Maybe Its Not Just Steroids

It is tempting to attribute this dramatic increase in offense all to steroid use, or worse yet to demonize a few players such as Barry Bonds, Alex Rodriguez or Mark McGuire and hold them responsible.  However, the spike in power numbers is part of a bigger story, or evolution, of baseball, one that is reflects somewhat more positively on the state of the game.  The increase in home runs was not monocausal.  To suggest that it was is to ignore a number of other obvious causes.  The most prominent of these is that during the 1990s a number of teams built new stadiums, many of which were far better hitter’s parks.  So, the Astros moving from the Astrodome to Enron/Tropicana field or the Giants moving from Candlestick to PacBell/AT&T/SBC Park, also contributed to increased homerun, and other hitting numbers by the Giants, Astros and their visitors.  Other causes of increased offensive production which cannot be ignored include the increased use of protective equipment by hitters and the stricter rules against brushing hitters back.