How MLB’s effort to control baseballs impacts the game

At the bottom of a staircase that runs from the San Francisco Giants’ clubhouse down to behind the home team’s dugout, Eli Shayotovich crouched over a laundry basket inspecting baseballs.

A Major League Baseball gameday compliance monitor, Shayotovich had just opened the new humidor at Oracle Park, pulled out two black ball bags with blue straps and MLB logos and dumped the contents into the basket.

He pulled out each ball, one at a time, examined it and put it back into the bag – so long as it was deemed worthy. Then he poured the contents back into the basket and repeated the process while discarding a few balls that did not meet standards.

What began at Coors Field in 2002, with the Colorado Rockies becoming the first team to introduce a humidor to offset the thin air and high altitude in Denver, is now mandatory at all 30 ballparks.

Not coincidentally, offensive numbers are down this season, in some cases historically low.

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