Juiced Ball Generation: Bonds Hits Different Baseball Than Aaron, CT Scans Find

The
baseballs Hank Aaron hit during his career did not include enlarged, rubberized
centers (known as pills) found in the current, Barry Bonds-era baseballs. The
pill, according to a computed tomography (CT) study conducted by Universal
Medical Systems, Inc. of Ohio (UMS), has increased significantly in size and
density, thus improving the distance modern Bonds-era baseballs travel.

(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20070806/CLM053)

Comparisons
of the enlarged rubberized-center Bonds-era baseball and the traditional Aaron-era
baseball are clearly visualized in the computed tomography (CT) scans conducted
by UMS. With assistance from Dr. Avrami S. Grader and Dr. Philip M. Halleck
from the Center for Quantitative Imaging at

Penn
State
University, UMS utilized a modified CT
scanner for material testing to study Major League (“the League”)
baseballs dating back to 1915.

An
accepted methodology of measuring coefficient of restitution demonstrated the
hit distance of the baseball has increased approximately 30 feet from the time
Hank Aaron retired.

Rawlings
became the exclusive supplier for the League’s baseballs in

1977, one
year after Hank Aaron retired. In the first year alone the League witnessed a
63% increase in home runs (2,235 in 1976 vs. 3,644 in 1977) with the new
baseball composition.

In 1999,
one year after Mark McGwire broke the single-season home run record, the League
decided to remove the timeless imprint “cushioned cork center” from
official baseballs, according to David Zavagno, president of UMS, a worldwide
innovator of diagnostic imaging technology for various industries.

“The
League decided to juice itself so they pumped the new ball into their
system,” states Zavagno. “By examining the CT images of Bonds-era baseballs,
you can see the ball has been upgraded to include a rubberized pill, the
addition of polyester in the windings and a very hard synthetic ring or spring.
As the CT images demonstrate, the League apparently allowed the composition of
the baseball to further change from 1998 to 2001 destroying the integrity of
the game’s statistics, including home run records.”

Confronted
with UMS’ CT scans in January, League spokesman Rich Levin told The Associated
Press what UMS “calls a rubber ring is more like a cardboard washer.”
The League’s baseball specifications do not state the presence of either
synthetic rings or washers.

A
League-sponsored study conducted in 2000 which included dissecting baseballs reported,
“In destructive tests of baseballs, all models of baseballs failed to meet
most of the construction tolerances.”

“According
to our CT scans, the balls themselves are juiced,” states

Zavagno.
“Thomas, Sosa, Rodriguez, Griffey, Ramirez, Thome… they may or may not
be entangled in the steroid scandal, but they certainly are members of the
League-fabricated ‘juiced ball generation’. Bonds’ home-run record along with
other home-run milestones by different players of his generation — should have
an asterisk next to their statistics: ‘achieved with League- approved juiced
baseball.'”

UMS
utilized the same methodology of examining rock core samples for presence of
oil when examining Bonds-era and Aaron-era baseballs. The same state-of-the-art
core-analysis imaging techniques were applied to accurately determine the
properties and material changes in the baseball.

(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20070103/CLW088-b)

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