Mets Hitting Coach Eric Chavez Suspects Balls Juiced For National TV Games

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The game may not be rigged but the ball could be. That’s what New York Mets batters are starting to wonder when it comes to the ball used for nationally televised games, according to hitting coach Eric Chavez.

Recently, the Mets played the Philadelphia Phillies on a Sunday night game on ESPN. Chavez indicated some Mets players suspected the ball became juiced for the game. Something, he indicated, is commonplace for games on national TV.

This was something written about by Tim Healey of Newsday.

And then in late April, two days before they played the Phillies on ESPN’s “Sunday Night Baseball,” several hitters gave Chavez a heads up: Watch how the baseballs travel during the premier nationally televised game of the week. They had heard that the balls in those games were in some way different.

“I thought for a second, ‘You guys are full of it,’ ” Chavez said.

And then what happened?

“The ball was traveling farther — balls that weren’t hit as hard. And I’m like, wait a minute, that shouldn’t have happened,” Chavez said. “The ball was just traveling better. That was the eye test, but then we lined it up with what the analytics were telling us.”

Of course, this isn’t the first time such suspicions have come to light. Players from multiple teams have wondered the same thing about the ball for some of MLB’s more notable games.

As the saying goes, everyone digs the long ball, so perhaps there is something to it. Or maybe it’s all in the players’ minds. Either way, the fact this subject keeps coming up does make you start to wonder, and without a doubt, is worth further review.

Written by Sam Amico

Sam Amico spent 15 years covering the NBA for Sports Illustrated, FOX Sports and, along with a few other spots, and currently runs his own basketball website on the side,

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