Fact: The number of home runs being hit by major league baseball teams is on the rise. “Two seasons after baseball smashed an MLB-record 6,105 home runs,” ESPN reports, “we’re on pace to shatter that mark in 2019.”
One factor that undoubtedly contributes to the increase is changes to the baseball itself, which include tighter seams and a “bouncier” effect (i.e., balls appear to be “juiced”). Another factor is what CBS Sports calls the “launch angle revolution.”
These changes are well documented, but that didn’t prevent F.P. Santangelo, an announcer for the Washington Nationals, to add a new causative factor to the spike in homers this season: global warming. After witnessing a towering drive by White Sox rookie left fielder, Eloy Jimenez, Santangelo told listeners:
I think the bats, plus the balls, plus launch angles, plus pitchers throwing hard, plus global warming is why there’s so many home runs. [Emphasis added]
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Santangelo isn’t the first prominent broadcaster to suggest home runs are a result of global warming. Tim McCarver and Joe Buck discussed the possibility of “thinner air” being the culprit back in 2012.
“The air is thinning,” McCarver said. “There have been climatic changes over the last 50 years … I think that’s one of the reasons balls are carrying much better now.”
“So that’s your ‘inconvenient truth’ about it?” Buck responded, referencing the Al Gore propaganda film.
“You’re going to find it out one of these days, yes,” McCarver claimed.
VIDEO: Tim McCarver blames global warming for MLB's increase in home runs http://t.co/cmy4j34Y
— Deadspin (@Deadspin) April 28, 2012
Sure, it wasn’t steroid use during that period nearly a decade ago and longer that contributed at all.
The conspiracy theory that global warming is affecting baseball scores is almost as rich as the MLB theory that a Chicago Cubs fan flashed a “white power symbol”‘ during a recent broadcast.
Let’s hope the MLB learns a lesson from ESPN and keeps politics out of their broadcasts.
Cross posted at the Mental Recession