Baseballs are flying out of ball parks at record rates. Why? Theories abound, and many of them have merit. Some say home runs are up because there are so many bad pitchers now. This is the weakest of the theories. Balls weren’t flying like this in the late ’70s and early ’80s, and baseball has only added four teams since then, so the pitching isn’t THAT thin. Are the ballparks smaller? Yes, clearly that is part of it. Houston’s new stadium is a joke. And Colorado’s park is big, but it’s well established how far the ball flies at that elevation. Is the ball different? I tend to believe the players of thirty years ago who say the ball was a bit softer then. But the biggest reason for the home run boon is as obvious as Mark McGwire’s biceps. These guys are HUGE! And not just the sluggers. Almost every single major league hitter works out religiously these days, and they are all ripped. Being big and muscular doesn’t help a pitcher, so the hitters have gained a huge advantage in strength in the last twenty years. And THAT, more than any other reason, is why the ball flies farther than ever.
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