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Los Angeles Angels right-handed pitcher Michael Lorenzen took issue with the baseballs being used in games following Seattle Mariners outfielder Justin Upton getting hit in the head by a pitch Friday.
Upton was hit in the head in the fifth inning on the same day he was recalled from Triple-A Tacoma. Seattle manager Scott Servais said Upton seemed to be OK.
Lorenzen said the ball “slipped” out of his hands while he was throwing it.
“I don’t know what Major League Baseball is playing with these baseballs, but that fully slipped out of my hand. It’s just crazy man,” Lorenzen told reporters after the game, via the SoCal News Group. “As a kid you think Major League Baseball is the greatest thing ever, and you get here, and you realize, what are they doing? All of a sudden they’re going to change the baseballs. …
“These baseballs are slick. They did get someone hurt. So that’s on Major League Baseball for sure. I don’t know what’s going on. These baseballs are straight out of the package.”
Baseball manipulation accusations and the crackdown of “sticky stuff” was a major topic of conversation last season. MLB barred players from using any substance to get a better grip on a baseball and required pitchers to go through a check with the umpires after each inning.
New York Mets slugger Pete Alonso also suggested MLB was manipulating the baseball to suppress the free-agent market. The team was also a literal target at the beginning of the season after getting plunked numerous times by several teams.
Mets pitcher Chris Bassitt said at the time it had something to do with the baseballs.
“It’s extremely annoying to see your teammates constantly get hit, and if you get hit by certain pitches it is what it is, but to get hit in the head the amount that we’re getting hit is unbelievable,” Bassitt said. “I had some close calls tonight, and I’ve been hit in the face [by a line drive] and I don’t want to do that to anybody ever, but MLB has a very big problem with the baseballs. They’re bad. Everyone in the league knows it. Every pitcher knows it. They’re bad.
“They don’t care. MLB doesn’t give a damn about it. They don’t care. We’ve told them our problems with them, and they don’t care.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.