I have been watching Oriole games held in Camden Yards and on the road, and the baseballs have been flying out of the ballparks like they were shot out of a cannon.
Home runs are regularly being hit as far as 450 feet. If there are 10 or 11 hits in a game, at least three of them are often home runs. In Toronto's ballpark, where the Orioles and the Blue Jays recently played each other, many of the home runs were hit so hard and so far that I thought I watching golf balls being hit off of a tee. What is this, Home Run Derby or a legitimate baseball game?
In my opinion the balls are juiced up, and that, along with shorter power alleys, lower fences and lower pitching mounds makes a player just reaching out for the pitch with his bat seem to crush the ball for a home run.
Home runs are nice to watch, but in my opinion too many of them cheapen the game. Balls hit to the gaps in the alleys often appear to be going for doubles or triples, but instead they keep traveling until they land in the stands for a home run.
For me, base hits and balls hit into the gaps for extra bases, with the runners racing around the diamond and the outfielders scooping up balls and throwing them back to cut off the play is much more exciting than just watching a ball sail out of the park for a home run.
John A. Malagrin, BaltimoreCopyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun