Quote Originally Posted by traderumor View Post
It wouldn't necessarily be 50% to be a "main factor." It depends on how many factors you are proposing are in play. Plus, are all factors equally weighted? In other words, was this a perfect storm, where a number of ingredients mixed to cause an explosion that would not have been as great in isolation?
Fair points.

Quote Originally Posted by traderumor View Post
It is apparent to me that it is going to be very difficult to determine because the evidence is not of a very good quality, regardless of what factor is being considered. Anyone taking a dogmatic stance on their theory (and I'm not implying M2 is doing this) is going to have a hard time finding supporting documentation. Whatever went on, the tracks were covered pretty well, and I imagine those who would stand to lose the most are banking on the thing dying on the vine for lack of interest eventually. Of course, they will have to face their Maker.
Yep, and that's actually where my thinking's at with this. The evidence is dodgy and the supposed smoking guns never really had that much smoke. When you unravel the era, there's a lot more to it than PED. So, for me, PED has become a straw man that's more convenience than substance. What substance it has is hard to pin down.

One other thing that I think gets overlooked in assessing the era is the 1998 Yankees. We essentially saw a team with a perfect plate approach. It wore opposing pitchers to the nub. It was there to be done and they got there first, building a dynastic team in the process. After 1998 it was the industry standard to mimic their plate approach and pitchers - their numbers already thinned by expansion and working in smaller parks against hitters with power in all directions - simply fell behind the curve.