breaks the record. He probably did take steroids year after year but I have no idea what effect it had on his stats. Honestly, I don’t know which players cheated and took steroids in Major League Baseball. I don’t know which pitchers were cheating.
Let’s say Barry took steroids from 2000 – 2004…his big HR years. He hit about 45 hr’s a year during that span except for the 01 when he hit 73. I don’t think you can credit steroids for a jump of 30 hr’s…my guess is the ball was juiced that year. Now, in thinking about Barry’s HR’s take note of 1993 when he hit 46 out of the park that year. That’s important because it was the pre-steroid era of MLB. So he had the potential to hit 40 something HR’s.
So, for me I see a guy who had a history of hitting homeruns. Geez, by the way the guy has a career OBP of .444! wow. ok, back to this. Now, let’s talk about the steroid era (2000 – 2005 for arguments sake) a little bit. We don’t know who was on steroids. We don’t know the impact of steroids on stats. We can’t say steroids gives hitters this and steroids give pitchers this. We just know steroids build muscle and probably help you recover faster. That effect on baseball? who knows.
Ok, maybe steroids adds an average of 15 more feet to where the ball lands after a juiced hitter. There are many problems with this example but let’s just go with it because it makes my blog post somewhat interesting. How many home runs does Barry have over the Steroid Era which wouldn’t have been home runs if he lost 15 feet on them. He’s not the type of guy that gets a lot of cheap home runs.
In the same flawed example, think about how many balls he hit off of roided up pitchers that may have gone further if the pitch didn’t drop suddenly in the strike zone (or whatever effect it has). How different are the effects from both?
We also hear that steroids break players down. Make you get hurt. We saw that with McGwire and Canseco and with Juan Gonzalez. But, we only saw that with Barry in 2005 and that was already very late in the guys career so an injury was already expected. Brett has some good banter going on over in his blog on this.
One could make a case that Barry would be chasing the HR record regardless of whether he used roids or not…you know if the rest of the MLB was playing fair to. I don’t know…maybe he would be 100 away. It’s just one record and I don’t think it will diminish what Hank Aaron did. Are records sacred or something?