Written by Fantasy Furnace:
The pitching performances, no-hitters & perfect games in MLB so far this season, as well as over the past six years, begs the question, “Why so many?”In light of Matt Cain’s stunning ‘perfect game’ performance on Wednesday night, it seems that more and more, the significance and ‘awe’ that we once had for such outstanding feats has been minimized.
Not to take anything away from Cain’s superb outing, which was indeed masterful, it just seems like 10-20 years ago it would have had more interest and ‘shock’ appeal because it took place much less frequently.
Case in point…in the last 13 days we have witnessed three no-hitters. The last time that was done, albeit in 14 days, was 100 years ago!
So why are these events becoming more and more commonplace? One need only go back to the end of the steriod era as we know it; back all the way to the famous Mitchell Report. In fact, lets look at some numbers…
In 2006, there were 5300 (rounded off) home runs in MLB. That number has plumeted to 4500 in 2011 and is on its way to reaching an even lower total by the end of this year.
Here are some more telling numbers to illustrate just how many no-no’s occured before the end of the steriod era and after: Between 2000 and 2006, a 7 year span, there were 8 no-hitters tossed. From 2007 to today, a period of 5 1/2 years there were 21.
MLB has the most thorough, stringent, and strongest testing for steroids and all PED’s than any other sport! Period. No other sport even comes close. And that’s why the prototypical player of a decade or more ago is not the same as he is today.
Names like Winfield, McGwire, McCovey, Sosa, come to mind. And you have to admit that infielders like A-Rod, Cal Ripken, Palmeiro, and Schmidt are all larger than most of today’s players. Shortstops use to look like Pee Wee Reese and Phil Rizzuto and Ozzie Smith; not A-Rod & Ripkin… Today you have home run hitters that are much smaller players than their peers such as Granderson, Pedroia, and Cano.
Personally, I feel that this trend of no-hitters will continue and we could very well see more this year than in any year in MLB history. It’s just a sign of the times, and unfortunately not one that is fan friendly. Offense is what the fans come to the ballparks to see. They don’t want to sit in a ballpark for 2 1/2-3 hours to watch a 2-1 game..
The NFL has changed to a more offense minded, quarterback driven league and it’s success has not waivered in the slightest. However, I fear that with attendence down over the past couple of years in MLB, their changes will have more of a negative impact because as offense wanes, so does the interest in the game.