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Thread: From Sundeck: Humidor Hijinks?

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    I hate the Cubs LoganBuck's Avatar
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    From Sundeck: Humidor Hijinks?

    Saw this thread on Sundeck. It interested me because the thought occurred to me that the Rockies still seemed to be able to play old fashioned Coors Field Baseball, and the rest of the league hadn't adjusted to that style of play.

    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/articl...SPC21FGRMA.DTL

    In 75 games at Coors Field, the Rockies have hit .304 with 102 homers and 790 hits. Opponents have hit .258 with 67 homers and 698 hits. The Rockies have outscored visitors 452-345
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    Member OesterPoster's Avatar
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    Re: From Sundeck: Humidor Hijinks?

    I read that too, and I'm just not sure how you could do it. Does the ball boy bring out a batch of baseballs to the ump at the start of every half inning? How do you keep track of the ones he doesn't use that half inning?

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    Red's fan mbgrayson's Avatar
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    Re: From Sundeck: Humidor Hijinks?

    I think the explanation is far more simple: visiting pitchers are not used to the lack of break on breaking balls in the Mile High city, and the home pitchers are. Rockies pitchers, that throw 81 games in the thin air, have time to adjust to the different environment, while visitors don't. This means the Rockies routinely get pitching similiar to 'hanging' breaking pitches to hit, while oppenents don't as often.

    Likewise, Rockies hitters come to expect less break on pitches, and they thrive on that. Visiting hitters struggle, since they expect breaking balls to behave like they do at sea level. Exhibit #1 here:CarGo. Look at his home road splits. To me, the man knows that those curve balls just don't curve much in Denver, and thrives on that fact. On the road, he is ordinary.

    To the degree that pitching in the higher elevation is different (flatter pitches), there is a higher premium on things like pinpoint control, keeping the ball down, and having ground ball pitchers on your staff. Perhaps the Rockies also know better than their visitors how to defense that huge outfield.

    The humdor thing strikes me as nonsense.

    At the end of each half inning, the home plate ump may still have three or four baseballs in his pouch. Those balls cross over from one team to the other. The ump could easily notice if the balls seemed very different, and the whole scheme could be ruined if one single ballboy spilled his guts. Could also be proven by a single ump taking a couple random balls out of his pouch, and sealing them in a ziploc baggie, marking them, and weighing them or checking for moisture content. Far too easy to catch.

    What would MLB do if this were true? Could be HUGE ramifications. I don't think the Rockies are dumb enough to risk it.

    For me, I buy the pitchers adjustment theory....
    Last edited by mbgrayson; 09-21-2010 at 03:06 PM.
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    Et tu, Brutus? Brutus's Avatar
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    Re: From Sundeck: Humidor Hijinks?

    Quote Originally Posted by mbgrayson View Post
    I think the explanation is far more simple: visiting pitchers are not used to the lack of break on breaking balls in the Mile High city, and the home pitchers are. Rockies pitchers, that throw 81 games in the thin air, have time to adjust to the different environment, while visitors don't. This means the Rockies routinely get pitching similiar to 'hanging' breaking pitches to hit, while oppenents don't as often.

    Likewise, Rockies hitters come to expect less break on pitches, and they thrive on that. Visiting hitters struggle, since they expect breaking balls to behave like they do at sea level. Exhibit #1 here:CarGo. Look at his home road splits. To me, the man knows that those curve balls just don't curve much in Denver, and thrives on that fact. On the road, he is ordinary.

    To the degree that pitching in the higher elevation is different (flatter pitches), there is a higher premium on things like pinpoint control, keeping the ball down, and having ground ball pitchers on your staff. Perhaps the Rockies also know better than their visitors how to defense that huge outfield.

    The humdor thing strikes me as nonsense.

    At the end of each half inning, the home plate ump may still have three or four baseballs in his pouch. Those balls cross over from one team to the other. The ump could easily notice if the balls seemed very different, and the whole scheme could be ruined if one single ballboy spilled his guts. Could also be proven by a single ump taking a couple random balls out of his pouch, and sealing them in a ziploc baggie, marking them, and weighing them or checking for moisture content. Far too easy to catch.

    What would MLB do if this were true? Could be HUGE ramifications. I don't think the Rockies are dumb enough to risk it.

    For me, I buy the pitchers adjustment theory....
    I don't think the adjustment thing has much to do with it (though I'm skeptical of the humidor thing too).

    The essay I posted in the CarGo MVP thread pretty much shot down the idea that visiting pitchers are pitching much differently to Rockies' hitters than Rockies' pitchers throwing to visiting hitters. It broke down pitch type, effectiveness, etc. and the types are being thrown almost the same rates as Rocky pitchers. Really the only difference was that Rockies' hitters were having more success against the fastball (especially CarGo) than visiting teams. It was a very thorough study.

    Rockies' pitchers are throwing a lot of sinkerballs, which helps somewhat, but the adjustment thing doesn't seem to hold much water. Further, given the history of Rockies' baseball since they entered the league, there has rarely been evidence their pitchers have adjusted too terribly much relative to the opposition, certainly not as drastically as this season.

    RE: the baseball thing...it's basically that ball boys bring new baseballs to the umpire each half inning. Sometimes the umpire has run out, other times he has one or two left in his pouch. It's certainly possible that the Rockies could use the non-humidor trick late in the game if they're behind by a few runs or more, as they would at least be guaranteed of getting into the new baseballs in their half inning if planned properly. But they would have little control over those baseballs making their way into the home team's pitching mitts.
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    Re: From Sundeck: Humidor Hijinks?

    Quote Originally Posted by mbgrayson View Post
    I think the explanation is far more simple: visiting pitchers are not used to the lack of break on breaking balls in the Mile High city, and the home pitchers are. Rockies pitchers, that throw 81 games in the thin air, have time to adjust to the different environment, while visitors don't. This means the Rockies routinely get pitching similiar to 'hanging' breaking pitches to hit, while oppenents don't as often.
    Makes sense, but what is doesn't explain is why, in the past, the Rockies advantage wasn't so great.

    Why are teams now failing to make adjustments, when in the past, since day one, they were?

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    Re: From Sundeck: Humidor Hijinks?

    More Cordero like fuel to the fire, with video.

    Did Tim Lincecum Get 'Juiced Ball' at Coors Field?

    Although Giants ace Tim Lincecum tossed an eight-inning gem to beat the Rockies on Friday night at Coors Field, the pitcher was caught on television seemingly mouthing the words "juiced balls" as he tossed a ball back to the umpire. The clip no doubt gave more legs to the theory that the Rockies have been slipping non-humidor balls into play when they are batting.
    http://mlb.fanhouse.com/2010/09/25/d...medium=twitter

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    A Little to the Left Redsfaithful's Avatar
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    Re: From Sundeck: Humidor Hijinks?

    He said it a little more colorfully than just "juiced ball".
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    Re: From Sundeck: Humidor Hijinks?

    I had dismissed this (I tend not to be a conspiracy theorist). But if MLB has decided to observe the humidor more closely, then it tells me that Bud's office believes that high-altitude shenanigans are at least theoretically possible.
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    Re: From Sundeck: Humidor Hijinks?

    Just for comparison sake GABP has played to the reds advantage as well

    Reds Batting

    374 Runs, 695 Hits, 94 HR

    Reds Pitching

    326 Runs, 678 Hits, 79 HR
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    Re: From Sundeck: Humidor Hijinks?

    Giants took two of three at Coors after the new oversight was implemented. It was almost a sweep.

    Very interesting.
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    Re: From Sundeck: Humidor Hijinks?

    Lincecum and Cain completely shut down the Rockies. Lincecum was caught on camera mouthing the words "juiced balls", among a few more choice words.

    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/blogs/...entry_id=73157

    YouTube - tim lincecum juiced ball comment

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    Re: From Sundeck: Humidor Hijinks?

    So a "juiced ball" in that ballpark is just a regular baseball not in a humidor elsewhere?

    So Lincecum just looked a normal baseball he throws every day and said "juiced ball, *****."

    Does anyone see how dumb that looks? Sounds like a Cris Carpenter moment to me.
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    Re: From Sundeck: Humidor Hijinks?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cedric View Post
    So a "juiced ball" in that ballpark is just a regular baseball not in a humidor elsewhere?

    So Lincecum just looked a normal baseball he throws every day and said "juiced ball, *****."

    Does anyone see how dumb that looks? Sounds like a Cris Carpenter moment to me.

    I believe that pitchers' fingers and hands are very sensitive. You hear stories about pitchers throwing balls back because the seams weren't raised enough or some other thing. I am assuming that a ball that's been in a humidor would feel different than a ball that wasn't. It might be slightly heavier, the texture may be different, etc. If anyone could tell subtle differences in baseballs, it would be a pitcher.
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    Re: From Sundeck: Humidor Hijinks?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cedric View Post
    So a "juiced ball" in that ballpark is just a regular baseball not in a humidor elsewhere?

    So Lincecum just looked a normal baseball he throws every day and said "juiced ball, *****."

    Does anyone see how dumb that looks? Sounds like a Cris Carpenter moment to me.
    Not really that dumb if he had been throwing "humidored" balls all game, and then all of a sudden got a normal one.


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