Here’s another example of the kind of thinking that I am arguing against:
…. Prior to 1994 – Bagwell hit an average of one HR every 31.6 AB. Suddenly in 1994 Bagwell’s slugging percentage jumps an astounding 234 points (from .516 to .750) and he suddenly hits one HR every 10.3 AB? You can’t tell me that isn’t a bit suspicious.
As I wrote, (in an article on Bonds) way back in 2004, the 1995-96 seasons were where we began to see the offensive explosion that is the reason we have this steroid “scandal” today:
…. Starting in 1996, home runs, batting average, slugging, runs scored; virtually every offensive categories begiins to rise towards historic or near-historic highs.
Virtually all of Bonds’ contemporaries will have this type of career surge in their stat lines. To look at just one player is to miss the forest for the trees; which, of course, is the mistake all of these “sportswriters” are guilty of.