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Mushy baseballs spur investigation

<p>Just as in the CFL, scores at Coors Field in Colorado have decreased significantly this season. And, just as in the CFL, some players are blaming the balls.</p>

Just as in the CFL, scores at Coors Field in Colorado have decreased significantly this season. And, just as in the CFL, some players are blaming the balls.


In the CFL, Toronto quarterback Damon Allen and Winnipeg quarterback Kevin Glenn have suggested publicly that the league’s new footballs are heavier and more difficult to throw. They maintain the new balls are affecting outcomes and at least partly responsible for a major reduction in scoring.


Well, visiting players at Coors Field are complaining in similar fashion about the balls being used at the Rockies’ home games. Some are claiming hanky-panky.


“The Rockies are cheating, with illegal balls,” said Milwaukee infielder Jeff Cirillo, a former Colorado player. "The balls they’re using this year are waterlogged. They’re mushy and it’s impossible to hit them far."


Because of the latitude in Colorado, Coors Field used to be called “The Launching Pad,” but home runs and even base hits are way down this season.


While the CFL is simply ignoring complaints from its players, MLB executives have quietly begun to examine what’s going on at Coors Field.


• Canadian Justin Morneau, Minnesota’s first baseman, is gaining support among MVP voters who believe he ought to be the guy in the American League instead of Boston’s David Ortiz, who doesn’t play in the field ... With Bobby Abreu now entrenched in the Yankees’ outfield, Gary Sheffield has ordered a first baseman’s glove and expects to play the position on occasion when he returns from his injury ... With Jason Varitek injured, the Red Sox want to trade for one of two catchers who would need to clear waivers — Baltimore’s Javy Lopez and Philly’s Mike Lieberthal ... Other players who may still clear waivers and be dealt soon are Philly’s Pat Burrell, Washington’s Livan Hernandez and Pittsburgh’s Joe Randa and Jeromy Burnitz.


• A little more about Candace Parker, the kid sister of new Raptors guard Anthony Parker: In 2004, as a high-school senior, she beat current NBAers Josh Smith and J.R. Smith in a dunk contest and earned the nickname SheBron. At 6-foot-3, she is a forward now with the Tennessee Lady Vols, and there are basketball types who swear she could play in the NBA ... Will Ferrell is beginning to make a habit of starring as a funny guy in sports movies. First, he portrayed a kids’ soccer coach. Now, he’s a car racer (Ricky Bobby) and, next February, he’ll begin filming a movie about the old American Basketball Association ... And I’m told Pat Riley will announce within the next two weeks whether he’ll retire or return as Miami’s coach.


Marty York’s column appears Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. Listen for Marty on The ROCK 94.9 FM, Monday and Friday at 8:40 a.m.



marty.york@metronews.ca

 
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