Skip to content

Reminder: PEDs didn’t create the inflated offense of the 90s, drug testing didn’t eliminate it

Aug 15, 2013, 3:00 PM EDT

syringe

I’m not so much of a PED-guy defender that I believe PEDs have zero effects. I’m sure they do. They likely allow for players to recover from workouts quicker, thus allowing them to work out more. Some build strength and muscle mass, obviously. All of these effects likely lead to a situation where players can throw harder and hit the ball farther or, for hitters, wait on a ball longer before uncoiling on it. I say “likely” because I am no expert in any of this, but I am as sure as any lay person who hasn’t immersed himself in the research of the matter can be that, yes, many banned PEDs do, in fact, enhance performance.

But I have long believed that the effects on offense are overstated. Again, I don’t have exact empirical evidence of this, but I have found in life that highly-pitched hysteria about anything is likely evidence that someone’s case is being overstated. I’ll grant that there were communists in the U.S. government in the 1940s and 50s.  I won’t buy crazy claims that they were systematically working to topple democracy and were one alcoholic senator from Wisconsin away from succeeding. Life just doesn’t work like that, usually. There are a lot of factors in play in almost any complicated system and people who point to one thing as a singular, efficacious factor in any phenomenon are usually trying to sell you a bill of goods or have another agenda altogether. And when some other factor emerges that makes the “threat” seem less threatening — like, say, large-scale expansion and a spate of cozy, home run-friendly ballparks coming online in the 1990s — those factors tend to be ignored.

Today David Schoenfield rounds up some past research on the matter from Joe Sheehan and David Cameron which demonstrates that there was a lot more going on in the 90s and early 2000s besides PEDs inflating offense and that there is a lot more going on now besides drug testing and players’ changing attitudes about PEDs that is deflating it. It’s well worth your time. And note: Schoenfield is not some crazy, unhinged PED-apologist. He’s just an analyst looking at data and showing that maybe, just maybe, the folks who think that PEDs ruined or distorted baseball are full of beans.

165 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. braddavery - Aug 15, 2013 at 3:04 PM

    Obsession… by Craig Calcaterra.

    • koufaxmitzvah - Aug 15, 2013 at 3:07 PM

      Wait… So Craig is behind all the PED talk?

      • donnaturner6566 - Aug 15, 2013 at 6:34 PM

        Only seriusly intrested persons required .. please
        you have to work and use the computer and internet, and if you can do that and dedicate some time each day then you can do this with no problem. I have been working with this for a month and have made over $2,000 already. let me know if you need more here you go.. click as new agent

    • paperlions - Aug 15, 2013 at 3:11 PM

      Pot calling kettle….by braddavery

      • cur68 - Aug 15, 2013 at 6:58 PM

        I don’t know why anyone bothers with replying to “braddavery” anymore. He’s either half bright or the world’s greatest troll. Simple concepts like peer reviewed research illicit the “I don’t know what you are talking about” riposte. His patented “concrete thinking” approach sees him tying otherwise worldly and intelligent people into knots as they attempt to break already common and widely accepted concepts into smaller and smaller chunks in order to fit it into his seemingly tiny brain. By the time you think you’re getting a glimmer of understanding from the nitwit, he leaps back to a “what does THAT have to do with Bonds crushing balls” stance. And you have to start all over again, hoping to keep him on track…providing of course you yourself can keep track of what simple point you were trying to make. The guy’s just effin’ maddening.

      • paperlions - Aug 15, 2013 at 7:25 PM

        Yeah, he believes what he believes and no amount of evidence will ever change his opinion….he’ll just talk louder. I haven’t seriously responded to him in a while…..but HIM calling someone obsessed is hysterical.

      • braddavery - Aug 15, 2013 at 7:27 PM

        I’m just happy that you care enough about me to put so much thought into that mini diatribe of nothingness. : D

      • braddavery - Aug 15, 2013 at 7:29 PM

        You have evidence that Craig isn’t obsessed with the subject of PEDs in baseball? Oh, please do share! Change my mind! lol

      • cur68 - Aug 15, 2013 at 8:26 PM

        Christ, and always with the “lol”, too. He’s either a giggling fool with drool on his chin, or some eyebrow twirling Jame Gumb type. This guy would “lol” his mom getting kneecapped by elves. I swear to Dog, that “lol” is actually a “101” and reflects his damn IQ; he just too dense to realize that he can use the number pad.

      • paperlions - Aug 15, 2013 at 10:10 PM

        I can’t believe you still read anything he posts, by the time I see bradda….I just elide over the rest on my way to the next post.

      • cur68 - Aug 15, 2013 at 10:17 PM

        Its like seeing the resident crazy guy in the neighbourhood. Sometimes you DO have to stop and say “Hey Crazy Guy! Still Crazy? Yup? Okay then!”
        Usually about once a year is good enough for me.

      • braddavery - Aug 15, 2013 at 11:13 PM

        You guys angry enough? Jesus. lol I’ve never seen so much hatred and vitriol spewed over a difference of opinion of a trivial matter. I think you guys are taking this shit WAY too seriously and need to relax a little. Yikes.

    • johninpa - Aug 15, 2013 at 5:28 PM

      In the world of science, in which this opinion piece enters into, research is the gold standard. Unless you are able to show me research, published in a peer reviewed journal, your opinion on PED’s is worth less than the paper (or keyboard) it is written on. The data you cite are baseball statistics, far from anything that actually evaluates the effects of PED’s on human performance in baseball.

      I don’t think you can just shrug PED’s off. They provide an unfair advantage in training and healing – cheating plain and simple. Until you show me the research to support your position on the effects of PED’s on human performance in baseball, perhaps you should not try to just write it off.

      • jwbiii - Aug 15, 2013 at 5:48 PM

        Aspirin also provides an advantage in training and healing.

      • braddavery - Aug 15, 2013 at 5:56 PM

        Maybe MLB should ban aspirin then? Are you an advocate for that?

      • cur68 - Aug 15, 2013 at 7:00 PM

        Maybe MLB should ban aspirin then? Are you an advocate for that?

        See?!! SEE!!!??? Not one iota of understanding for a simple point. Sheesh.

      • jwbiii - Aug 15, 2013 at 7:07 PM

        Not at all. It’s a matter of the use of the word “unfair,” really.

        Aspirin confers an advantage, but its use is fair. It is available over the counter in every country that I know of.

        Stanozolol confers an advantage, but its use is unfair. It is controlled in the U.S. and Canada, but available over the counter in the Dominican Republic.

        Androstenediol confers an advantage, but its use was fair until 2004, but after then it was unfair. It was available over the counter in the U.S., but is now controlled.

        The line between fair and unfair is kind of blurry, and it changes between when and where you are.

      • braddavery - Aug 15, 2013 at 7:32 PM

        I’m amused that cur68 is so infatuated with me. He can’t even bring himself to post about the subject at-hand because he’s too busy posting about me, someone he doesn’t even know. : )

      • cur68 - Aug 15, 2013 at 8:32 PM

        The subject at hand has been adequately explained. Its been OVER explained. There’s no other way to explain or debate it. There are only two logical conclusions for your continued confusion/stupidity/obtuseness:

        1) you are too stupid to get it

        2) you choose not to get it

        In either case there is no point WHATSOEVER in continuing to try and explain: you will never admit understanding.

        Good Day.

        Oh, right: “LOL”. Sheesh.

      • braddavery - Aug 15, 2013 at 11:15 PM

        Still as angry as you could be over someone disagreeing with you on the internet I see. You take yourself way too seriously, dude. You have anger issues.

    • pjmarn6 - Aug 16, 2013 at 1:28 AM

      Peds are responsible for making Craig Calceterra a numbskull. Clearly we see that that Calceterra is only writing sensational asshole comments to get a rise out of people. His salary is dependent on getting people to read his shit so we see more garbage commercials on nbc.sports.
      His legacy will be “I WROTE MORE SHIT THAN ANYONE ELSE!”

    • pjmarn6 - Aug 16, 2013 at 1:37 AM

      One thing Calcaterra will never see is an award for sports broadcasting. All those unstable thoughts he is raving about caused the brain cells to shed his hair and create that shining dome that reflects all that blinding light on tv.
      Or is it vice versa, the shining dome caused his brain cells to misfire and lead to the garbage that he writes?

    • pjmarn6 - Aug 16, 2013 at 5:44 AM

      Remember what the father told his son, when he was asked what the father did in the war? Wouldn’t it be interesting to listen what Calcaterra tells his children how he supported the druggies during the PEDs and steroid era of baseball?

      • abaird2012 - Aug 16, 2013 at 9:58 AM

        No need for you to be here if you’re not enjoying the content.

      • pjmarn6 - Aug 16, 2013 at 2:48 PM

        abaird2012 no need for you to waste space on the comment page if you are not going to make a real comment.

      • abaird2012 - Aug 16, 2013 at 11:07 PM

        Sorry, didn’t have anything dickish to say.

    • Michael - Aug 19, 2013 at 2:08 PM

      The 1990s were a golden age of baseball.

      The biggest change in that decade wasn’t steroids or a juiced ball — it was the weight room.

      Ballplayers became athletes and training became science in the 1990s. So many people miss that fact.

  2. yahmule - Aug 15, 2013 at 3:06 PM

    Oh good, this bullshit again.

    • hammyofdoom - Aug 15, 2013 at 3:12 PM

      I’d agree with your sentiment if people didn’t keep talking about steroids like it can make Luis Mendoza into Sammy Sosa. They have an effect but I really do doubt they have as much effect as people believe

      • braddavery - Aug 15, 2013 at 3:22 PM

        lol Steroids made Sammy Sosa into Sammy Sosa. The guy was a weak hitting nobody before the juice.

      • eightyraw - Aug 15, 2013 at 3:40 PM

        @braddavery

        You know when Sammy Sosa started taking PEDs? Crazy to think that a kid from DR could add mass in his mid-20s.

        http://scouts.baseballhall.org/report?reportid=05290&playerid=sosasa01

      • braddavery - Aug 15, 2013 at 3:55 PM

        I’m not really sure what you are getting at. Are you implying that Sammy Sosa never took steroids, or that he was an MVP caliber player before he started taking steroids?

      • yahmule - Aug 15, 2013 at 4:13 PM

        Hey, I’ll bet steroids actually hamper a batter’s performance. I’ll bet the record-breaking utterly ridiculous career year Barry Bonds posted at 36 (one year older than Bobby Bonds was when he retired) would have been even better if not for the steroids slowing him down.

        JFC.

      • eightyraw - Aug 15, 2013 at 4:20 PM

        1. You don’t know when he started taking banned substances, so how do you know that he was a weak hitting nobody before using banned substances
        2. Do you want earlier scouting reports? Sosa was never a weak-hitting nobody. Future grade 80 power means he was expected to be an elite power hitter.

      • eightyraw - Aug 15, 2013 at 4:23 PM

        @Yahmule: Hank Aaron had his best offensive season in 1971. So he must’ve been on steroids?

      • braddavery - Aug 15, 2013 at 4:27 PM

        Isn’t that what you and many others already know, that Hank Aaron used PEDs? Why ask when you already know?

      • braddavery - Aug 15, 2013 at 4:29 PM

        I still don’t understand your point. Are you implying that even without the use of steroids, Sammy Sosa could have accomplished everything he accomplished?

      • eightyraw - Aug 15, 2013 at 4:45 PM

        @braddavery
        Not sure anyone has ever seriously proposed the idea that Hank Aaron used steroids. Amphetamines are stimulants. Not sure how this helps his power, and I’m pretty sure Hank Aaron didn’t decide to take amphetamines for one season only. Weird things happen. Bonds career year at age 36 doesn’t prove a damn thing. It is one player season.

        A player projected to be in the top 0.3% of power hitters in baseball turns into one of the best power hitters in baseball. All credit goes to the miracle drugs.

    • clemente2 - Aug 15, 2013 at 6:31 PM

      Only from you.

    • pjmarn6 - Aug 17, 2013 at 2:40 PM

      abaird2012 you forgot to put your dick on before you sat at the computer?

  3. eightyraw - Aug 15, 2013 at 3:07 PM

    I tried to make this point in the comments section of the Jack Clark articles. It did not go over well.

    Another fantastic piece of research (by Nate Silver) that Schoenfield does not mention: http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=18053

  4. kcroyal - Aug 15, 2013 at 3:11 PM

    Craig, with all due reapect what the fuck are you talking about?!? PED’s didn’t inflate 90’s offense? Why were dude regularly jacking 50 to 60 home run regularly like never before and aren’t doing so since? Coincidence? Come on.

    • Craig Calcaterra - Aug 15, 2013 at 3:16 PM

      It must be cool to comment on articles without reading them.

      • pjmarn6 - Aug 16, 2013 at 5:39 AM

        It must be cool to write such articles without thinking what you are writing.

    • dlf9 - Aug 15, 2013 at 3:16 PM

      Let me guess … you didn’t read the linked article.

      • Walk - Aug 15, 2013 at 6:39 PM

        The linked article is a good read if you have time, though it is a bit long. Also dan uggla is apparently the poster boy of today’s game. I laughed and groaned as I considered that premise.

    • Reflex - Aug 15, 2013 at 3:19 PM

      Did you read the article? No, not coincidence. PEDs certainly played a role, but a larger role was likely the ballpark building boom which replaced a lot of neutral and pitchers parks with hitters parks(often extreme hitters parks) and the expansion of the league which added four teams in the 90’s and as a result introduced a lot more mediocre pitching during that time. Both of those factors in past decades have led to offensive explosions, and there is little reason to believe the 90’s would be immune to them.

      That is not a claim that PEDs did not contribute. But they were not the only contributer and likely not the largest contributer. They may have even been only a mild contributer. Give a guy like Bonds access to two additional teams that are absolutely crappy for much of a decade(Marlins/Rockies/Dbacks), move him from Candlestick(extreme pitchers park) to PacBell(pitchers park but far less extreme), give him a bunch of games in Colorado and Arizona every season, magnified by the unbalanced schedule, and yes add a dose of PEDs to his diet and you have a formula that makes a already top ten player in baseball history and makes him an absolute monster. How much of a monster is due to the PEDs though is likely greatly overstated.

      If all this had occurred during the second half of Mays’ career and you’d have seen something similar happen.

      • apmn - Aug 15, 2013 at 3:28 PM

        At the start of Mays’ career there were 16 teams. By the end of his career there were 24 teams.

      • Reflex - Aug 15, 2013 at 3:43 PM

        So you are asserting that Mays was a product of expansion and PEDs(reenies in his case)? ;)

      • braddavery - Aug 15, 2013 at 4:05 PM

        I must have missed the period of recent history when teams all went back to pitcher-friendly parks and MLB went back down to 26 teams while implementing strict PED testing… that must be why juiced up roid heads are no longer hitting 60+ HRs a season regularly, right?

      • Reflex - Aug 15, 2013 at 4:24 PM

        Actually now that you mention it, yes. Parks that opened in the 90’s –

        US Cellular Field: Hitters
        Camden Yards: Hitters
        Progressive Field: Hitters
        Rangers Ballpark: Hitters
        Coors Field: Extreme Hitters
        Turner Field: Neutral
        Chase Field: Extreme Hitters

        Parks that opened in the 00’s –

        Safeco Field: Extreme Pitchers
        AT&T Park: Pitchers
        Comerica Park: Pitchers
        Minute Maid Park: Hitters
        Miller Park: Neutral
        PNC Park: Pitchers
        Geat American Ball Park: Hitters
        Citizens Bank Park: Hitters
        Petco Park: Extreme Pitchers
        Busch Stadium: Pitchers
        National’s Park: Pitchers
        Citi Field: Extreme Pitchers
        Yankee Stadium: Extreme Hitters
        Target Field: Pitchers
        Marlins Park: Pitchers

        Notice something interesting there? Even worse if you look up the parks that the 90’s parks replaced, most were pitchers parks, and if you look up the parks that the 00’s parks replaced most were hitters parks.

        While I certainly do not think that park effects accounted for everything or even necessarily most of it(I’d say expansion did), we changed 22 of 30 parks in the past two decades. It started with a trend towards small hitters parks and ended with a major trend towards large pitchers parks. You can’t pretend that that would not have a serious impact on league wide offense and pitching.

      • chip56 - Aug 15, 2013 at 4:25 PM

        Except that all of those parks, all of those crappy teams – they’re all still here and HRs are decreasing. In fact, since PEDs were banned, PETCO brought their fences in and the Yankees built a launching pad for a stadium and rates are still decreasing.

        So that pretty much laughs in the face of your argument.

      • Reflex - Aug 15, 2013 at 4:30 PM

        I do not think you are understanding the argument. Since 2001, 15 parks have been built, a full half of the entire league. The overwhelming majority of these have been pitchers parks, so many in fact that what was once a neutral park would be considered a mild hitters park today. This reverse a 90’s trend in which almost every park built was a strong hitters park.

        Meanwhile, as these giant pitchers parks get built, offense starts on a steady decline. In fact offense declines so much that three of the most extreme pitchers parks(Citi/Petco/Safeco) actually adjusted their fences to try and get some sort of offense going(all three are still strong pitchers parks however).

      • apmn - Aug 15, 2013 at 5:40 PM

        No, I am saying that the second half of Mays career was not as nearly successful as the second half of Bonds career in spite of them both playing during expansion eras. How do you explain the different outcomes? I would attribute it to Bonds’ usage of the clear and the cream.

      • Reflex - Aug 15, 2013 at 5:44 PM

        Do you also choose to attribute the second half of Aaron’s career to PEDs? While its less common to see a surge in the second half of a players career than the first, its certainly not unprecedented and is commonly the case with the greats.

        Also, why is it more likely that PEDs contributed to Bonds’ surge than a rash of small ballparks, expansion pitching, and that fact that his home park shrank(Candlestick to PacBell)?

      • eightyraw - Aug 15, 2013 at 6:18 PM

        How do you explain two players aging differently? Steroids!

      • Reflex - Aug 15, 2013 at 6:21 PM

        Yup, way better explanation than league changes, park changes, nutritional changes or god forbid, genetic differences. Its just all steroids!!!

      • apmn - Aug 15, 2013 at 6:46 PM

        You are the one who first compared Mays and Bonds. I was just pointing out that there was a 50% expansion of the league during Mays career, while Bonds experienced only an ~10% league expansion. Mays would have benefited to a much greater degree from diluted pitching quality, yet his stats decline fairly normally over his career. I will grant you your argument about the change in ballparks during Bonds career was significant.

      • Reflex - Aug 15, 2013 at 6:55 PM

        All that says is that Mays’ decline would have likely been even more dramatic without the dilution that occurred, though. These things are relative to the players and the league.

      • apmn - Aug 15, 2013 at 7:03 PM

        “If all this had occurred during the second half of Mays’ career and you’d have seen something similar happen.”

        Your words. By “something similar happen”, I did not realize that you meant that Mays would have declined more rapidly.

        I think we will have to agree to disagree about the degree to which PEDs impacted Bonds’ career. Feel free to put in the last word if you wish. Cheers!

      • gloccamorra - Aug 15, 2013 at 10:04 PM

        Funny, some of those things DID happen the second half of Mays’ career: expansion in ’61 and ’69, new ballparks, etc. But those things didn’t happen the second half of Ted Williams’ career. Bonds’ last year he hit 28 homers in 340 at bats at age 42. Williams’ last year, he hit 29 homers in 310 at bats at age 42. Was Ted Williams juiced?

      • Reflex - Aug 16, 2013 at 2:40 PM

        He’s hanging on Mays because he feels it makes his point, but really I should have just said Hank Aaron and been done with it. Lots of players have had late career surges.

    • eightyraw - Aug 15, 2013 at 3:22 PM

      A majority of hitters all decided to take special HR-helping PEDs at the exact same time. Then hitters all stopped taking these special PEDs. What other possible explanation could there be? Normally, the offensive environment of MLB never changes.

      • Reflex - Aug 15, 2013 at 6:26 PM

        Yeah, the deadball era never happened. The 60’s never happened. The 80’s never happened. The offensive environment of MLB is very consistent. Except when it isn’t, of course.

      • clemente2 - Aug 15, 2013 at 6:35 PM

        80–You appear to be operating in a fact-free zone. Stop commenting.

      • eightyraw - Aug 15, 2013 at 6:58 PM

        @Clemente: The above comment was sarcastic (which should be obvious given my other comments in this thread). Find me one thing I have said that can be disproved? And thanks for telling me what to do.

    • paperlions - Aug 15, 2013 at 3:25 PM

      *sigh*

      Riddle me this Einstein.

      Players have been using steroids since at least the 60s. Players appear to still be using steroids and medical experts say that it is fairly easy to design a steroid-based protocol to avoid detection via standard testing, all players have to do is hire someone to do this for them (which, apparently, is pretty common in many sports). MLB did not start testing for steroids until 2004. Despite the extended time period during which player have used steroids, why is it that players only hit > 61 HRs during a 4 year time period?

      Steroid use didn’t change during that 4 year stretch, so maybe, just maybe something else did.

      • jeffrp - Aug 15, 2013 at 3:47 PM

        And you have evidence that the usage and effectiveness of steroids by MLB players has remained unchanged since the 60s?

        I agree that many factors likely contributed to the numbers seen during the “steroid era”, but just making shit up doesn’t contribute to the conversation.

      • paperlions - Aug 15, 2013 at 4:02 PM

        I am sure usage has changed through time, but the most effective steroid is still testosterone. The point is that players have used these drugs for 60 years, and only during a 4 year span were more than 60 HRs hit….there is approximately a 0% chance that this would be by chance…those same players didn’t hit that many HRs before or after those years and they played both before and after those dates.

        There is approximately a 100% chance that something other than steroids contributed more than steroids to the spike in HR totals, starting with changes to the ball, the tendency to build small parks in the 90s, and the locations of expansion (Colorado and Arizona).

      • cohnjusack - Aug 15, 2013 at 4:24 PM

        The number of power spikes for individual players in that era is jaw-dropping. Everyone focus’s on the McGwire’s and Bonds’s, and the occasional Brady Anderson claiming “see! Look at all those sudden home runs! He must have done steroids!”

        But a lot more players had sudden power spikes than I am willing to say must have done steroids. Some examples

        –Barry Larkin – 33 in 96, never hit more than 20 any other year
        –Tony Gwynn- 33 over a two year period in his late 30s, never hit more than 28 over a three year stretch
        –Ellis Burks- had a little pop, topping out at 21 home runs. Suddenly becomes a 30 home run threat. This wasn’t limited to Coors either. He had two 30 home run seasons after leaving CO and two more where injuries prevented him from reaching it.
        –Ed Sprague hit 36 home runs one year. Ed Sprague!/em>
        –Terry Steinbach never hit more than 16 home runs, except 1996 when he hit 35
        –Steve Finley became a power hitter at age 31…with the occasion years where his power just evaporated for a season before bouncing back
        –Light hitting shortstop Kevin Elster hit 24 then disappeared
        –Gary Gaetti hadn’t hit 20 homers in 7 years, then hits 35
        –BJ Surhoff had no power, then averaged 23 homers a year between 1996-1999
        –Sandy Alomar had very little power and hit 21 in 1997
        –Mike Lansing hit 20 in 1997, never hit more than 11 any other year
        –Brian McCrae hit 21 in 1998
        –Jay Bell never hit more than 16 before age 31, hits 38 at age 33
        –Mike Lieberthan hit 20 only one other time in his careeer, hits 31 in 1999
        –Rich Aurilia hits 37 in 2001
        –Brad Fulmer hits 32 in 2000, never top 20 any other year
        –Darin Erstad hits 25 at age 26, hits 10 just one more time the rest of his career
        –John Vander Wal never hit more than 6 in a season, hits 24 in 2000 at age 34
        –Mike Bordick hits 20 in 2000, more than the first 7 years of his career combined

        Most of these guys didn’t become power hitters…they had 1 or 2 years where they hit home runs then went right back to normal. Sure, some of these guys probably did PEDs, but all of them? Then what, did Mike Bordick’s steroids just suddenly stop working?

        There probably is no one reason. If I had to guess what caused the 1990s power surge it would be as follows, and why it seems largely back to normal(in no particular order of importance):
        1. The proliferation of PEDs. I think it helped some guys more than others and other guys not at all, but overall I would guess it had an effect, though I think it’s certainly overstated.

        2. Lack of good pitching. This sounds weird, but sometimes one end of the game just dominates more than the other. Most telling about the steroid era is that there were many incredibly dominant pitchers: Maddux, Johnson, Clemens, Martinez….they rank among the greatest in baseball history. There were just so many guys. It would be interesting for someone to research good pitchers in the early 90s and compare their stats to the mid-90s adjusting for normal rates of decline.

        3. This may be wrong, but it seems like every new ballpark built in the 90s was extremely hitter friendly. Newer parks (Safeco, Petco, Busch) haven’t been and may have helped negate this effect.

        Gold star to anyone who made it all the way through this.

      • cohnjusack - Aug 15, 2013 at 4:26 PM

        –Ed Sprague hit 36 home runs one year. Ed Sprague!/em>

        A’hem. “” My apologies and I have learned a valuable lesson in properly closing my emphasis tags.

      • Reflex - Aug 15, 2013 at 4:36 PM

        I did the park breakdown above. It almost certainly contributed, and I’d be surprised if it wasn’t the second largest contributer(after expansion). I honestly did not realize that half the parks were built post-2000 and that all but three were pitchers parks.

      • joestemme - Aug 15, 2013 at 5:57 PM

        cohnjusack’s post is the king here!

        I’m a huge stats guy. Read Nate Silver’s column regularly. Still, as cohnjusack points out, there is much more than mere ‘conjecture’ here on the part of anti-PED folks.

        Stats are great, but, sometimes, you can also get stuck in the weeds with them.

        Here’s a simple stat that illustrates the ‘Steroid era’ for what it was:

        Number of Players who hit 55 or more homers:

        Pre-1997 – Six.
        1997 to 2006 – Eight
        2006 to Present – 0

        So, Baseball has been played for over 120 years and during one 10 year period, more players hit 55 or more homers than the other 100+ years COMBINED.

      • paperlions - Aug 15, 2013 at 6:05 PM

        I think you missed the point of his post then….since the steroid era started WELL before 1997….the point is that something was making EVERYONE hit more HRs for a few years, and because EVERYONE did not start using and stop using steroids at the same time, steroids are highly unlikely to be the primary reason for the HR blip.

        Narratives are great, but they often lead you to focus unnecessarily on one factor while ignoring everything else. The steroid era was not 10 years it was many decades, something else happened for that 10 years….what was it?

      • eightyraw - Aug 15, 2013 at 7:00 PM

        @Cohn

        It is amazing that three hitters that were expected to have prodigious power (scouting reports for Sosa, McGwire, and Bonds at age 23 all project 80-grade power) could hit more home runs in a season than Roger Maris

      • cur68 - Aug 15, 2013 at 7:08 PM

        @joe: steroids have been around for more than 80 years (1930’s). They’ve been used in sports for roughly the same period. Look it up if you don’t believe me.

      • joestemme - Aug 15, 2013 at 10:22 PM

        @cur68

        You aren’t seriously comparing today’s PED’s to those of decades ago?

        So, if 9 ‘roided up guys hitting more than 55 hrs. in 10 years period when it happened only 6 in the other 110+ of MLB isn’t enough of a “coincidence” – how about all those guys getting more power as they age?

        As MANY MANY MANY ex-athletes have said – you don’t get stronger and better as you hit your mid-30s.

      • paperlions - Aug 16, 2013 at 7:19 AM

        You are right. I am sure that the fact that not a single person that has analyzed the data from the last 30 years can find a single signal of steroids in the data is just a coincidence.

        After all, according to the data, everyone started taking steroids the same off season, as league-wide HR rates just dramatically one year. I mean, there was a new baseball introduced that year by a different manufacturer that used a tight wind, a bouncier core, and more synthetic materials….but I’m sure that wasn’t it. Everyone must have just decided to use roids at their union meeting.

    • hammyofdoom - Aug 15, 2013 at 3:29 PM

      Expansion pitching. Smaller ballparks with thin air (Arizona, Colorado), small strike zone that aided the hitters. There’s a TON of stuff that went on during the era that wasn’t part of steroid use and if you read the article that Craig was nice enough to link you would have all the same information I have. And again, Craig is NOT saying steroids had zero effect: just not as much as some people believe

      • braddavery - Aug 15, 2013 at 4:14 PM

        When did MLB revert back to 26 teams playing in pitcher-friendly parks then, thus diminishing players hitting 60+ HRs a season with ease? Just trying to figure that one out. If you have the cause for 60+ HR hitters down, then I would like an explanation as to what has caused a DROP in 60+ HR hitters. Thanks.

      • cohnjusack - Aug 15, 2013 at 4:36 PM

        Hey Braddavery, couple of things.

        1. MLB has reverted to more pitcher friendly parks. Most newer ballparks have been much more friendly than new ballparks in the 1990s. Also, Coors is more pitcher friendly (humidor!)

        2. The strike zone is a huge factor I had forgotten about in my previous post. After the 2001 season, MLB insisted umpires start enforcing the high strike.

        3. Steroids, I’m not denying those, just don’t think it was the only reason.

        4. There have still been plenty of 50 home run hitters. Remember, the 60 home run hitters were three different people, that’s it. 7 players have hit 50 or more home runs since 2005. 9 players hit 50 or more home runs from 1996-2004

      • braddavery - Aug 15, 2013 at 5:07 PM

        I would never argue that expansion, hitter-friendly baseballs and more hitter-friendly parks don’t increase homerun totals, but I also would never be so stupid to actually believe that Bonds’, McGwire’s and Sosa’s homerun accomplishments weren’t enhanced by PED use and that they could have done what they did without the use of PEDs.

      • cohnjusack - Aug 15, 2013 at 5:10 PM

        , but I also would never be so stupid to actually believe that Bonds’, McGwire’s and Sosa’s homerun accomplishments weren’t enhanced by PED use and that they could have done what they did without the use of PEDs.

        Which is interesting, because neither Craig, myself, nor Hammofdoom who you initially responded to every said steroids had zero effect. In fact, every single one of us made it a point to say that steroids DID have an effect.

      • braddavery - Aug 15, 2013 at 5:15 PM

        Which is interesting, because I never said you did.

      • cohnjusack - Aug 15, 2013 at 5:21 PM

        Which is interesting, because I never said you did.

        Then what are you arguing with us for? I say this because these posts are being made using the reply feature?

      • braddavery - Aug 15, 2013 at 5:30 PM

        Who’s arguing? I’m simply discussing the topic at-hand with people who are doing the same. Relax.

      • clemente2 - Aug 15, 2013 at 6:40 PM

        bravedaddy comments should be considered in the context he cannot remember what he wrote or why over a two hour period.

      • braddavery - Aug 15, 2013 at 6:56 PM

        Hilarious!

      • cohnjusack - Aug 15, 2013 at 7:03 PM

        braddavery’s comments should also be remembered in the context that he’s responsible for Apex Down, who are fuck awful,

    • pjmarn6 - Aug 16, 2013 at 1:32 AM

      How can you ask a pothead high on drugs what he is talking about? It’s like asking a Lincoln Tunnel beggar to tell you about a hedge fund.

  5. clarenceoveur - Aug 15, 2013 at 3:40 PM

    I would agree with the general thesis that roids had a non-zero impact on the homers, but not the massive impact that’s assumed. But having said that, Sheehan’s numbers are misleading nonsense imho. IF one of the effects of the excessive roiding was improved visual acuity, isn’t it quite within the realm of possibility that that goes a great deal towards explaining the decline in contact rates?

    • Reflex - Aug 15, 2013 at 3:47 PM

      Why couldn’t the rise of better pitching account for it just as easily? Lasik also increases visual acuity, and its being used routinely to get better than human vision by athletes. Certainly a more measurable and extreme effect than any PED could give.

  6. chip56 - Aug 15, 2013 at 3:48 PM

    Well then, if the impact of PEDs on actually enhancing performance then players should have no problem giving them up…problem solved.

  7. chip56 - Aug 15, 2013 at 3:49 PM

    Correcting my last: If the impact of PEDs on actually enhancing performance is that minimal then players should have no problem giving them up…problem solved.

    • eightyraw - Aug 15, 2013 at 3:53 PM

      Baseball players use Phiten products and batting donuts

      • chip56 - Aug 15, 2013 at 3:56 PM

        Those aren’t banned by MLB. My guess is that if they were, the players would stop using them.

        Players seem to be risking an awful lot to use something that, according to the article, have a minimal positive result.

      • braddavery - Aug 15, 2013 at 3:56 PM

        Strawman much?

      • Reflex - Aug 15, 2013 at 4:03 PM

        No, the point is that players use a lot of things that give them no demonstrable performance enhancement. Players are superstitions and often not well educated. If they put on a stupidly huge necklace and hit a home run, they then decide that the necklace helped them out and keep wearing it. If they take steroids and have a great season, they attribute it to the steroids.

      • braddavery - Aug 15, 2013 at 4:17 PM

        So because some players use perfectly legal and allowed placebos, that equates to steroids being placebos? Gotcha. No strawman there. You are right.

      • chip56 - Aug 15, 2013 at 4:17 PM

        Reflex,

        I’ve read some stupid things on this blog – but that’s up there.

        There is a difference between a player wearing the same socks over and over again when he’s on a hitting streak and risking the loss of his salary and reputation by taking steroids.

      • eightyraw - Aug 15, 2013 at 4:38 PM

        Batting donuts are proven to be detrimental to bat speed: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424053111903341404576482291550957386.html

        Why would a player risk his future earnings?

      • chip56 - Aug 15, 2013 at 4:55 PM

        Yeah, swinging a batting donut is exactly the same thing as a 50 game suspension and loss of pay…you got me there.

      • eightyraw - Aug 15, 2013 at 5:05 PM

        Using something that can cause worse performance means risking future earnings. This is how a rational actor would view the situation.

      • chip56 - Aug 15, 2013 at 5:15 PM

        No, a rational person realizes that there are degrees of potential harm. Batting donut; minimal impact. Loss of nearly 1/3 your earnings in one season and questions about your ability to perform when not using performance enhancing drugs; much greater impact.

      • eightyraw - Aug 15, 2013 at 5:36 PM

        A rational actor realizes degrees of harm, still uses something that is proven to reduce bat speed anyway because well it’s not the worst thing ever?

        That actor is not rational.

      • clemente2 - Aug 15, 2013 at 6:47 PM

        Because you are not paying attention to what the players say when caught—had injury, soreness, wanted to get better faster and get out on field. A few used it to augment weight training, especially as it allows faster recovery to do more weight training. Most were looking for faster healing. This PEDS like steriods and testosterone probably do. So, the advantage is getting on the field more and later in life. That it made them hit more HRs than their normal ability is not so clear, except for the getting more ABs aspect. The amazing thing about Bonds numbers is not the HRs but the walks, and that is mental disclipline–he has years where he barely ever takes a third strike. That he felt like being out on the field at all, especially with his bad kness, probably PEDs. But look at 2007, his last year, long after testing.

  8. heyblueyoustink - Aug 15, 2013 at 4:03 PM

    Just passing by, let me know when this whole thing is over with and we’re back to making fun of aquaman.

  9. yahmule - Aug 15, 2013 at 4:04 PM

    You know who else wasn’t aided by PEDs? Lance Armstrong and a mega-fuckton of Olympic champions. Didn’t help ‘em a bit.

    • eightyraw - Aug 15, 2013 at 4:34 PM

      Riding a bike up a mountain is exactly like hitting a baseball

      • clemente2 - Aug 15, 2013 at 6:49 PM

        yes; but I do not think yamule or brave are thinking enough to understand what this means

      • apmn - Aug 15, 2013 at 7:15 PM

        No, but riding a bike up a mountain faster is analogous to hitting a baseball harder. Analogs don’t need to be exact to have merit for comparison.

  10. Glenn - Aug 15, 2013 at 4:07 PM

    Didn’t Bill James already say all of this about five or more years ago?

  11. chip56 - Aug 15, 2013 at 4:15 PM

    Can steroids help you hit a curveball? No.

    Were there a number of factors other than PEDs that came together to increase run production during the height of the steroid era? Yes.

    Sheehan’s argument though is flawed in a whole bunch of ways:

    1. PED use can help a hitter be quicker; thus improving contact rates – in other words, the guys who were doing steroids aren’t able to get through the zone as fast any more and aren’t making contact as much which is why HRs are down.

    2. The approach of hitters changed in the steroid era – it became a bomber’s league and so many players are focused on jacking the ball rather than making contact – that’s why you see so many big sluggers with huge K rates and bad BAs (Granderson, Reynolds, Upton).

    I love the notion that some reporters and columnists throw out there that because statistical metrics can’t quantify how much steroid use helps players that we should discount it as a factor.

    You know who can tell you how much steroids are helping players? PLAYERS. The fact that they are risking so much to take them tells us that they see the impact as being more than minimal. And please, don’t give me the bullshit argument that players do things like rally caps or wear those dumbass necklaces, because like I said above, players don’t risk suspension, loss of pay and loss of reputation for wearing a rally cap. They wouldn’t be putting all of that on the line if they didn’t work.

    So you can take your anecdotal vs. empirical arguments and shove them – PEDs improve performance…the players tell us as much every time they get caught for using.

    • braddavery - Aug 15, 2013 at 4:25 PM

      Take your common sense and shove it! Barry Bonds would have hit 73 homeruns at age 36 even WITHOUT the use of steroids! Steroids don’t do ANYTHING, that’s why players risk their future health and careers using them-there placebos, ya see!

      • chip56 - Aug 15, 2013 at 4:28 PM

        For a guy like Melky Cabrera – who was on the verge of finding himself relegated to being a non-roster invitee to someone’s spring training after his season with the Braves; or Bartolo Colon who was trying to hang around baseball – steroids make sense. Best case scenario, you prolong your career a bit; worst case, you get caught and are drummed out of baseball which is where you were going to be anyway.

        Guys like Braun, Alex, Bonds who had the natural ability to be great and took steroids because they wanted to be even greater – those are the guys who risked a ton more than they ever could have gained.

      • braddavery - Aug 15, 2013 at 4:30 PM

        Agreed.

    • eightyraw - Aug 15, 2013 at 4:36 PM

      “1. PED use can help a hitter be quicker; thus improving contact rates – in other words, the guys who were doing steroids aren’t able to get through the zone as fast any more and aren’t making contact as much which is why HRs are down.”

      Where is your evidence? Which banned substances are proven to aid contact rates?

      • chip56 - Aug 15, 2013 at 4:46 PM

        I’ll try using small words so you can better understand:

        Steroids increase your ability to work out

        Increased ability to work out make you faster and stronger

        If you’re faster and stronger you can swing a bat faster

        If you can swing a bat faster (and already have some natural ability in regard to pitch identification) then you’re going to be able to sit on a curveball or catch up to a fastball better.

        If you can do those two things – your contact rate will go up.

        But all of that aside – my evidence is again the fact that players can and do risk so much to use them.

        Either way it’s a loser argument for Craig’s side:

        A) If steroids only have minimal benefit then players should have no problem cutting them out of their routine.

        B) The fact that players continue to risk so much to take PEDs is proof enough that the players using PEDs are seeing tangible benefits worth risking suspension, financial penalties, ridicule from fans and loathing from their peers.

      • eightyraw - Aug 15, 2013 at 4:54 PM

        Which explains why the contact rate leaderboard features hulking sluggers …

        I’m glad your assumptions follow a logical path, but they are still nothing more than assumptions. Look at players busted for PEDs. Did their contact rates noticeably change? If your assumptions were true, there would be evidence.

      • braddavery - Aug 15, 2013 at 5:11 PM

        What kind of person can look at the homerun explosion in the mid-’90s to the early-’00s and literally think that steroids had nothing to do with it. lol It takes a special kind of person to completely ignore reality.

      • Reflex - Aug 15, 2013 at 6:04 PM

        Who is arguing that PEDs had nothing to do with it? Didn’t you just say in an above thread that you acknowledge that nobody here is arguing that? Do you always have arguments with imaginary opponents?

      • braddavery - Aug 15, 2013 at 6:12 PM

        Sorry. I didn’t realize I was not allowed to make statements not directed at anyone in particular. Please let me know what I can and can’t say so I don’t make any more life-altering mistakes, my liege.

  12. yankeepunk3000 - Aug 15, 2013 at 4:21 PM

    I’m sorry but I have to agree with brave the parks are still the same now. we still have these mediocre teams. teams that struggle Padres Rockies Marlin Mariners. yet now we have tougher testing. That seems to be why the HRs have gone down pretty hard. What’s so difficult to grasp

    • Francisco (FC) - Aug 15, 2013 at 5:45 PM

      The parks are not the same, did you see the list of parks opened in the 90’s vs the ones opened in the ’00s? What’s so difficult to grasp?

    • Reflex - Aug 15, 2013 at 6:06 PM

      15 new parks were built since 2000. There are 30 teams. Literally half of the parks in the game are new as of 2000.

      So no, the parks are not the same. And the new parks were overwhelmingly pitcher parks.

      • louhudson23 - Aug 16, 2013 at 4:59 AM

        They are considered pitchers parks because
        the freakin ball isn’t flying out of them like fireworks on the 4th….or like it’s 1999…..

      • Reflex - Aug 16, 2013 at 2:44 PM

        Balls are still flying out of the parks built in the 90’s, however. So what is different between the 9 parks built in the 90’s and the 15 parks built in the 00’s? Could it be that the newer parks are physically larger with deeper power alleys? Or perhaps that some of them are at sea level and no longer have domes(for instance the Kingdome was a HR hitters paradise, but Safeco Field is a extreme pitchers park)?

        Your statement would only make sense if the 90’s parks were also now considered to be pitchers parks. But they aren’t, they still have relatively more offense than the parks that have been built since.

  13. babyfarkmcgeezax - Aug 15, 2013 at 4:44 PM

    Yeah Craig, PEDs have zero effect on players. That’s why so many players use them and risk their reputations and suspensions, because they have no effect. PEDs have no effect, clearly the huge spike in home runs in the 90’s and early 2000’s was just a bizarre coincidence. Get out of town with this shit.

    • cohnjusack - Aug 15, 2013 at 4:53 PM

      I’m not so much of a PED-guy defender that I believe PEDs have zero effects. I’m sure they do. They likely allow for players to recover from workouts quicker, thus allowing them to work out more. Some build strength and muscle mass, obviously. All of these effects likely lead to a situation where players can throw harder and hit the ball farther or, for hitters, wait on a ball longer before uncoiling on it.

      This is literally the exact first half of the first paragraph of the very article you’re commenting on you ass.

      • Francisco (FC) - Aug 15, 2013 at 5:46 PM

        Maybe he only read the first line and skipped the word “not”?

    • pjmarn6 - Aug 16, 2013 at 1:46 AM

      First you have to explain to Calcaterra what is shit is. He has difficulty with the words, ethics, morals, national game, clean games and understanding that baseball fans want to see REAL baseball games not a WWW type of baseball.

  14. cohnjusack - Aug 15, 2013 at 4:49 PM

    Question:

    Why does everyone blame the 1990s offensive explosion 100% on one factor (steroids)…

    …yet nobody blames the 1960s pitching dominance on any one factor?

    • braddavery - Aug 15, 2013 at 4:56 PM

      “Everyone”? “Nobody”? I think you may need to look further into this…

      • cohnjusack - Aug 15, 2013 at 5:02 PM

        Sorry, I understand your feeble mind is unable to process nuance, so I will be as literal as possible in all future posts. Also, should I only use single-syllable words or are you up to two syllables now?

      • braddavery - Aug 15, 2013 at 5:12 PM

        *insert random personal attack here*

        *high-five self*

      • cohnjusack - Aug 15, 2013 at 5:24 PM

        Well argued. Did you take debate classes?

        Look, I made a broad point, which you, because of an apparent lack of anything substantive to say, decided to take “everybody” in the most literal sense in order to tear down my comment. This makes either deliberately obtuse or a fucking moron, in which case the only proper response is to insult you.

      • braddavery - Aug 15, 2013 at 5:27 PM

        You done yet?

      • cohnjusack - Aug 15, 2013 at 5:41 PM

        You done yet?

        Well, if you lack the intellectual prowess to even remotely attempt to backup your arguments without making up things other never said, then I suppose this is a waste of everyone’s time, isn’t it?

      • braddavery - Aug 15, 2013 at 5:45 PM

        What argument are you making? That “everyone blames the 1990s offensive explosion 100% on one factor (steroids)” and “nobody blames the 1960s pitching dominance on any one factor”? lol What exactly am I supposed to be arguing? Your initial statement that you claim to be “nuanced” (lol), is just unmitigated nonsense… thus my initial reply.

      • cohnjusack - Aug 15, 2013 at 5:50 PM

        Well, I think you’re supposed to be arguing the reasons why this is the case or not the case. Not merely saying “Ha! everybody“. I, very obviously, meant everyone as “a vast majority”. Since I’m not speaking with robots, I assumed I wouldn’t have to write 8 follow up posts to make this clear.

        So, for the love of God, if you have something substantive to argue on this subject, please have at it. If you wish to continue arguing semantics, I’m sure there are some wonderful forums for that.

      • braddavery - Aug 15, 2013 at 5:54 PM

        I know that steroids aren’t the ONLY factor in an increase in HRs and I understand that the raising of the pitchers mound in the ’60s helped pitcher performance immensely. So what now?

      • cohnjusack - Aug 15, 2013 at 6:00 PM

        Great Bradd! Good start.

        Now, two things.
        1. Why do you think a rather vast majority of media and fan opinions focus mostly on steroids and not other factors
        2. The pitchers mound was LOWERED in 1969, but there was no rule making it higher before hand.

      • braddavery - Aug 15, 2013 at 6:02 PM

        1. Because steroids are a form of cheating the majority of people look down upon cheating.

        2. Okay. And?

  15. antaresrex - Aug 15, 2013 at 4:54 PM

    I don’t question that other factors aside from PEDs have contributed to the rise in homers in the last 20 years, and I’m pretty well convinced that PEDs didn’t have an impact on the league as a whole. On the other hand, I see Barry Bonds’ percentage of homers per fly ball. From ’88 to 2000, that percentage was 15.5. It rose to 22.1 from 2001 onward. That kind of increase – in defiance of a normal aging curve – looks entirely too suspicious.

    If a player used steroids and saw his HR/FB increase from 1.5 percent to 2 percent, no one would notice absent a failed test. People noticed Bonds for all of the obvious reasons – 73, 762, hat size, BALCO, Game of Shadows – and connected the dots accordingly.

    Someone might well make the argument that PEDs did nothing to offense league-wide because not enough players were using, or because pitchers were using as well as hitters. So we see the impact individually, but not league-wide.

    • eightyraw - Aug 15, 2013 at 5:00 PM

      Jose Bautista’s HR/FB rate jumped from around 13% to over 20%, so PEDs?

      • braddavery - Aug 15, 2013 at 5:13 PM

        It’s certainly possible, isn’t it?

      • antaresrex - Aug 15, 2013 at 5:20 PM

        Well, people have accused him. The league leaders in HR/FB are usually between 20% and 25%, as far as BBRef has data for it (1988), so Bautista’s peak (22%) doesn’t really look as outlandish. (Bonds, for comparison, peaked at 30%.)

        Is he clean? Hell if I know. I’ll leave the speculation to others.

      • braddavery - Aug 15, 2013 at 5:33 PM

        The difference between Bautista and Bonds? Bonds admitted to using PEDs. That’s why people say Bonds used, because he did. Using Bautista in a discussion about Bonds is a strawman… which there is SO much of in these “discussions”.

      • eightyraw - Aug 15, 2013 at 5:40 PM

        Because Bonds admitted to PEDs, all improvements must be attributed to PEDs even when other players experience similar changes?

      • braddavery - Aug 15, 2013 at 5:49 PM

        I’m not saying that. lol What on earth are you talking about. So much strangeness going on in this comment section today. People are just seeing what they want to see and are no longer even responding to actual thing that were said.

      • cohnjusack - Aug 15, 2013 at 5:51 PM

        I’m not saying that. lol What on earth are you talking about. So much strangeness going on in this comment section today. People are just seeing what they want to see and are no longer even responding to actual thing that were said.

        This statement coming from you is one of the most astoundingly hypocritical things I have ever seen.

  16. seanmk - Aug 15, 2013 at 4:59 PM

    I’m guessing everyone realizes the answer to the “why is scoring down” question is a complex one, so why is everyone looking for an easy answer to it?

    since the end of the strike, strikeouts have increased nearly 5%, why? its not a patience thing because walks haven’t really changed as much. babip since 1994 is in the .300 range.

    • chip56 - Aug 15, 2013 at 5:18 PM

      The ban on amphetamines certainly had a lot to do with it too – hitters who play every day are tired; whereas a starting pitcher is more rested and fresh – he has the advantage over a tired hitter.

      There is no one reason to explain any of these things – but discounting the impact that performance enhancing drugs had simply because it can’t be charted and measured is just lazy.

      • apmn - Aug 15, 2013 at 7:25 PM

        Just curious…it seems like stats on strikeout rates in games immediately following travel (first game of a road trip) versus those at the end of a home stand would shed some light on the impact of the amphetamines ban. Have you seen anything like that?

  17. pftbillsfan - Aug 15, 2013 at 5:21 PM

    Cal Ripken was on the PED’S, look at his HR totals, huge increase then bam injuries hit and streak over.

    • cohnjusack - Aug 15, 2013 at 5:45 PM

      Is this a joke(he asks sincerely)? Ripken hit HRs are an extremely consistent rate. His HR totals by most to least
      34
      28
      27
      27
      27
      26
      26
      25
      24
      23
      21
      etc

      I’m confused as to where the “huge increase was”.

  18. joestemme - Aug 15, 2013 at 6:29 PM

    Addendum. Missed Luis Gonzalez.

    So, proper stat is:

    Number of Players who hit 55 or more homers:

    Pre-1997 – Six.
    1997 to 2006 – Nine
    2006 to Present – 0

    While spotting Gonzalez’ name, another stat popped out:

    Number of Players who hit 55 or more homers:
    Over the age of 32 – Pre-1997 – 0
    Over the age of 32 from 1997-2006 – 5

    (not to mention Roger Clemens winning 3 Cy Young Awards after that age duing the ‘Roid era)

    • louhudson23 - Aug 16, 2013 at 5:04 AM

      Coincidence…my man…coincidence…..

  19. donnaturner6566 - Aug 15, 2013 at 6:31 PM

    Only seriusly intrested persons required .. please ,
    you have to work and use the computer and internet, and if you can do that and dedicate some time each day then you can do this with no problem. I have been working with this for a month and have made over $2,000 already. let me know if you need more here you go.. click as new agent

    • jwbiii - Aug 15, 2013 at 9:29 PM

      $2k/month? That’s like A Ball pay. Do you have a host family?

  20. lazlosother - Aug 15, 2013 at 10:20 PM

    One thing that hasn’t been mentioned here (I don’t think) is the fact that pitchers used steroids too. So why didn’t they work for the pitchers? If the HR’s were all about the steroids it would stand to reason that pitchers who took them got rooked.

    The HR spike was due to a lot of factors, smaller parks, smaller strike zone, livelier ball, introduction of maple bats, steroids and inferior pitching. Look at the number of power arms in the game now compared to that time. Pitching is better, parks are larger, the strike zone is larger. More went into reducing HRs than just PED testing.

    PEDs had some effect, even if it was just keeping good players healthier and on the field more. We will never know how large or small the effect was. Too many factors. A last note, the advantage gained or not by taking PEDs varies from player to player. Everyone is different and results may vary.

    • jwbiii - Aug 15, 2013 at 11:27 PM

      Over 60% of the players who have suspended for PED use have been pitchers.

  21. savvybynature - Aug 15, 2013 at 10:53 PM

    “I say ‘likely’ because I am no expert in any of this”

    With the tome you’ve decided to author on the subject, maybe you should think about looking into it a little more?

  22. contract - Aug 16, 2013 at 7:49 AM

    I can’t say for certain because I’m no expert and have no empirical evidence to support this conclusion but … this may be the most lazily written article ever.

  23. notreallyoriginal - Aug 20, 2013 at 8:58 PM

    There’s not really much evidence for PEDs’ effectiveness. More HRs for some people, but everyone forgets about all the people it didn’t work for. There are hundreds of minor league players on PEDs who failed to make the majors, let alone hit hundreds of HRs. Lots of other changes during the steroid era as well – the data is consistent with a random surge in excellent hitting (basically a couple great hitters playing at the same time – not a systematic increase in HR hitting for everyone, which is what steroids would theoretically do) alongside a set of rules that favored hitters for a while (response to the lockout, among other things). Arthur de Vany (economist/former minor league baseball player) has done some good research on this.

Leave Comment

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

Featured video

Patience finally paying off for Royals fans
Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. R. Castillo (3281)
  2. C. Kershaw (2411)
  3. D. Ortiz (2405)
  4. G. Stanton (2384)
  5. J. Hamilton (2323)
  1. N. Arenado (2256)
  2. A. Rizzo (2198)
  3. M. Trout (2158)
  4. A. Pujols (1947)
  5. H. Ryu (1866)