Mets GM Zack Scott dismisses Pete Alonso’s ‘conspiracy’ theory about ball manipulation

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NEW YORK — Pete Alonso made some waves earlier this week when he said that Major League Baseball manipulates the ball based on the upcoming free-agent class.

His own general manager laughed off his star slugger’s theory.

Alonso claimed that the league added some juice to the ball before Gerrit Cole and other star pitchers hit the open market, while the ball was deadened before this season, when several big name hitters will hit free agency in the winter.

This idea, which has only been stated publicly by Alonso, implies that the league itself wants to suppress performances of big stars prior to them commanding monstrous amounts of money.

Zack Scott told a group of reporters at Citi Field on Friday that the baseball used during gameplay has “no influence on how players are valued or paid.”

“I didn’t know Pete was a conspiracy theorist,” Scott said with a laugh, per The Associated Press. “The way teams value and evaluate performance is relative to levels, so we’re not going to be fooled by offense is way up or way down.”

MLB has not acknowledged or responded to Alonso’s theory. The league did, however, tell teams in February that they were going to slightly deaden the balls for 2021 in response to surging home run rates. The latest problem for the sport centers on pitchers’ doctoring the ball with illegal substances, also known as sticky stuff.

“It’s challenging,” Scott said of the growing scandal. “We don’t really know what guys are doing, even inside our own organization versus outside, or if they’re doing anything at all.”

When it comes to eradicating the substances, Scott said that the solution begins with eliminating uncertainty.

“We’re really just talking about enforcement,” he said. “It’s always been on the books that you’re not supposed to put stuff on the baseball, so it’s really how they communicate with the umpires and what the expectations are. And I think, to be fair to the umpires, there needs to be clarity as well.”

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