Cardinals nix response to the Brewers’ humorous political attack ad against Yadier Molina

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The Brewers released a political attack ad spoof Tuesday against Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina as part of a campaign to get Jonathan Lucroy more votes for the National League All-Star team. You can probably guess how that went over in St. Louis.

Cardinals manager Mike Matheny addressed the video Wednesday with reporters and Dan O’Neill of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch gathered some quotes:

“I saw it and, you know, it caught me a little by surprise,” Matheny said. “I get that a lot of it was trying to be maybe tongue in cheek a little bit, but … it caught me by surprise. I think you have to take it in the nature that it was meant, and it was … obviously geared toward their fan base. It’s just amazing that it was that much directed at our organization. I think that caught me off guard the most.”

Jim Hayes, a reporter for the Cardinals’ regional television network FOX Sports Midwest, said Wednesday morning on a St. Louis radio show that a rebuttal to the attack ad was in the works featuring “sound from Cardinals players,” but Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com reports that the club requested they nix the idea.

This should only grow the reputation that the Cardinals and their fans take themselves far too seriously.

Winning is important — and the Cards win a whole lot — but this is pro baseball, not moral jousting.

MLB’s juiced baseball is juicing Triple-A home run totals too

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There has been considerable evidence amassed over the past year or two that the baseball used by Major League Baseball has a lower aerodynamic profile, leading to less drag, which leads directly to more home runs. If you doubted that at all, get a load of what is happening in Triple-A right now.

The minors have always had different balls than the majors. The MLB ball is made in Costa Rica at a Rawlings facility. The minor league balls are made in China. They use slightly different materials and, by all accounts, the minor league balls do not have the same sort of action and do not travel as far as the big league balls. Before the season, as Baseball America reported, Major League Baseball requested that Triple-A baseball switch to using MLB balls. The reason: uniformity and, one presumes, more accurate analysis of performance at the top level of the minor leagues.

The result, as Baseball America reports today, is a massive uptick in homers in the early going to the Triple-A season:

Last April, Triple-A hitters homered once every 47 plate appearances. As the weather warmed up, so did the home run rate. Over the course of the entire 2018 season, Triple-A hitters homered every 43 plate appearances. So far this year, they are homering every 32 plate appearances. Triple-A hitters are hitting home runs at a rate of 135 percent of last year’s rate.

Again, that’s in the coldest, least-homer friendly month of the season. It’s gonna just get worse. Or better, I guess, if you’re all about the long ball.

Which you had better be, because if they did something to deaden the balls and reduce homers, we’d have the same historically-high strikeout and walk rates but with no homers to provide offense to compensate. At least unless or until hitters changed their approach to become slap hitters or something, but that could take a good while. And may still not be effective given the advances in defense since the last time slap hitting was an important part of the game.

In the meantime, enjoy the dingers, Triple-A fans.