Tag Archives: steroids

A Response to Mr. Pearlman

Mr. Pearlman, here is your response.

What we know about the steroids era and the players who were involved in it are two separate things and considering yourself an arbiter, a judge, a jury and an executioner of who did what on solely circumstantial evidence, with no proof, hard evidence, or even testimony, is a terribly irresponsible use of power.

As Ol’ Hoss Radbourn’s twitter said, saying “This player did steroids, here is my proof,” is what a responsible reporter would do. Saying “I think player X did steroids because Players Y and Z did it too” is what a gossip columnist would write.

Barry Bonds admitted to using the cream and the clear in a leaked grand jury testimony. Roger Clemens was cited in testimony for using HGH. Alex Rodriguez admitted to doing steroids while at Texas. Andy Pettitte admitted to HGH use while in recovery from an elbow injury.

This is evidence–and hard evidence at that. Citing before and after pictures is circumstancial evidence. It is not proof.

Two more points:

1. How can any player prove he didn’t do steroids?

Imagine, if you will, someone starts spreading a rumor that you’re gay. So how do you go about trying to prove you’re not gay? Start acting more hetero? That’s proof that you’re trying to hide it. Start going on dates with more women? You’re coming off too strong to show off your hetero-ness.

How do you talk to the people who started spreading this rumor? Almost anything you say will be used against you. “He said he’s going on a date with this girl Emma, it’s pretty obvious he’s just overcompensating.”

There is no way for a player who is suspected of doing steroids to prove he didn’t do steroids.

2. It’s not the voters’ jobs to judge who did and didn’t do steroids.

If evidence comes to light that he did use steroids, talk can begin of removing his plaque. I’d rather his plaque be removed upon being found guilty of using any performance enhancer than to further instigate any steroids gossip. But voting on suspicion is entirely bullshit and goes against the basic principles of justice.

I hope this answers your question.

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Filed under Baseball Hall of Fame, MLB

Laughable Steroids Talk and Jose Bautista

I was ready to laugh at Damien Cox’s article on Bautista and steroids for the Toronto Globe and Mail today, but Drunk Jays Fans beat me to the punch.

You should really read that DJF article, it’s fantastic.

Cox argues that we have to ask Jose Bautista about steroids. We have to question the legitmacy of his play. Cox is already trolling, that’s why the Globe and Mail pays him, but it does open up an interesting dialogue.

No, we don’t have to question any season where a guy goes on a tear of dingers. And we shouldn’t. Just like we shouldn’t be citing win-loss records anymore.

We’re in an age where literally any productive offensive season is met with questions of steroids use. Most who bring up that question have a very limited knowledge of baseball history and an even worse knowledge of swing mechanics. (Just to put it briefly: bad hitters are busted for steroids as much as good hitters. Steroids, if the intended use actually has the desired outcome, would help players maintain their swing through their aging. This is most likely why Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa and Barry Bonds had career years in their post-prime years.)

Throughout history, players have had outlier years. Sometimes they “figure it out,” sometimes they’re just lucky.

Roger Maris’ second-highest home run total, after his 61 in ’61, was 39. He had only three years where he hit more than 30. (Incidentally, he was riddled with injuries for the rest of his playing days after 1962. Imagine the steroid talk that would’ve popped up from that).

In 1977, George Foster hit 52 home runs. Despite being productive throughout his career, he only came within 20 home runs of that one other time in his career, in 1978 when he hit 40.

Players who only hit 40+ home runs once in their careers and never came within 10 home runs of that number again: In 1989, Kevin Mitchell hit 47 home runs. In 1961, Jim Gentile hit 46 home runs. In 1979, Dave Kingman hit 48 home runs. In 1930, Hack Wilson hit 56 home runs. In 1969, Rico Petrocelli hit 40 home runs.

A lot of guys had a very good season or two and never duplicated it ever again. Take a look for yourself.

It happened more in the ’00s and ’90s, yes. There was Luis Gonzalez, Brady Anderson, Richard Hidalgo. None of them repeated their performance ever again.

Steroids is an old topic and we know pretty much that anybody pointing the steroids finger is just looking for a witch-hunt. It’s pointless. And some players have been implicated with the slightest of evidence. Even worse, some players have been implicated with things that weren’t steroids. We’ve gotten to a point where anything a player says or does is used against him as proof.

And you know what? That sucks.

Let’s play innocent until proven guilty and enjoy this awesome season Bautista is having.

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Filed under MLB, MLB history