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The reasons for change in the run environment are likely to be rather numerous. There has been greater recognition of the value of defense, which decreases run scoring in two ways: better fielding and reduced emphasis on offensive performance. It is assumed that the reduction in effective PED use has also decreased offensive performances. Another factor is that, as it always has, that baseball becomes more and more competitive every year. By that I mean that the players today are better than the players who came before (Yes, the Babe Ruth is Matt Stairs argument). It may also be that the recent upswing in pitchers who can throw hard has also resulted in dampening the run scoring environment.
Of course, the big question is why are there more harder throwing pitchers? Here are the various explanations I have determined and collected:
- There are a greater number of highly talented players to choose from.
- Training has vastly improved.
- Preventative and reconstructive medicine has improved.
- Teams may be pushing more athletic, strong-armed players to the mound instead of the field.