Frozen Balls Are What Selig Wants

MLB CLUBS TO KEEP POWDER DRY, BALLS MOIST: This we know: A dry Macanudo Maduro crumbles. It’s useless. Might as well throw up a $20 bill and smoke it. It’s why the cigar gods invented a humidor. Same goes, apparently, for those living, breathing baseballs that Jeff Weaver enjoys serving up to ex-teammates on a silver platter.

So a trend that the Colorado Rockies started in 2002 by keeping their gameballs in a humidity- and temperature-controlled room near the Coors Field clubhouses has finally become a league-wide policy: Keep your balls moist, cool and supple to the touch. No more hardies that allow guys like Jeff Kent to continue making a living by getting good wood on ‘em.

“The specifications that Rawlings recommends are a 70 degree temperature and 50 percent humidity,” baseball senior vice president Joe Garagiola Jr. said. “The vast majority of teams were already doing this. And the ones that weren’t — they weren’t being left out on pallets in the parking lot.”

I’m pretty sure that’s what I plowed into with my car when I made that sharp left behind the right-field pavilion at Dodger Stadium last year. I’ll double-check that.

Another new rule: No more old balls. MLB told teams they may only use balls manufactured in the current year. Seems like a no-brainer, but it really means the Red Sox have a bunch of Kenesaw Mountain Landis-signed balls that now must be tossed into the harbor.

Sure, it’s a touchy subject. Team equipment guys can get really testy about being told what to do with their balls. We now go to Pete Schweaty for a reaction: