From the Archives: Pictures and Steroids
It’s been well-documented that home run rates shot up in the mid-1990s. It’s also been well-documented that some of baseball’s best sluggers didn’t achieve their respective feats the same way our heroes of the past did. It is suspected that a relatively large portion of professional baseball players were using steroids in this time period, which is the oft-cited reason for the increase in home run rates. While this explanation is logical and seems to pass the smell test, we cannot prove it.
In this article at Sabernomics, the economist J.C. Bradbury weighs in on steroids and home run rates with some very interesting graphs. If you’re going to read the article, make sure you don’t just glance at the graphs and skim through it–there’s some important information in the text that’s worth reading. Let’s see if you can find the trick. In case you missed it the first time, here’s the link again: