…. while offensive output has increased substantially, the playing field has become comparatively more level. Last season, for example, about 19.3 home runs were hit per 650 plate appearances in the National League, with a standard deviation of 11.9. Compare that to 1970, when just 15.6 home runs were hit per 650 PA–about a 20 percent decrease from contemporary levels–but the standard deviation was actually a bit higher, at 12.3.
What he’s saying here is that while more home runs have been hit in the seasons since 1993, they’ve been hit by everyone, not just the super sluggers, which is in line with my conclusion.
Bonds, Sosa and McGwire have had historic seasons, but not unlike the players from the 1930′s, the game conditions have engendered their record-breaking efforts. Which is just another way of saying that these guys have been the best home run hitters in the league pretty much the whole time they’ve been playing; the only difference beween Bonds leading the league with 46 home runs in 1993 or 73 home runs in 2001, is the game conditions; which have been more favorable to home run hitters for going on a decade now.