"There is always a philosophy for lack of courage."—Albert Camus

Thursday, December 09, 2004

The Book on Bonds and Steroids

I’m tired of hearing that steroids may have helped Barry Bonds mount an assault on Hank Aaron’s home run record, but that they don’t account for his high batting average. After all, they say, bigger muscles don’t help you hit a major league fastball. This kind of flimsy logic is pretty typical of sports reporting and comment and it just ain’t true. If steroids can help turn doubles and long fly balls into home runs, then it stands to reason that they can also make a line drive leave the infield a little faster and make a grounder hotter. In other words, more bat speed will make a difference on both the chance to make contact and how hard the ball will be hit, both major factors in the ability to make base hits instead of easy outs. If steroids are responsible for Bonds’ rise from a superb player to the best of all time, then the whole record is corrupted, not just the home runs.

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