Baseball analysts have dubbed the 2010-2011 season “The Year of the Pitcher.” The balls that used to soar out of the park have become “can of corn” outs, and every week there seems to be a Sportscenter highlight revolving around some form of outstanding pitching performance (perfect game, no hitter, or one hitter’s with 15 plus k’s). 

Things are just not what they used to be. 

The pitching hasen’t changed; it is the hitting that now suffers because of the discontinuation of illegal performance enhancing drugs. While Toronto Blue Jay outfielder Jose Bautista has somehow hit a staggering 37 home runs this season, many former and current bombers are not putting the ball over the fence.

In pitching, Roy Halladay has had a brilliant performance this season, and other top notch displays have come from relative no-name pitchers. Not to minimize any major league player, but do not expect Edwin Jackson or Dallas Braden to wind up in the Hall.

The Steroid Era, for the most part, has come to a close. The majority of players fear being ostracized for taking performance enhancing drugs and do not mess around with them. Those same players are now forced to rely on their natural ability. 

The pitchers have been the same, if not better in the past, but the affect of a no-steroids game on hitters has become especially obvious this season. 

Even the biggest and strongest home run hitters in the game are having difficulties reaching 40 home runs. Evan Longoria and Hanley Ramirez–two premier players in the game today–are both in predominantly power-hitting positions and neither has surpassed 20 home runs to date this season.

Some of the most powerful home run hitters may not even reach 30 this season!

It would be fascinating to see the numbers of current “powerhouse” hitters on steroids. I would venture to say that their numbers would be much higher. Ryan Howard and Prince Fielder would surely not be stuck in the low to mid-20s for the season. Howard, with his Goliath size, would most likely go bonkers and potentially even break Bond’s single season mark.

The point is, steroids are not playing a role in boosting the numbers of the game’s hitters. While some naturally big and talented players are putting up high numbers, there are many players no longer hitting the ball over the fence at the rate they used to (or would have had they opted to start cycling).

It is the discontinued use of steroids—not “better pitching”—that has affected the numbers during the 2010-2011 season of Major League Baseball.

Read more MLB news on