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Is the ball juiced? A Chicago-based conspiracy theory

It only took Hawk until the second series of the season before he started the conspiracy bandwagon. In the 9th inning of a game in KC, he not-so-subtly indicated that he thought the baseball had some extra life to it this season.

I caught a little bit of the Dan Patrick show during the Sox game, and they noted that there was a record number of HRs hit during showtime. Patrick jokingly said something about the ball being juiced.

Yesterday, Mike Downey of the Chicago Tribune also picked up the cause and cited some statistics, which I've updated to include yesterday's 48 HR barrage.

Major-league teams played 137 games and combined to hit 359 home runs through Thursday's games.

HR's per game

1997: 2.05
1998: 2.08
1999: 2.28
2000: 2.34
2001: 2.25
2002: 2.09
2003: 2.14
2004: 2.25
2005: 2.06
2006: 2.62
Today, Rick Morrissey fires back at Downey.

I think it's far too early to weigh in on something like this. I haven't noticed our guys hitting any cheapies, and the only two hit against us that I didn't think were hit that well were both off the bat of Mike Sweeney, who's two-gorilla strong. It's something to keep an eye on; for right now, my tin foil hat is in the dishwasher for cleaning.