Baseball Finally Back to Normal

After over a decade of insanity, home run totals normal once more
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted May 23, 2008 10:42 AM CDT
Baseball Finally Back to Normal
San Francisco Giants Barry Bonds hits his 756th career home run in the fifth inning of their baseball game against the Washington Nationals in San Francisco, in this Aug. 7, 2007, file photo.    (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez,file)

After over a decade of chemical-fueled insanity, baseball is back to normal, writes Thomas Boswell in the Washington Post. Home run totals are down 10.4% this spring, after an 8% drop last year. The sport is on pace to return to the century-old statistical norms ripped to shreds by the steroid era. “I think this is a good thing,” said Orioles prez Andy MacPhail. “It’s more like baseball.”

Since 1997, the average home run champ has hit 53 dingers, a feat matched by only three players in the preceding 35 years. This year’s AL leaders are on pace for 38. “A ‘cold spring’ doesn’t account for an almost 20% drop in two years,” says MacPhail. Increased steroid testing is taming some once ludicrous numbers. “Just say that guys look like ballplayers again,” said a Nationals coach. (More MLB stories.)

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