Inside MLB’s use of two different balls last year

Welcome back to Insider Weekly! I’m Matt Turner, editor-in-chief of business at Insider.

Sometimes something just does not feel right, even if one can not put the finger on why. For many baseball fans, this has been true for some time.

Each baseball is slightly different from the next. But especially in 2021, it felt like the baseballs were particularly unpredictable. Home runs that should have been, it was not and vice versa.

This week, Bradford William Davis got to the bottom of that mystery. He reported that while Major League Baseball introduced a new ball with a lighter center, which it said would travel a little less far away from the bat, as it had promised to do in February, it also continued to use an older, heavier center ball. The problem: It obviously did not tell fans, clubs or players. Read on for an interview with Davis and his editor, John Cook.

Also in this week’s newsletter:

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Behind the scenes of our MLB survey

Abbreviated digital thumbnail of two baseballs on an unbalanced gold scale over a dark blue background


Mark Weiss / Getty; Krittiraj Adchasai / iStock; Taylor Tyson / Insider


Reporter Bradford William Davis and editor John Cook share the inside scoop on our investigation into MLB’s use of two different balls last season.

What made you investigate this?

Bradford: It started with Dr. Meredith Wills, the astrophysicist who delivered her latest study on the ball to Insider. Her work has been so captivating and remarkable because virtually everyone who watched the match knew there had been something wrong with baseballs for years, especially players. It does not hurt to be generally suspicious of organized sports – it gives me an incentive to thoroughly stick to something when I see it.

What was one of the most surprising results from the study?

John: We had Dr. Wills’ data; we knew she was unpunished; we knew it was true. But there will always be a long-standing concern: What if there is only noise in the data? What if there is something we think we understand but do not understand? It’s not every day that a hidden, opaque institution like MLB basically shakes hands and says, “OK, you got us.” But given Bradford’s reporting and Dr. Wills’ research, they did not have many options.

What should readers include from this report?

John: MLB has a lot to explain. Do they know which balls went to which parks? Did they distribute them at random? If they told the players’ association about the decision, as they claim, why did no players know about it? How did they think they would be able to make a decision like this without players and fans finding out?

Read our entire study here: Major League Baseball secretly used 2 different types of baseballs last season


Ray Dalio says the United States is in trouble

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Thomas Peter / Reuters


Ray Dalio of Bridgewater Associates, known for successful investments globally, has studied the rise and fall of empires – and says the United States is on the brink of an empire’s end disaster.

In an exclusive interview, he told us that investors should stay balanced, consider the effects of inflation and have some cash.

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Leaked video shows Better CEO explaining layoffs

Vishal Garg CEO better


Better.com


On Wednesday, shortly after noon


online-pant

startup Better laid off hundreds of people, CEO Vishal Garg told staff at a livestreamed town hall meeting. A leaked recording of the meeting was shared with Insider.

In the video, Garg told the remaining employees that the company lost $ 100 million in the last quarter. He said, “We acknowledge that we hired and hired the wrong people, and in doing so, we failed.”

More from the leaked video here.


Search all known aircraft operated by Jeffrey Epstein’s private jets

Jeffrey Epstein jetfly


Insider


Between 1995 and his arrest on charges of sex trafficking in 2019, Jeffrey Epstein flew lushly aboard his fleet of private jets, often in the company of celebrities, statesmen and girls.

We have collected all known flights taken by the sex offender’s jets – more than 2,500 in total – and published them in a searchable format for the first time.

Check out the database here.


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Prepared with the help of Jordan Erb.

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