balloting Tainted

CLEVELAND, Jan. 3 /PRNewswire/ -- Mark McGwire's 70th home run ballfrom his record-breaking 1998 season contains a synthetic rubber ring or spring ("the ring") -- a material not outlined in official Major League Baseball ("the League") specifications. The ring and enlarged rubberized core of the baseball are clearly visualized in a computed tomography (CT) scan of the baseball conducted by Universal Medical Systems, Inc. of Ohio (UMS), a worldwide innovator of diagnostic imaging technology for various industries.

UMS, with assistance from Dr. Avrami S. Grader and Dr. Philip M. Halleck from The Center for Quantitative Imaging at Penn State University, utilized a CT scanner to study additional League baseballs from 1998 and found the baseballs have significantly enlarged cores in a variety of shapes and sizes.

The League Specifications vs. McGwire's 70th Home Run Ball
According to the League's specifications, "the pill of the baseball shall consist of a compressed cork sphere surrounded by one layer of black rubber and one layer of red rubber." The League does not specify a synthetic rubber ring or any additional material. "Examining the CT images of Mark McGwire's 70th home run ball one can clearly see the synthetic ring around the core -- or 'pill' -- of the baseball," states David Zavagno, president of Universal Medical Systems. "While Mark McGuire may or may not have used illegal steroids, the evidence shows his ball -- under the governing body of the League -- was juiced."

League Acts to Deflect Scrutiny of Juiced Ball
In 2000, in response to concerns about an altered ball contributing to increased home runs, the League commissioned and paid for a study from the UMass-Lowell Baseball Research Center. The report found no change in the ball. However, photos within the report show the synthetic rubber ring and identify numerous other problems.

The league publicly announced the baseball was not a cause of increased home runs. However, the historical words "cushioned cork center" were later removed from baseballs. In addition, computerized strike checkers were installed in the League's parks to expand the strike zone, and the League worked towards establishing drug testing standards. In fact, Commissioner Bud Selig named former Senator George Mitchell to lead an investigation into the use of illegal steroids by baseball players. Another interesting action, the Colorado Rockies utilized a humidor for their balls. "The League is as guilty as the individual players," says Zavagno. "Its desire to protect the image of the game, while recording huge revenues and setting new performance records, allowed scandalous problems to escalate.
Only after Congress stepped in on the steroid problem did the League begrudgingly act. Now it may take similar scrutiny for the League to admit the modern-day baseball does not conform to its own specifications. Because of the scandals -- baseball material alterations, lax rule enforcement and rampant use of steroids -- the Hall of Fame voting process could be tainted for decades. Hall of Fame voters need to understand many historical statistical comparisons are no longer relevant."

About Computed Tomography (CT) Technology Computed Tomography or CT scanning is a method whereby X-rays are passed through a sample material, which produces cross-sectional images or slices. These images offer the capability of rapid, nondestructive visualization and analysis of an object. UMS currently utilizes CT scanning within the petroleum industry to identify and evaluate internal structural characteristics and discontinuities of core materials and fluid distribution within cores.

About the Scan of McGwires' 70th Home Run Ball
UMS utilized the same methodology of examining rock core samples for presence of oil when examining McGwire's 70th home run ball, which was obtained on-loan from "The McFarlane Collection." A baseball can be thought of as a small rock. The same state-of-the-art core analysis imaging techniques were applied to accurately determine the properties and material changes in the baseball. "The synthetic rubber ring of the modern-day baseball, in this case that of Mark McGwire's prized 70th home run ball, acts as both a spring and a 'stop,'" says Zavagno. "Much like a sling shot pulled back 10 or 20 degrees farther than normal, the subsequent restitution or rebound allows an object to fly faster and farther. The changes to the center directly affect the restitution and energy distribution within the ball."

About Universal Medical Systems, Inc.
Based in Solon, Ohio, Universal Medical Systems, Inc. is a global user, designer and supplier of advanced innovative imaging systems and services with more than 20 years of computed tomography experience. For more information visit: http://www.universal-systems.com

About David R. Zavagno
David R. Zavagno, president of Universal Medical Systems, Inc., has non- destructively tested and documented the content of Major League baseballs covering almost 100 years. His insights and findings appeared in numerous articles, broadcasts and interviews. He first utilized his
diagnostic imaging technology to examine baseballs in 1994. For more information contact Zavagno at 440-349-3210 or
zavagno@universal-systems.com.
Contact: David R. Zavagno
440-349-3210
zavagno@universal-systems.com

Offline Dave B

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McGwire's 70th HR ball was juiced
« Reply #1: January 04, 2007, 02:03:30 PM »
This sounds like a big deal. But, might not be groundbreaking as the ring was visible inthe UMass study.  It's not a given that it affects the performance of the ball.  

I dont know what to think, but I'm sure some sort of performance test could be done (which I would assume that is what UMass did).  Who knows, they could be idiots.  If the result is unfavorable for mlb, they will make up some stuff about how the ball was stored by the collector in some sort of characteristic altering environment

Offline Dave B

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McGwire's 70th HR ball was juiced
« Reply #2: January 04, 2007, 02:15:47 PM »
I dont know what ring accomplishes for the batter, because it would be random as to whether or not contact was made on it.

It would however increase the moment of interia of the ball which could perhaps make it spin less coming out of of the pitchers hand, resulting in less movement.  

It might not be juiced per se, but result in less breaking breaking balls and less moving fastballs to get belted for HRs

Nobody probably thought to spin the ball to test it's moment of interia. A weighing wouldnt accomplish this.

Furthermore the ring could be strategically placed around a particular axis to alter specific pitches depending on which axis they choose.  Actually it would affect both spin axes (those that spin when the ball is gripped acrros or along the seems)

Offline AuRevoirExpos

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McGwire's 70th HR ball was juiced
« Reply #3: January 04, 2007, 02:22:45 PM »
Cheap shot headline grabbing press story aimed at McGwire in the days immediately prior to the 'Hall of Fame' ballot, presumably to cast more doubt on his credentials for election to the HOF.

He hit that thing over 8 years ago, now suddenly a couple of days before his HOF fate is decided some scientist reveals that his 70th homer maybe suspect (presumably along with 1000's of other homers where the ball hasn't been sent to the lab)

Offline Dave B

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McGwire's 70th HR ball was juiced
« Reply #4: January 04, 2007, 02:25:15 PM »
Quote from: "AuRevoirExpos"
Cheap shot headline grabbing press story aimed at McGwire in the days immediately prior to the 'Hall of Fame' ballot, presumably to cast more doubt on his credentials for election to the HOF.

He hit that thing over 8 years ago, now suddenly a couple of days before his HOF fate is decided some scientist reveals that his 70th homer maybe suspect (presumably along with 1000's of other homers where the ball hasn't been sent to the lab)


Cheap shot, maybe.  But, I think peoples minds are made up anyway.  

pretty good column here

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=simmons/070103

McGwire's 70th HR ball was juiced
« Reply #5: January 04, 2007, 02:39:42 PM »
If this is true we must light the torches, grab the pitchforks, and hunt for Bud's head.  

The games rep has already been dragged through the mud thanks to the Juicers and the upcoming Balco Bonds run for the record.  Disgraceful.  Absolutely sickening.

Offline natsfan7

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McGwire's 70th HR ball was juiced
« Reply #6: January 04, 2007, 02:47:23 PM »
WHAT!>!?!?! BIG MAC WAS JUICING!>!!>!?!? WHY DIDN'T I SEE IT BEFORE??!?!

It can't be true....next you'll be telling me that sammy was also juicing...

...or that Barry is a cross-dresser...ahh...thats wrong...

Offline 2k6nats

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McGwire's 70th HR ball was juiced
« Reply #7: January 04, 2007, 03:17:25 PM »
I really can't downplay this enough.  McGwire is NOT going to the Hall of Fame, and everyone knows it.  He will get votes however, he'll probably get 30% of the vote, not nearly the 75% that he needs.  This isn't going to lose him votes at all.

Offline AuRevoirExpos

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McGwire's 70th HR ball was juiced
« Reply #8: January 04, 2007, 05:54:53 PM »
Don't get me wrong - I don't think he should be in Cooperstown for all the usual reasons. I just think the timing of this article is preposterously cynical.

He'll get some votes I suppose... presumably from the same writers who knew all along he was juicing but kept their mouths shut because McGwire vs Sosa was great fun at the time and sold a ton of newpapers.

I wonder if Ripken will get 100% unanimous for entry on the first ballot? I read that some writers are so petty that they simply refuse to vote for a player on his first ballot as a matter of principal, so Ripken and Gwynne can probably only expect around 95%.

Offline Senators2005

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McGwire's 70th HR ball was juiced
« Reply #9: January 04, 2007, 06:39:28 PM »
McGwire, Sosa, Bonds, Palmeiro and so many more that are unknown....

The late 90s - early 2000s will be forever known as the steroid era...and none of them belong in Cooperstown in my opinion.  Big Mac lost me with his poor excuse for testimony before Congress.  Cheaters are cheats - plain and simple...and they taint the meaning of the game.  They cheapen records of great athletes of the past and make it unfair to those in the present who strive for an honest day's work.  All for ego and the all mighty dollar.  I hate all of them.

Offline natsfan7

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McGwire's 70th HR ball was juiced
« Reply #10: January 04, 2007, 07:04:23 PM »
CRAP!!!!1This mean my Mark McGwire rookie card is worth nothing.....but atleast I got a Tony Gywnn rookie card for $0.99 from a Yard sale......For the record, I own very few baseball cards...just ones that are cheap

McGwire's 70th HR ball was juiced
« Reply #11: January 04, 2007, 07:06:54 PM »
Quote from: "Senators2005"
McGwire, Sosa, Bonds, Palmeiro and so many more that are unknown....

The late 90s - early 2000s will be forever known as the steroid era...and none of them belong in Cooperstown in my opinion.  Big Mac lost me with his poor excuse for testimony before Congress.  Cheaters are cheats - plain and simple...and they taint the meaning of the game.  They cheapen records of great athletes of the past and make it unfair to those in the present who strive for an honest day's work.  All for ego and the all mighty dollar.  I hate all of them.


I'm with you there.

About 20 minutes ago ESPN had a poll going on and 55% of the idiots polled said that Barry Bonds should be put in the HOF if he breaks the record.

This of course comes from ESPN who would love nothing more for Bonds to break the record so they can all get raises and their faces on the TV more often.

If you want to make yourself really sick, check out that hack Bill Simmon's article on ESPN.com and his take on if McGuire should be in the hall or not.  

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=simmons/070103

Offline Dave B

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McGwire's 70th HR ball was juiced
« Reply #12: January 04, 2007, 09:04:50 PM »
Quote from: "Nat of the LivingDead"
Quote from: "Senators2005"
McGwire, Sosa, Bonds, Palmeiro and so many more that are unknown....

The late 90s - early 2000s will be forever known as the steroid era...and none of them belong in Cooperstown in my opinion.  Big Mac lost me with his poor excuse for testimony before Congress.  Cheaters are cheats - plain and simple...and they taint the meaning of the game.  They cheapen records of great athletes of the past and make it unfair to those in the present who strive for an honest day's work.  All for ego and the all mighty dollar.  I hate all of them.


I'm with you there.

About 20 minutes ago ESPN had a poll going on and 55% of the idiots polled said that Barry Bonds should be put in the HOF if he breaks the record.

This of course comes from ESPN who would love nothing more for Bonds to break the record so they can all get raises and their faces on the TV more often.

If you want to make yourself really sick, check out that hack Bill Simmon's article on ESPN.com and his take on if McGuire should be in the hall or not.  

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=simmons/070103


I like Simmons point.  Put him in and tell the whole story (or dont put him in and tell the whole story).  Its a museum, not a fantasy park.