This season, players in the Cape Cod Baseball League have hit 382 home runs. That's a 140 percent increase over the league's 2011 output of 159, according to a report in a Cape Cod newspaper.
Rich Maclone, a reporter for The Enterprise, did some serious digging and found out that the culprit is in fact the baseballs in use, with the league's current balls featuring a harder core then their 2011 counterpart that originated from the same company.
But there's more.
The epidemic of offense hasnít just been felt on Cape Cod. Offensive numbers are up dramatically across the country in other National Alliance of College Summer Baseball leagues. The Florida League saw their homers increase from 57 to 158. The Great Lakes League went from 99 homers in 2011 to 276. In the New York Collegiate Baseball League, the total exploded from 117 to 315. And in the Valley League, homers rose from 287 to 469.
All members of the NACSB order their baseballs from the same company. The NACSB has an exclusive baseball-provider agreement with Diamond Sports of Santa Ana, California.
Read Maclone's story on the Enterprise's web site, which details the differences in the balls and why everyone is beginning to believe they've been juiced. The numbers have worried scouts enough that they've already started making inquiries.
The main contributors to The Buzz are:
- Steve Silva, Boston.com senior sports producer
- Gary Dzen, Boston.com senior sports producer
- Zuri Berry, Boston.com sports producer