We are now halfway through the Major League Baseball season and Major League Baseball has a huge problem. Since baseball instituted steroid testing, the game has become, well, boring.
Let’s face it, the game was more exciting when Mark McGwire and Jose Canseco were bashing forearms. And the game was more fun when McGwire and Sammy Sosa were chasing Roger Maris. And the game was more awe-inspiring when Barry Bonds was closing in on Hank Aaron.
But since MLB started testing for Performance Enhancing Drugs, home runs have been in a steep decline. We wanted a clean game, and we got it. But in a classic case of “be careful what you wish for,” we also got a boring game.
Here is a look at the home runs per game in each league since Canseco was a Donruss Rated Rookie…
In both leagues combined, we are seeing 1.5 home runs per game. That is the lowest rate in 20 years and down more than 25 per cent since baseball’s renaissance in the late 90s.
But hey, we don’t want steroids in baseball. The only other solution is to juice the baseballs. This can easily be done by tightening the stitching, which lowers the stitches (harder to throw breaking balls) and decreases the diameter (making the ball more dense).
Baseball is having trouble reaching the casual sports fan, especially in the younger generations. Steroids brought many of those fans to the ballparks, and also drove them away. Juicing the baseballs could bring them back.
All data via BaseballProspectus.com