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MLB’s less lively baseball sees dip in home run rate this season.

MLB’s less lively baseball sees dip in home run rate this season.

Welcome to The Opener, where every weekday morning during the regular season you’ll get a fresh, topical story to start your day from one of SI.com’s MLB writers.

As the home run rate in 2005 took its steepest decline in 17 years, scouts had a favorite line to explain why certain sluggers were not hitting as many home runs: “Congress got him.” The inference was that testing for steroids with penalties, which came about through pressure from lawmakers, changed the game. Sports Illustrated headlined a cover story I wrote that year, “Baseball’s Incredible Shrinking Slugger.

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