How to season a humidor

Major League Baseball used two different types of baseballs during the 2021 season, Business Insider’s Bradford William Davis reports. The league confirmed Davis’ report in a statement, noting that the reason was due to production delays related to the pandemic.

Rawlings manufactures Major League balls on a rolling basis at its factory in Costa Rica. Generally, balls are produced 6-12 months prior to being used in a game,” the league said in its statement. “Because Rawlings was forced to reduce capacity at its manufacturing facility due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the supply of re-centered baseballs was not sufficient to cover the entirety of the 2021 season. To address this issue, Rawlings incorporated excess inventory into its shipments to Clubs to provide a full complement of baseballs for the 2021 season.”

Prior to the 2021 season, the league let teams know about changes made to slightly reduce the amount of bounce in the standard baseballs, and also a weight reduction that made the balls less than one-tenth of an ounce lighter. While these balls were indeed deployed in 2021, a study from Meredith Willis (an astrophysicist associated with SABR) revealed that other baseballs used during the season had slightly-heavier centers of around 127 grams, as opposed to the newer model of ball with centers in the 124-145 gram range.

All of the Rawlings balls contain batch codes indicating the time of production, and by these codes, Willis determined that Rawlings has been producing balls with both the heavier and lighter centers since late 2019, before the pandemic began. The newer balls were produced from October 2019-January 2020 (still pre-pandemic) but Rawlings then switched production to the older and heavier balls from January to October 2020, switched back to the lighter model from October 2020 to January 2021, and has since continued producing baseballs with the heavier center.

Every baseball used in a 2021 MLB game, without exception, met existing specifications and performed as expected,” said the league in its statement. As well, all of the baseballs used in 2021 fell within the standard weight of 5 to 5.5 ounces.

However, even the most minute of changes to the baseballs can lead to quite a bit of difference on the field of play, as evidenced by years of debate over the “lively” ball and the “dead” ball. The changes to the baseball were made in the first place due to the big surge in home runs during the 2019 and 2020 seasons, after all, yet the usage of both models of ball during the 2021 campaign leads to inevitable questions about which balls were used in which games.

Yeah, that’s a big breach, for me, of competitive integrity,” one AL scout told Davis. “It is a situation where the game plays differently, and there’s a reason that’s not random or aleatory. The game is being made to play differently because they’re tampering with the ball.”

While MLB’s statement said that the MLB Players Association was informed that both types of baseball were used last season, this seemed to come as news to the 10 players Davis spoke to in regards to the story. This includes MLBPA rep Andrew Miller, who said “I’m not sure what we were told, but I’d assume it was nothing. If the balls meet standards, then they would have no reason to tell us anything.”

There’s a fair amount of distrust between players in the league on certain topics, and this is one of them….But I think now we know what we know about how small the change in the baseball can greatly affect the way it travels, the way it’s thrown, or its ability to be gripped or whatever it is — like, those parameters may be pretty wide. And if there’s room for manipulation, that is concerning.”

Similar sentiments were shared among the 24 people within the game (“including players, coaches, scouts, and senior front-office workers”) Davis spoke with about the baseballs, though as one might expect, the front office staffers “were more diplomatic” about the subject. But the overall issue remains about exactly how much oversight, if any, MLB had over when or where the heavier or lighter baseballs were used. Or, as some players presented in “more conspiratorial hypotheses,” some possibility exists that the league could have potentially sent specific baseballs for certain games or series or either increase or decrease scoring.

Going forward, the league stressed that the “2022 season will be played with only balls manufactured after the production change.” Several of the player sources in Davis’ piece suggested that the topic should be incorporated into the ongoing CBA talks between the league and the MLBPA. For more uniformity, one National League hurler felt that an independent third party should be on hand at every stadium to weigh and more thoroughly inspect the baseballs prior to each game.

Texas offers Albany DE transfer Jared Verse

The CAA Defensive Rookie of the Year is a hot commodity on the transfer market and could help address pass-rushing issues for the Longhorns.

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Texas recruiting report card: Xavier Worthy the lone standout in transitional 2021 class

One of many recent changes to the college football landscape, the early signing period has become the premiere window to sign recruits. Texas coach Steve.

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Who Are The Top Longhorns Targets For In 2023 Recruiting Class?

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Cougars welcome chance for ‘big boy football’ matchup vs. Auburn

by: Joseph Duarte — Houston Chronicle 26 Dec

“The SEC is a whole different animal, and we know that,” UH coach Dana Holgorsen said.

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Longhorns Director Of Recruiting Brandon Harris To Remain In Austin

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Brian Odom sought advice on calling OU's defense in Alamo Bowl. The answer? 'Be yourself'

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by: Bill Haisten Tulsa World — Tulsa World 25 Dec

Castiglione’s recent football search brought to mind December 1994 and OU’s hiring of Schnellenberger for one awkward season.

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How to season a humidor

To understand the motivation of the second $100 million man in Twins history, it’s helpful to listen to the first. So tell us, Joe Mauer — the day you signed for $184 million, the richest contract in Minnesota pro sports history — were you aware that you could have made even more money elsewhere?

“The short answer is yes,” Mauer said after congratulating Byron Buxton at Target Field on Wednesday. “But where Byron and I are similar is that we both wanted to be here. I never saw myself in another uniform, and obviously he wanted to stay here, too.”

He will through at least 2028 under terms of the seven-year contract Buxton signed Wednesday, the eve of a lockout that could delay his eighth season with the team that drafted him second overall in 2012. The deal guarantees him $100 million — $10 million in 2022 and $15 million from 2023-28 — with hefty bonuses if he stays healthy enough to bat more than 500 times, and between $3 million and $8 million more for any season he’s among the top 10 players to receive MVP votes.

“Being able to sign a contract like this and set up a future for my family and kids is pretty special to me,” said Buxton, who will turn 28 later this month, shortly after affixing his signature to the contract. “This is the place we want to be, and there’s nowhere else.”

Apparently so, given the billions being spread around the game this week in a unique, lockout-driven free agent frenzy. Six free agents have already signed larger contracts than Buxton, with some of the most-sought players still available.

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Buxton wasn’t a free agent, but he would have been next fall, and multiple bidders drive up the price. Free agency delivered center fielder Starling Marte, for instance, a $19.5 million annual salary after 2022 from the Mets last week.

Surely on the open market, with high-payroll teams such the Red Sox, Yankees and Dodgers involved in the bidding, Buxton — even with his long and unfortunate injury history — would have commanded more, perhaps far more, than a $15 million annual salary.

“No doubt. Next year we probably could have done a little better,” conceded Al Goetz, one of Buxton’s agents. “But for him, being where he wanted to be and where his family wants to be, that was the most important thing.”

Buxton left little doubt about that.

“For me, there’s a lot of loyalty to this. That’s how I was raised,” he said. “For me, it was a big deal. This is our home. . Staying here throughout my career was a big piece for me.”

It came as no surprise to Twins scouting director Sean Johnson, who first watched Buxton play for Baxley (Ga.) High before the 2012 draft.

“He’s so loyal — to his parents, to his hometown, to the guys who helped him and who gave him his chance,” Johnson said. “Some guys don’t care, they’re just like, ‘Get me out of here, I’m never coming back.’ He’s happy with the team, he loves it here — why would he leave?”

Now that he knows he won’t be traded — can’t be, actually, without his permission, a contract provision Buxton said he insisted upon — he has other goals to accomplish, too. Staying healthy is one, of course, given that he’s spent time on the injured list 12 times in his career. That’s a factor that induced the Twins to structure the contract in such a unique way, with a salary the team can swallow if he keeps getting hurt, but big dividends for big production.

The sort of production, actually, that Buxton hinted at with a spectacular April — a .426 batting average, eight home runs and a 1.363 on-base plus slugging percentage — and then delivered with an incredible, All Star-level 4.5 wins above replacement in only 61 games.

“The first offer we made to Byron was March 17, 2017. That’s 1,720 days ago — longer than your normal negotiation, I would say,” General Manager Thad Levine said of the talks, stalled so long that the Twins explored trading Buxton at the deadline last July. “We view this as a championship-caliber team, and he is a central figure to that. He’s a memory-maker.”

That’s the other goal Buxton spelled out Wednesday. He wants to be a lifelong Twin, but also a champion.

“The biggest thing for me now is winning as many rings as I can to bring back to Minneapolis. That’s my biggest focus,” he vowed. “I don’t have that scariness of ‘Am I going to be here?’ anymore. I’m very, very excited to get back on the field and bring that here.”

How to season a humidor

Reusse: Buxton’s hitting theory goes against MLB’s lethargic pace

Phil Miller has covered the Twins for the Star Tribune since 2013. Previously, he covered the University of Minnesota football team, and from 2007-09, he covered the Twins for the Pioneer Press.

There are plenty of holiday events set throughout Music City and the holiday season offers joyful celebrations and beautiful decorations for people of all ages.

Celebrate at Nashville's beloved attractions and special events all decked out for the holidays.

New Year's Eve in Nashville

Holiday Lights at Cheekwood

A Country Christmas

Music City Bowl

U.S. Figure Skating Championship

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    @ Gaylord Opryland’s A Country Christmas – November 12, 2021-January 2, 2022 @ Gaylord Opryland’s A Country Christmas – November 12, 2021-January 2, 2022 @ Gaylord Opryland’s A Country Christmas – November 12, 2021-January 2, 2022 @ General Jackson Showboat – November 18-December 29 @ Gaylord Opryland – November 19, 2021-January 2, 2022 @ Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park – December 31
    @ Wilson County Fairgrounds – November 12, 2021-January 2, 2022 @ Gaylord Opryland – November 12, 2021-January 2, 2022 @ Honky Tonk Party Express – November 16, 2021-January 5, 2022 @ Cheekwood Estate & Gardens – November 20, 2021-January 9, 2022 @ Sugar Creek Carriage – November 26-December 31 @ Redneck Comedy Bus – December 30
    @ Bobby Hotel – November 7, 2021-January 1, 2022 @ Janes Hideaway – November 11-TBD @ Virgin Hotels Nashville – November 12-TBD @ L27 Rooftop Lounge – November 12-February 28 @ The Fairlane – November 18-TBD @ Headquarters Beercade – November 19-TBD @ Pearl Diver – November 22-December 31 @ Noelle Nashville – November 24-TBD @ Nicky’s Coal Fired – November 26, 2021-January 1, 2022 @ Dream Nashville – November 26-TBD @ Donut Distillery – Thursdays-Saturdays; December @ Bar TENN – December 1-29 @ Butter Milk Ranch – December 2-30 @ Grand Hyatt Nashville – December 2-February 27, 2022 @ JW Marriott Nashville – December 3-30 @ W Nashville – December 3, 2021-January 9, 2022
  • ​​Grand Ole Opry @ Grand Ole Opry House – Tuesdays, Fridays & Saturdays @ Ryman Auditorium – December 28 @ Ryman Auditorium – December 30-31
    @ Zanies Nashville – December 26-27 @ Zanies Nashville – December 29 @ Zanies Nashville – December 30-31
    @ Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center – November 12, 2021-January 2, 2022 @ Fiddle Dee Farms – November 26-December 31
    @ Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum – May 25, 2018-June 5, 2022 @ Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum – July 2, 2019-May 31, 2022 @ Frist Art Museum – January 8, 2021-February 27, 2022 @ January 15, 2021-January 8, 2022 @ June 4, 2021-November 28, 2022 , American Currents: State of the Music @ Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum – July 30, 2021-August 7, 2022 @ Frist Art Museum – October 8, 2021-January 2, 2022 @ Frist Art Museum – October 8, 2021-January 2, 2022 @ Frist Art Museum – November 5, 2021-January 30, 2022 @ Opry Mills Mall – November 12, 2021-January 16, 2022 @ W Nashville – Saturdays; December 3, 2021-January 9, 2022 @ Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum – December 3, 2021-March 19, 2023 @ Lighthouse ArtSpace Nashville – December 9, 2021-February 6, 2022 @ Tennessee Performing Arts Center – January 6-23, 2022
    @ Nissan Stadium – December 30 @ Bridgestone Arena – January 3-9

Stroll through more than 3 million dazzling holiday lights through the grounds of Gaylord Opryland Resort! Enjoy magnificent decorations, spectacular holiday activities, and events that are sure to get you in the spirit of the season.

When the sun goes down, more than a million lights illuminate the Cheekwood gardens. Let the lights guide you to the reindeer, s’mores stations, walk-through train set, a glorious gazebo, and more.

The annual bowl game in Nashville pits the Southeastern Conference (SEC) against the Big Ten Conference in a holiday celebration at Nissan Stadium. Be a part of the action and purchase tickets on the Lower Level or Club Level. Need parking? We have you covered – just add the Nissan Stadium Parking Pass to your order.

Spend the last night of the year with thousands of your closest friends, hours of live music, fireworks, and the signature midnight Music Note Drop. Headliners Dierks Bentley, Zac Brown Band, Sam Hunt, Fisk Jubilee Singers, and more will rock out the 2021 Jack Daniel’s New Year’s Eve Live: Nashville’s Big Bash!

*Proof of vaccination or negative test (dated December 30 or 31) will be required for entry.

Give the gift of Nashville this season by bringing a piece of Music City back with you.