TOKYO (AP) - Japanese baseball league officials are being criticized for introducing a new ball this season without notifying players.
With close to 60 games already played, Nippon Professional Baseball acknowledged for the first time that a new ball was being used. The new livelier ball has resulted in more home runs.
NPB had previously denied that this year's increase in home runs had anything to do with changes to the baseball.
NPB also instructed the ball's manufacturer, Mizuno Corp., to say no changes were made if anyone asked.
NPB said the balls used last season did not meet certain standards and the new ball was introduced to conform to the rules.

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