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The Return of the Home Run


TSwift25
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Well, we're about a month into the season, and it sure seems that the homerun is back en vogue.

 

Here's the question I propose to you: why?

 

Is baseball juicing the ball to make the steroid era numbers not appear to be such a statistical aberration, therebye saving their own ass?

 

Is the whole steroid era overblown for it's overall effect on increased power numbers?

 

Is it that perhaps what is overlooked is how much steroid use benefitted pitchers, and especially power relief pitchers (many of whom seem to be struggling substantially)?

 

Or, is it just a result of ballparks like Philly, Cincy and Colorado giving any flyball a chance to get out?

 

Think about this, currently, baseball is on pace to set all kinds of single season records for power production and a staggering 12 players are on pace to hit at least 62 homeruns. Now, these past three weeks may simply be an aberration, but 3 weeks in with 17 players having 7 or more homeruns sure seems more like a trend than a fluke to me...thoughts?

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Well, we're about a month into the season, and it sure seems that the homerun is back en vogue.

 

Here's the question I propose to you: why?

 

Is baseball juicing the ball to make the steroid era numbers not appear to be such a statistical aberration, therebye saving their own ass?

 

Is the whole steroid era overblown for it's overall effect on increased power numbers?

 

Is it that perhaps what is overlooked is how much steroid use benefitted pitchers, and especially power relief pitchers (many of whom seem to be struggling substantially)?

 

Or, is it just a result of ballparks like Philly, Cincy and Colorado giving any flyball a chance to get out?

 

Think about this, currently, baseball is on pace to set all kinds of single season records for power production and a staggering 12 players are on pace to hit at least 62 homeruns. Now, these past three weeks may simply be an aberration, but 3 weeks in with 17 players having 7 or more homeruns sure seems more like a trend than a fluke to me...thoughts?

 

 

 

I would say it's a mix of those 2.

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Guest Fritz

Well, we're about a month into the season, and it sure seems that the homerun is back en vogue.

 

Here's the question I propose to you: why?

 

Is baseball juicing the ball to make the steroid era numbers not appear to be such a statistical aberration, therebye saving their own ass?

 

Is the whole steroid era overblown for it's overall effect on increased power numbers?

 

Is it that perhaps what is overlooked is how much steroid use benefitted pitchers, and especially power relief pitchers (many of whom seem to be struggling substantially)?

 

Or, is it just a result of ballparks like Philly, Cincy and Colorado giving any flyball a chance to get out?

 

Think about this, currently, baseball is on pace to set all kinds of single season records for power production and a staggering 12 players are on pace to hit at least 62 homeruns. Now, these past three weeks may simply be an aberration, but 3 weeks in with 17 players having 7 or more homeruns sure seems more like a trend than a fluke to me...thoughts?

 

I think it's these three. I'm amazed that pitchers have avoided the roid witch hunt considering there are several pitchers that were good/dominant into their late 30s and early 40s *stares at Clemens*. I think the juiced balls are also pretty much a given, but I think this started in the 1990s after the strike because nothing draws people like the HR. Finally, the smaller stadiums. It's pretty hard to come up with many neutral/pitcher-biased stadiums that have been built recently. Safeco and Comerica are the only two that come to my mind, but who knows.

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The problem with the stadium argument is that HR are considerably up from last year and there's only 1 new stadium.

 

Anyway, here's the 2005 Park Factors.

 

Hitter's Parks

Colorado, Coors Field: Batting - 113/Pitching - 112

Philadelphia, Citzen's Bank Park: Batting - 108/Pitching - 107

Cincinnati, Great American Ballpark: Batting - 106/Pitching - 105

Arizona, Chase Field: Batting - 104/Pitching - 104

Atlanta, Turner Field: Batting - 104/Pitching - 104

Texas, Ameriquest Field: Batting - 104/Pitching - 103

Oakland, Network Associates Coliseum: Batting - 103/Pitching - 103

Chicago, U.S. Cellular Field: Batting - 103/Pitching - 102

New York, Yankee Stadium: Batting - 103/Pitching - 102

Toronto, Rogers Centre: Batting - 102/Pitching - 102

St. Louis, Busch Stadium: Batting - 102/Pitching - 101

 

Neutral Parks

Boston, Fenway Park: Batting - 101/Pitching - 101

Chicago, Wrigley Field: Batting - 101/Pitching - 101

Minnesota, Metrodome: Batting - 101/Pitching - 101

Pittsburgh, PNC Park: Batting - 101/Pitching - 101

Milwaukee, Miller Park: Batting - 100/Pitching - 100

Kansas City, Royals Stadium: Batting - 99/Pitching - 99

New York, Shea Stadium: Batting - 99/Pitching - 99

Seattle, Safeco Field: Batting - 99/Pitching - 99

Tampa Bay, Tropicana Field: Batting - 99/Pitching - 99

 

Pitcher's Parks

Houston, Minute Maid Park: Batting - 98/Pitching - 98

San Francisco, AT&T Park: Batting - 98/Pitching - 98

Detroit, Comerica Park: Batting - 98/Pitching - 98

Los Angeles, Angel Stadium: Batting - 96/Pitching - 96

Los Angeles, Dodgers Stadium: Batting - 95/Pitching - 96

Baltimore, Camden Yards: Batting - 94/Pitching - 95

Florida, Dolphins Stadium: Batting - 94/Pitching - 95

Cleveland, Jacobs Field: Batting - 94/Pitching - 94

Washington, RFK Stadium: Batting - 93/Pitching - 94

San Diego, Petco Park: Batting - 90/Pitching - 91

 

11 hitters parks, 10 neutral parks, 9 pitchers parks.

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I don't think 322 games played is a small sample size.

 

Home Runs Per Game 1990-2006:

1990 - 1.58

1991 - 1.61

1992 - 1.44

1993 - 1.78

1994 - 2.07

1995 - 2.02

1996 - 2.19

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 - 2.33

 

We're talking about the 2nd highest home run per game average in the history of major league baseball. I would say that the reasons for this are something I'd like to know. If the balls are tightened, fine, at least we know what it is. Because if that's not it, everything we think we know about steroids and their impact on the game are pretty much blown out of the water. If they're honestly going to say the balls are the same, then I think the whole argument about records being thrown out is pretty much shot to hell. That or the new testing isn't working.

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As I said above, 3 weeks is a small sample size, but three weeks in with 17 players on pace for no less than a 50 homerun season is alarming, and a dozen are on pace for 62.

 

If it were four or five guys, that would be one thing, but this is an offensive explosion of historical proportions.

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After I expanded those numbers back to 1990, I find it interesting that the HR jump happened the year of the strike, not the year after. The theory has always been they tightened the balls to increase HRs and excitement when they came back.

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Pitcher's Parks

Houston, Minute Maid Park: Batting - 98/Pitching - 98

 

:blink:

 

 

news to me

 

That stadium's park factors have dropped every year it's been in existance.

2000 was 107/106

2001 was 105/104

2002 was 104/104

2003 was 104/103

2004 was 100/100

2005 was 98/98

 

Kind of interesting really.

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After I expanded those numbers back to 1990, I find it interesting that the HR jump happened the year of the strike, not the year after. The theory has always been they tightened the balls to increase HRs and excitement when they came back.

 

 

Yeah, everybody and his brother was taking aim at Maris that year.

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Guest Fritz

Pitcher's Parks

Houston, Minute Maid Park: Batting - 98/Pitching - 98

 

:blink:

 

 

news to me

Other than roping it down the leftfield line, it's a pretty tough park to get the ball out of, I suppose.

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I think its a mix of simple hot streaks (its just the start of May) and maybe the WBC had something to do with /some/ of it, since not everyone was in it, obviously. You can see the pitchers that pitched in the WBC are having troubling times, as they said on Baseball Tonight the other day. They're struggling because they got started too far or early, and possibly hitters are getting more into a groove since they got their swing going early.

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Is baseball juicing the ball to make the steroid era numbers not appear to be such a statistical aberration, therebye saving their own ass?

 

Is it that perhaps what is overlooked is how much steroid use benefitted pitchers, and especially power relief pitchers (many of whom seem to be struggling substantially)?

 

 

 

I am going to agree with those two.

 

 

I would say it's a mix of those 2.

 

I although we all know all steroids do is allow players to stick it out through a LONG LONG season, we will know the final verdict once we are close to the end.

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Pitcher's Parks

Houston, Minute Maid Park: Batting - 98/Pitching - 98

 

:blink:

 

 

news to me

 

That stadium's park factors have dropped every year it's been in existance.

2000 was 107/106

2001 was 105/104

2002 was 104/104

2003 was 104/103

2004 was 100/100

2005 was 98/98

 

Kind of interesting really.

 

 

Probably related to the fact that the Astros have a great pitching staff and their hitters suck.

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