The Hot Corner – Thursday July 8, 2010

The 2010 Major League Baseball season has been one where pitchers have stepped up their game, and it is quite noticeable. This year there have been two perfect games, while also two no-hitters, and finally one performance by Armando Galarraga that came within one out of a perfect game (ataboy Jim Joyce!).  In typical Major League Baseball seasons, you are lucky to even hear about one no-hitter while a perfect game is a miracle.  Now, that’s not to say that all the no-hitters and perfect games this year were pretty.  You don’t have to look too far back to find that out, when just a few weeks ago Edwin Jackson had a no-hitter while throwing over 140 pitches, not to mention walking nine batters.  With that said, do all these no hitters and perfect games tell us baseball fans that perhaps, just perhaps the “Steroid Era” is over?

In a sense, yes, it does show that the “Steroid Era” could be over.  You just have to look at the hitting statistics to find that out.  The Major League leading home run hitter, Toronto Blue Jays Jose Bautista, has only 21 HR’s and we are just a few days away from the mid-way point in the season, the 2010 All-Star game in Anaheim.  I may say that Bautista has ONLY 21 home runs, but really, that isn’t too bad when you think about it.  The days of Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa hitting 70 and 66 home runs respectively in a single season are over, not to mention Barry Bonds 73 home runs in a single season in 2001.  Ever since the Mitchell Report was released in 2007, the productivity of hitters has dropped significantly, there is no doubt about that.  To date this year there has only been one player to my knowledge that has been suspended under Major League Baseball’s performance enhancing drug policy, and that being Edinson Volquez who was suspended on April 20th.  Just this past week there were five minor league baseball players that were suspended for using steroids.

The “Steroid Era” has definitely diminished although in no means is it extinct.  There will always be players that will attempt to cheat in some manner throughout professional baseball.  There will always be people that will try to cheat with life, so to assume that cheating in baseball would be extinct is impossible and far fetched.  Pitchers have always been this good in my opinion, the breaks for them along with the help of a performance enhancing drug have made all these no-hitters and perfect games a road block for pitchers. So the question still remains, how many more no-hitters and perfect games are still in the tank for Major League Baseball pitchers in the 2010 baseball season?