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.