Arthur: What a Taiwanese juiced-baseball scandal can tell us

From SABR member Rob Arthur at Baseball Prospectus on May 22, 2020:

In the absence of Major League Baseball, fans across America are turning to Asian alternatives, in particular the Korean Baseball Organization (KBO) and Chinese Professional Baseball League (CPBL). This pair of leagues presents American viewers with real, live, baseball very similar to MLB, even down to some of the ongoing storylines from the past few years. In particular, the CPBL is coping with their own juiced-baseball scandal, but they have chosen to deal with it in a very different fashion than MLB. The contrasts between CPBL and MLB help to show how MLB could have headed off the scandal earlier, more effectively and with more honesty.

American baseball’s juicing scandal goes back to the middle of 2015, with accelerating spikes in home runs in two of the last three seasons (2017 and 2019). The CPBL and KBO have had their own roller-coaster rides of home run rates. The CPBL, in particular, saw roughly a doubling in dingers from the early 2010s (2013-2014) to the second half of the decade (2015-2019).

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Originally published: May 22, 2020. Last Updated: May 22, 2020.