Meanwhile, the league finally got around to mandatory testing for amphetamines in 2006. Can you guess what happened next?
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Instead of focusing on home runs, as so much of the PED debate does, let's look at the meat and potatoes stuff, hits and strikeouts. From 2004 to 2005, production in both areas dropped. Again, 2005 was the first year of actual steroid testing. The next year, things basically recovered for both sides at about the same rate. It was as if banning steroids had no real effect at all. After amphetamines, though? Things haven't just tilted in favor of pitchers, it's been a veritable golden age of expert pitching.
Total hits in 2006, the first year of mandatory amphetamine testing, were at 45,073. They've dropped every single year since amphetamines were banned. Again, they went down and back up again after steroids. The drop since amphetamines were banned, though, has been noticeable and drastic. In 2012, the total was just 42,063.
As for strikeouts, in 2006, there were 31,655. Just as hits have continuously gone down, strikeouts have gone up almost every single year since 2006. There were 36,426 in 2012.
If that doesn't do anything for you, consider the fact that of the 23 perfect games (meaning no one on the opposing team even reaches first base) thrown by pitchers in major league history, 17 of them happened between 1880 and 2004. That's 124 years. Perfect games used to come around with the frequency of visible comets in the night sky.
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