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Frank Thomas thinks the balls are juiced this year

Apr 9, 2014, 8:48 AM EDT

frank thomas

News flash: a Hall of Famer thinks what’s going on in the game today is illegitimate:

Someone had better tell that to the Royals. They’ve yet to hit a homer in seven games.

Someone had also better ask Frank Thomas what was up in 1994, when he hit eight homers in the month of April. Or in 1996, when he hit nine homers in March and April.

Stuff happens. And yes, at times in history, baseball has messed with the baseball. But the mere fact of a bunch of homers in a week or two is not enough to justify conspiracy theories.

  1. unclemosesgreen - Apr 9, 2014 at 8:51 AM

    All those exclamation points make me worry for his sanity!!! I’m not even kidding!!!

    • cur'68 - Apr 9, 2014 at 9:00 AM

      Frank needs to have his twitter account suspended. Lordy.

      • spudchukar - Apr 9, 2014 at 10:11 AM

        Yeah, the only thing that needs to be doctored is Frank’s brain.

      • cur'68 - Apr 9, 2014 at 10:15 AM

        I suspect that like Chipper Jones, Frank is surrounded by people who don’t disagree with him much. A dude needs a good wife at times like these. Someone that will say, “Honey, get your head out of your bum. Making wild allegations on a public venue makes you look nuts.”

    • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Apr 9, 2014 at 9:12 AM

      “Multiple exclamation marks are a sure sign of a diseased mind.” Terry Pratchett

    • yahmule - Apr 9, 2014 at 9:57 AM

      He devoted nine of his allotted characters to exclamation points. That’s how you can tell he’s serious.

    • moogro - Apr 9, 2014 at 1:57 PM

      It’s funny because he was hitting juiced balls in that era.

  2. chill1184 - Apr 9, 2014 at 8:54 AM

    Retired players always say the darnest things

    • 18thstreet - Apr 9, 2014 at 9:21 AM

      The thing about golden ages is that you’re never actually allowed to live in one; they’re all in the past.

    • dluxxx - Apr 9, 2014 at 11:41 AM

      Quick! Get Bill Cosby on the line. We have a new show to pitch him…

  3. cman73 - Apr 9, 2014 at 9:03 AM

    Bob Feller is dead, so there was a vacancy for a grumpy old ballplayer who trashed today’s players to make himself and his peers look better.

  4. holleywood9 - Apr 9, 2014 at 9:12 AM

    With all the injuries to pitchers from batted balls I don’t think mlb would open itself to that type of scrutiny. Big frank…come on man

  5. renaado - Apr 9, 2014 at 9:19 AM

    What now? Is Frank seriously copying NPB league’s reasoning for it’s homerun plateau last year?

  6. lukedunphysscienceproject - Apr 9, 2014 at 9:28 AM

    Somebody should tell the Yankees.

  7. bgrillz - Apr 9, 2014 at 9:29 AM

    Frank trying to be the new Curt Schilling. No press is bad press…

  8. spudchukar - Apr 9, 2014 at 10:15 AM

    Hey Craig, baseballs have never been doctored. At least from 1950 until this season.

  9. billgatesbarber - Apr 9, 2014 at 10:18 AM

    Everything is juiced…move along.

  10. dillongeeescapeplan - Apr 9, 2014 at 10:22 AM

    0.85 HR/G so far this year. It would be the lowest since 1992. League OPS of .707. Would also be the lowest since 1992.


  11. holleywood9 - Apr 9, 2014 at 10:34 AM

    But does that take into account how early in the season it is? I agree with the hr/g but that stat needs to be in the first two weeks of the season and not the season on the whole

    • cohnjusack - Apr 9, 2014 at 11:19 AM

      I don’t know about the first two weeks because BaseballReference doesn’t have splits easily available for that.

      BUT, you can check just the month of April. Thus far, MLB April HR/AB ratio is the lowest of any season since April of 1993. And by a lot too. It’s currently one every 44.95 AB, and hasn’t been above 40 since 93.

  12. stupidusername - Apr 9, 2014 at 10:50 AM

    “Enough said!!!” Why did you write anything? He ended the debate… Also started it and didn’t allow rebuttal… But forget all that, Craig. The ball is juiced, ‘NUFF SAID!!!

    • jwbiii - Apr 9, 2014 at 12:54 PM

      He’s just paying tribute to Mike “‘Nuff Said” McGreevy, Boston bar owner and founder of the Royal Rooters, a Red Sox fan club from 100 years ago.

  13. jeffbbf - Apr 9, 2014 at 10:51 AM

    Just another lazy, mailed-in post trying to expose someone as stupid, while at the same time, trying to show how smart you are in comparison. How many people do you have trolling twitter looking for this garbage? This is not a story. just a baseless rant by an ex-player.

    • dluxxx - Apr 9, 2014 at 12:17 PM

      Welcome to HBT. Guess you’ve never been here before.

  14. earpaniac - Apr 9, 2014 at 10:57 AM

    I like Frank, but he was never known as a brain surgeon.

  15. pinkfloydprism - Apr 9, 2014 at 11:09 AM

    You got to love it when players make the HOF and then decide that they know everything about the sport.

  16. cohnjusack - Apr 9, 2014 at 11:15 AM

    Thus far there has been a home run every 44.95 AB
    In 2013, that mark was one every 39.66 AB

    Okay, fine, but Thomas said cited April specifically, so he may be on to something.
    In April 2013, MLB hit a home a home run every…33.33 AB.
    In April 2012: 35.87 HR/AB
    In April 2011: 37.38 HR/AB

    If they’re juicing the ball, they’re doing a really bad job of it.

    • paperlions - Apr 9, 2014 at 1:02 PM

      Given how incompetent MLB is…..that may be actual evidence that they are juicing the ball.

      I imagine there is some MLB lackey in a basement somewhere injecting steroids they bought from Bosch into all of the balls and MLB is flummoxed as to why HR rates aren’t soaring.

    • spudchukar - Apr 9, 2014 at 1:05 PM

      More than likely the slight uptick in HR’s in 2014, is due to the weather.

      • cohnjusack - Apr 9, 2014 at 2:35 PM

        …but there is no uptick in home runs. There are at the lowest levels in April since before the wild-card era!

  17. largebill - Apr 9, 2014 at 11:50 AM

    Just this weekend my brother was trying to argue that Thomas is good on television in his back and forth with Kapler. I wasted a couple minutes attempting to explain that nearly everything Thomas said in the previous segment was provably wrong to no avail. I want those minutes back.

  18. unlost1 - Apr 9, 2014 at 1:07 PM

    When Frank says “trust me” you can take it to the bank. I am the doctor who performed surgery on all of these balls. Some did not make it, but the majority came through for the love of the game !!!!!!!!!!!!!

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