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The White Sox in this era were also illegally storing baseballs in the freezer, which caused run scoring levels in games played in Comiskey to be at historic lows.
We’re not seeing DOMINANCE of pitchers the last three years; the major league ERA last year was barely under 4.00. In 1988 it was 3.71, in 1978 3.67, in 1968 2.98, in 1958 3.86. We’re merely drifting back TOWARD historically normal figures. We’re not even quite there yet. The banning of PEDs has a lot to do with it, yes.
Says the man who in his New Historical Baseball Abstract in 2001 wrote an essay listing all the factors responsible for the increase in offense in the 90s.
And not once did he mention steroids.
Which was roughly the age at which I read it the first time. (Might've been 11.) Sheer bliss.
June 10 
Talking about his Chicago White Sox days, McNertney said that Eddie Stanky always insisted there was only one excuse for not being in the lineup - if there was a bone showing. Stanky was also responsible for storing the baseballs in a cool, damp place. McNertney: "You had to wipe the mildew off the balls before the game. First you'd take them out of the boxes, which were all rotted away anyway, wipe the mildew off and put them in new boxes. Then you gave them to the umpires and they never suspected a thing."
The idea, of course, is that cold, damp baseballs don't travel as far as warm, dry baseballs, and the White Sox were not exactly sluggers.
That there probably should be a mea culpa somewhere in the many posts of Bill James is probably the point. James was a rather ardent doubter of steroids for an extremely long time. If he is now at the point where he casually drops PED use as a reason for performance and has never walked back his previous statements it is a glaring ember of oopsie on his part.
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