Darryl Strawberry knows a thing or two about home runs. He hit 335 of them in his Major League career.
As the All-Star Game festivities continue in Cleveland, the hot topic has been about the 'juiced ball' theories and whether or not the balls are being created intentionally different than in prior years to increase home run numbers across the board.
Everyone from Noah Syndeergard to Jacob deGrom to Justin Verlander has weighed in on the topic, but now Strawberry has spoken out on the subject as well, and even though he hasn't suited up for a Major League game in 20 years, he has his own reasons for why home run numbers have increased throughout the game.
"I wouldn't know, because I'm not hitting," Strawberry told Fox Business. "But I can tell you one thing, I think the ballparks are a little smaller than they used to be and I think the guys are a lot stronger. I don't really think they're juicing the baseball but, like I said before, I really couldn't tell because I am not facing any pitches. I think pitching is not what it used to be, and guys get a better chance to hit home runs when your pitching is not as good as it used to be."
Strawberry went on to explain that the lack of pitching depth at the big league level has played a role in pitchers seeing more hittable pitches, thus sending more balls over the fence.
MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred vehemently denied on Tuesday that the league had purposely altered the baseballs.
"Baseball has done nothing, given no direction, for an alteration of the baseball," Manfred said, noting that the league is still trying to figure out why the balls -- made by Rawlings -- are different this season.
"The flaw in logic is that baseball wants more home runs," Manfred explained. "If you sat in owners meetings and listen to people on how the game is played, that is not a sentiment of owners for whom I work. There's no desire among ownership to increase homers in the game -- to the contrary they are concerned about how many we have."
Whatever the case may be, the ball itself has been the prevailing topic at this league's Midsummer Classic in Cleveland.