Results tagged ‘ steroids ’
Any elite player’s retirement brings forth the question: will he make the Hall of Fame? Pudge Rodriguez’s retirement is no different. Of course, the answer to that question is more complicated.
On the merits he’s a no-brainer: He has the most games caught of any catcher, totaled nearly 3,000 hits, won an MVP award, a World Series MVP award and was arguably the best defensive catcher of all time. That’s normally a first-ballot ticket to Cooperstown.
But then there’s the PED problem. As we’ve seen in recent years, players with any PED associations are basically blackballed from Hall of Fame consideration no matter how strong their on-the-field case is. And that goes for those players who were admitted or documented users like Mark McGwire and for those who merely have whisper campaigns waged against them like Jeff Bagwell.
Basically, if a bunch of moralizing writers think you’re dirty, you’re not getting into the Hall of Fame.
So where does Pudge Rodriguez fall on that scale? He was not named in the Mitchell Report. He has not been revealed to be on the famous list of 103 ballplayers who tested positive during baseball’s pilot testing program in 2004. He has not admitted to any PED use and hasn’t otherwise been brought into the greater PED scandal via legal action or the like.
- Jose Canseco wrote in his book that he personally injected Pudge with steroids;
- When asked if he was on the list of 103, Rodriguez responded “Only God knows”;
- He played for the Texas Rangers in the 1990s; and
- His physique varied fairly radically over the years, with it being beefier pre-testing and noticeably smaller once testing was implemented.
- Once he was fingered by Canseco not only did his physique change considerably, but he went from being a guy who hits over .300 with 20+ HRs to one who only sniffed .300 once and averaged around 13 HRs per season at best)
Did he do PEDs? Hell, I don’t know. I certainly wouldn’t be shocked if he did, but I don’t know for sure.
But I do know that while, in a court of law, all of those bullet points would represent circumstantial evidence at best, inadmissible hearsay at worst, Hall of Fame voting doesn’t operate at that standard. In the world of baseball, those bullet points — as well as any more or less reasonable suspicions that Pudge did, in fact, take PEDs — are more than enough to get writers to withhold votes.
And unless something happens to change the current pattern of Hall of Fame voting in the next five years — like, say, people electing Barry Bonds because, Jesus, it’s dumb to have a Hall of Fame without Barry Bonds — I think Rodriguez will be on the outside looking in for some time.
Ryan Braun is off to a slow start, but you’d be hard pressed to find many around the game that think that he isn’t going to turn it around and be a fine damn baseball player again.
Braun hasn’t been playing in the Brewers‘ “road games” during spring training, and he’s got just one hit all spring. It’s reasonable to suspect that Braun’s limited playing time, and perhaps even his limited performance when he has played, is related to … well, you know.
Tyler Kepner of the New York Times had an interesting piece on the subject yesterday:
[Jonathan] Lucroy said there was more to the situation than Braun has said publicly, and his explanation to teammates, Lucroy said, has been convincing.
“I’m not going to get into the details, but if you knew what we knew, people would be like, ‘Wow,’ ” Lucroy said, adding that he understood why Braun has elaborated only in private. “You’ve got to do that because it’s his prerogative. It’s up to him, it’s his choice. And honestly, if some of the things came out, it would be a lot more negative than positive. There are reasons.”
I damn sure know that there are reasons why Braun failed his drug test, but I doubt my ideas on the subject line up with whatever cock-n-bull story he laid on his buddies.
I also get the fact that he felt comfortable sharing those reasons with his teammates but not the rest of us. In fact this little piece of info might lend some credence to rumors that were swirling around in December that he had failed the test due to complications relating to treatment for herpes.
Here’s the rub, though … If there were reasons for Braun failing the drug test, reasons that make us “be like Wow“, why did he stand before America and question the integrity of the guy who was hosting his urine for the weekend? Why throw him under the bus? To protect yourself and not have to go out and admit you were an idiot who didn’t use protection and got the herp?
Braun, my man…you can’t have it both ways.
I know you are a pro athlete and are used to getting it your way all of the damn time, but not on this. The public won’t let it slide this time, at least not outside of Wisconsin & more specifically the greater Milwaukee area.
Either your urine, fresh out of your pecker, was loaded with inhuman amounts of testosterone, but there were good reasons for that, or your urine was perfectly fine until something strange or nefarious happened to it.
This whole thing where your stories don’t line up doesn’t add up. And in life when someone’s stories do not add up we question their honesty & integrity, simple as that.
So if you want to be able to sit here and tell your teammates one story, the league office another and the public yet another, all the while tarnishing the reputation of a man who seemed to have handled everything both professionally and with integrity then go right ahead.
Just don’t expect us to take your explanations at face value and not come to the conclusion that you are a giant, lying, dishonest douche bag.
It just ain’t gonna happen.
Players are not happy with the Ryan braun result.
At least the ones Buster Olney has spoken to. He reports that he has spoken with dozens and dozens of ballplayers off the record in the past week, and that as many as 80-90% of them are upset at the Braun decision. They don’t like that he challenged procedure as opposed to substance, and they think it’s bad for the testing program overall, which they sincerely want to work.
I understand that. And I think it’s a good thing for drug testing in baseball overall that there are people who are upset at it. Like I said yesterday, systems are improved over time when blips and inefficiencies occur. The Braun decision may seem unjust on some level, but its lasting legacy will not be about what it means for Braun, it will be about how, when faced with a problem in the system, the league and the union can work together to address it. Which I am certain they will here, either by clarifying the collection procedures to their people in the field or by changing the Joint Drug Agreement to conform to the practices those in the field have employed and to apply them going forward.
All of that said, complaints that the Braun decision somehow puts testing at risk is silly. Braun walking on this charge is no more of a threat to the drug testing system than a guy getting off on a burglary charge because the cops didn’t get a proper search warrant is a threat to the criminal justice system. You may hate the result, but the remedy is easy: get it right next time or change the rules to make what happened in that instance acceptable. It is not something that puts the entire regime in peril.
Finally, I’ll observe that these complaints all seem a little self-righteous to me. No one who ever wins on a procedural argument themselves ever seems to have a problem with it. And I suspect that the 80-90% of the players Olney spoke with here were under the gun themselves, they would not hesitate to make the same arguments Braun did if they or their legal advisors thought to do so.
I really hope this is true., but from my own experience on the matter I see that 80-90% number as a pipe dream. I happened to be on Twitter when news of the appeal being upheld broke and every single comment I saw from dozens of MLBers was along the lines of “he’s vindicated”, “his name is cleared” or “#suckonthatdoubters”.
Every last one.
I even got into an exchange, a civil one mind you, with Gaby Sanchez of the Miami Marlins on the merits of getting off “on a technicality” in such a case. Let’s just say we “agreed to disagree” in the end.
But like I said. I really hope the players do get it. The dude’s a cheat. He was juiced up twice as much as Floyd Landis was when he had his Tour de France titled stripped away and dodged a bullet on a very, very questionable technicality.