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Sunday, January 19, 2014

A-Rod no Hall of Famer: Paul Molitor

Pot/cocaine calling the kettle…

Is suspended New York Yankee Alex Rodriguez a Hall of Famer?

“No,” said Hall of Famer Paul Molitor.

“I don’t think he was overly targeted by Major League Baseball,” Molitor said. “I don’t think they would impose such a severe suspension.

“I know that there was not a positive drug test, but there was just cause. So, no, I don’t think he belongs.”

“I don’t envy the job that the voters have,” said Molitor, inducted 10 years ago along with closer Dennis Eckersley. “Regardless of where (Rodriguez’s) career was going, from the information I’ve been exposed to and read, I don’t think he will get in ... but hey Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds get roughly 30% of the vote.”

Repoz Posted: January 19, 2014 at 09:41 AM | 88 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: January 19, 2014 at 10:48 AM (#4641816)
Cokeheads who spent much of their careers at DH should be a little more circumspect when criticizing real players, if you ask me.
   2. Ray K Posted: January 19, 2014 at 11:22 AM (#4641826)
At last! DH's are finally not considered "real players". All it took was one of them criticizing a sacred cow.
   3. Captain Supporter Posted: January 19, 2014 at 11:30 AM (#4641829)
Real ballplayers don't like cheats.
   4. Yastrzemski in left. Posted: January 19, 2014 at 11:38 AM (#4641832)
Yeah, I heard if you smoke a joint and snort a line before a game you could hit a 417ft double. They're making gummies out of the mixture called "Pokey's".
   5. Rennie's Tenet Posted: January 19, 2014 at 12:55 PM (#4641867)
12 days till the Caribbean Series, 24 until pitchers and catchers report.
   6. John Northey Posted: January 19, 2014 at 12:59 PM (#4641872)
So, which is worse... taking illegal drugs to perform better or taking illegal drugs that will make you perform worse? As a fan I'd prefer players who try to do better myself. Ideally they don't touch the illegal stuff, but if they must then use the stuff that makes you better.
   7. if nature called, ladodger34 would listen Posted: January 19, 2014 at 01:10 PM (#4641878)
At last! DH's are finally not considered "real players". All it took was one of them criticizing a sacred cow.


I hardly doubt that A-Rod is a sacred cow anymore. Maybe a sacred centaur, but I digress. I think people are more rightly making the point that a guy who had his own drug problem should probably sit this one out.
   8. Dale Sams Posted: January 19, 2014 at 01:29 PM (#4641889)
I don't know who this "Arod no Hall of Famer" guy is, and what does he have to say about Paul Molitor?
   9. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: January 19, 2014 at 02:53 PM (#4641915)
DH's are finally not considered "real players".


These are the jokes.

Sigh.
   10. Bob Tufts Posted: January 19, 2014 at 03:22 PM (#4641927)
So, which is worse... taking illegal drugs to perform better or taking illegal drugs that will make you perform worse? As a fan I'd prefer players who try to do better myself. Ideally they don't touch the illegal stuff, but if they must then use the stuff that makes you better.


Thanks, John.

This. I begrudge my SF and KC teammates for a few major things - getting my name tied up in a drug investigation and guilty by association, besmirching the team name, potential addiction/gambling connections.....but their drug usage made them worse players and hurt the total team performance, cheated fans out of full efforts/abilities and suppressed game action.

I'd classify cocaine usage as more detrimental on more levels. And since acquisition and use of coke is easier than finding anabolic steroids, it can be readily imitated by the public - especially the children about whom we claim to care - and the huge number of deaths that are related to coke versus those tied to steroids are no match.

   11. Publius Publicola Posted: January 19, 2014 at 04:02 PM (#4641942)
I'd say just the opposite. Steroids use is more corrosive because of their coercive aspect, and because they work, beget evermore drug abuse. At least the negative effects cocaine abuse had on performance would dissuade others from going down the same path. PEDs force players to go down that path who would otherwise not do so for career survival and monetary reasons. That's why cocaine was just a transient phenomena while PEDs has staying power and is thus more corrosive, not less.
   12. simon bedford Posted: January 19, 2014 at 04:16 PM (#4641949)
what colour is the sky in your universe where cocaine use , anywhere in society, was just transient? good lord
   13. John Northey Posted: January 19, 2014 at 04:23 PM (#4641951)
There are issues with both, thus why I said ideally they do neither.

Cocaine is easily accessed by anyone anywhere, no question on that. Steroids are similar. However, if you are past your 'I will become a superstar' age then steroids vanish as a factor in your life. Heck, unless you are an elite athlete or have a shot at being one (ie: one of the top in your school or something) steroids are a non-starter. Cocaine though...that is there for everyone at any age. So if you are doing a 'think of the children' argument then no question cocaine is worse.

Now, for athletes it gets murkier. Cocaine causes a player to not be at his best on the field, leading to your team losing more and frustration for teammates. Steroids makes it possible to do better, thus costing clean athletes a job potentially but allowing the team to win more. A guy like those on the HOF ballot (Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, McGwire, Sosa) ... their use didn't cost anyone a job as they were playing everyday (or every 5th day) regardless. All their use did was help their team win and others lose. If you were a teammate of them you probably, secretly, hoped they kept it going. The Giants would not have made the WS without Bonds in the early 00's (Bonds was worth 7 1/2 to 11 wins a year from 2000-2004). It is safe to say if Bonds was a, say, 3-4 WAR instead during that stretch that the Giants would've missed the playoffs twice during that stretch instead of making it while in 2002 he hit 8 HR in the playoffs with scary Slg, OBP figures (his Slg in the 3 rounds was 824,727,1.294...yes, over 1000 for slg% in the WS that year).

The point about how if player x uses PED's then all others feel the pressure is a good point though. Game of Shadows showed this issue clearly as it said Bonds pretty much felt no choice after the McGwire/Sosa HR chase...that if he wanted to be elite he would have to do PED's since MLB and the media and fans didn't care one iota about them at the time. One cannot help but wonder how different MLB would've been had the media gone ape over the stuff in McGwire's locker instead of trying to paper it over (iirc the stuff was banned in the Olympics and by other leagues such as the NFL). Odds are Bonds would've never started, Clemens would've quit quickly, and the same for other elite players. None wanted to be made an example of and if McGwire was painted as the bad guy in the HR chase at that moment in time, with writers doing the 'I will never vote him for the HOF' statements then I bet it would've been drastically different. But we all wanted to see the dingers and it was a fun story. Sigh.
   14. Bob Tufts Posted: January 19, 2014 at 04:27 PM (#4641952)
NIH cocaine use data:
http://www.drugabuse.gov/drugs-abuse/cocaine


NIH steroid data:
http://www.drugabuse.gov/drugs-abuse/steroids-anabolic
   15. Publius Publicola Posted: January 19, 2014 at 04:53 PM (#4641973)
John, the quote by Bonds speculating the fans didn't care about them is wrong. Fans clearly do care about them. There is no complaint at all about Clemens and Bonds and McGwire not making the hall. Most fans approve of that. Most writers approve of that.
   16. Yastrzemski in left. Posted: January 19, 2014 at 05:45 PM (#4642014)

RK LY Player PTS Bal 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1 n/e Barry Bonds 816 34 34
2 n/e Roger Clemens 782 34 34
3 n/e Mike Piazza 732 34 30 2 2
4 n/e Craig Biggio 620 34 2 16 9 3 3 1
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
   17. Booey Posted: January 19, 2014 at 06:50 PM (#4642079)
John, the quote by Bonds speculating the fans didn't care about them is wrong. Fans clearly do care about them. There is no complaint at all about Clemens and Bonds and McGwire not making the hall. Most fans approve of that. Most writers approve of that.


Fans care cuz the media keeps telling them they should care. OUTRAGE!!! is the socially acceptable response to steroids right now. Fans were perfectly content to ignore them back in the 90's when complacency was the socially acceptable response. Complacency is STILL an acceptable response to PED's in football and other sports, and will be until a big scandal breaks and forces the league, writers, and fans to change their minds.

Fans in general just go along with popular opinion. The attitude regarding PED's has changed in the last 10 years and could just as easily change again.
   18. vivaelpujols Posted: January 19, 2014 at 07:07 PM (#4642089)
“I don’t think they would impose such a severe suspension.


Well they did, so I don't know what Molitor's talking about here.
   19. Ray K Posted: January 19, 2014 at 07:20 PM (#4642097)
Fans care cuz the media keeps telling them they should care.


Disappointing. You forgot to call the people who disagree with you "sheeple". Work on it.
   20. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: January 19, 2014 at 07:25 PM (#4642101)
RayK's right. Fans care. Baseball still hasn't recovered from the devastating drop in attendance that has accompanied the exposure of the steroids epidemic.
   21. Booey Posted: January 19, 2014 at 07:42 PM (#4642120)
Disappointing. You forgot to call the people who disagree with you "sheeple". Work on it.


If fans care so much, how would you explain the huge surge in attendance when homers were flying out of ballparks like never before? Or the ones that came to games hours early just to watch guys who used to be 50 pounds lighter like McGwire and Sosa take batting practice? And why is the NFL so popular? Do you honestly believe fans are so stupid that they don't/didn't know what was going on? No. They ignored it cuz no one was forcing them to address it by bringing it up every 10 minutes.

If people are told often enough that they should care about an issue, then they usually will (or at least pretend to). But ultimately sports are just entertainment, and fans want to be entertained. I don't think they care whether a league is actually clean as long as it APPEARS to be clean. Ignorance is bliss.
   22. Publius Publicola Posted: January 19, 2014 at 07:51 PM (#4642128)
And why is the NFL so popular?


Is that what you want? You want MLB to be a cheap imitation of the NFL?

I like MLB because of the ways it differs from the NFL. An NFL game is a sado-masochistic spectacle, not a sporting event. You can have the NFL.
   23. ThickieDon Posted: January 19, 2014 at 08:04 PM (#4642148)
Frank Thomas was bigger than every juicer and non-juicer, yet he never hit 50 homers.

According to PED crybabies, he should have hit 80 homers a year because he was the biggest guy.
   24. Booey Posted: January 19, 2014 at 08:06 PM (#4642150)
I like MLB because of the ways it differs from the NFL. An NFL game is a sado-masochistic spectacle, not a sporting event. You can have the NFL.


I don't even like the NFL. But I do think it's a good example to show how much fans truly care about steroids. If you don't think football is comparable because of the reasons you listed, you could use pre-testing MLB as your example, but then of course people will use the excuse that no one knew about PED's back then (yeah, right). So I use the current NFL as an example cuz it's a league where 'roids are clearly rampant even after the PED cat is out of the bag and no one seems to care a whit.
   25. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 19, 2014 at 08:09 PM (#4642158)
I don't even like the NFL. But I do think it's a good example to show how much fans truly care about steroids. If you don't think football is comparable because of the reasons you listed, you could use pre-testing MLB as your example, but then of course people will use the excuse that no one knew about PED's back then (yeah, right). So I use the current NFL as an example cuz it's a league where 'roids are clearly rampant even after the PED cat is out of the bag and no one seems to care a whit.

And, if you put Gladiators on TV hacking each other to death with swords and axes, you'd get the best ratings ever.
   26. Booey Posted: January 19, 2014 at 08:25 PM (#4642169)
And, if you put Gladiators on TV hacking each other to death with swords and axes, you'd get the best ratings ever.


I really doubt it, actually.

So how do you determine what fans care about then if attendance and ratings of PED infused sports aren't relevant?
   27. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 19, 2014 at 08:45 PM (#4642194)
So how do you determine what fans care about then if attendance and ratings of PED infused sports aren't relevant?

If fans cared about Bonds, Clemens, McGwire, Sosa, Palmeiro, etc., being excluded from the Hall, you'd hear about it.
   28. KT's Pot Arb Posted: January 19, 2014 at 08:53 PM (#4642199)
And, if you put Gladiators on TV hacking each other to death with swords and axes, you'd get the best ratings ever.


So the only reason UFC ratings are a shadow of other sports is they only show limbs being snapped?

If fans cared about Bonds, Clemens, McGwire, Sosa, Palmeiro, etc., being excluded from the Hall, you'd hear about it.


I do, often. Since no one goes to Cooperstown anymore, it's not going to become news.
   29. Random Transaction Generator Posted: January 19, 2014 at 08:58 PM (#4642201)
And, if you put Gladiators on TV hacking each other to death with swords and axes, you'd get the best ratings ever.


Meh. It did okay, ratings-wise, but nothing worth talking about.
   30. Publius Publicola Posted: January 19, 2014 at 09:04 PM (#4642208)
So the only reason UFC ratings are a shadow of other sports is they only show limbs being snapped?


No, it's because they allow tapouts.

And really, UFC is knocking boxing right off of the sporting map, precisely because it's more violent. It's grabbing up all the fans who want to see that sort of thing.
   31. Bowling Baseball Fan Posted: January 19, 2014 at 09:04 PM (#4642209)
I'm curious to see how accurate ratings for ufc are because of how many people watch it from places like buffalo wild wings. You can't get a seat hours before it starts there.
   32. bookbook Posted: January 19, 2014 at 09:53 PM (#4642251)
To say fans don't care about the Hall of Fame? Sure. Why should they? The only fun in the HOF is the outrage over wrong selections or omissions.

The stored history guys are in long ago.
   33. Booey Posted: January 20, 2014 at 12:25 AM (#4642445)
If fans cared about Bonds, Clemens, McGwire, Sosa, Palmeiro, etc., being excluded from the Hall, you'd hear about it.


There are plenty of fans who do care about it. BBTF is full of them, in fact.

And what would happen if these guys WERE inducted? I suspect the crowd at their induction ceremonies would be as big as anyone else's. Those who were opposed would make a fuss for about 15 minutes and then get over it.
   34. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 20, 2014 at 12:27 AM (#4642447)
At Molitor's best he was about as good as an average ARod season. Molitor can't touch ARod's peak/prime.

If forced to choose between Molitor and ARod for the HOF, I choose ARod.
   35. Jacob Posted: January 20, 2014 at 01:49 AM (#4642460)
Funny, Molitor was one of my prime suspects for the whole "there's already a steroid user in the HoF thing". Still is, actually.
   36. Jason Michael(s) Bourn Identity Crisis Posted: January 20, 2014 at 03:12 AM (#4642469)
@35 Rickey!, Fisk, and Ryan are on my short list. Molitor too, perhaps.
   37. God Posted: January 20, 2014 at 03:21 AM (#4642470)
I've always thought Fisk is the most likely by far. As a White Sox he bulked up way more than before, hit a lot more home runs, left his susceptibility to injury behind. Ryan I wonder about too. He chose as the coauthor of his book a guy who admitted using steroids in the '70s (Tom House). Like Clemens, he was famous for his workouts. I would not be surprised by Rickey either.
   38. Jacob Posted: January 20, 2014 at 04:58 AM (#4642477)
List of primary suspects (with year inducted):

1993: Reggie Jackson*
1994: Steve Carlton
1995: Mike Schmidt
1999: Robin Yount, Nolan Ryan*, George Brett
2000: Carlton Fisk
2001: Kirby Puckett
2002: Ozzie Smith
2003: Eddie Murray, Gary Carter,
2004: Paul Molitor, Dennis Eckersley*
2005: Ryne Sandberg, Wade Boggs*
2007: Cal Ripken, Tony Gwynn
2008: Rich Gossage*
2009: Jim Rice, Rickey Henderson*
   39. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: January 20, 2014 at 07:42 AM (#4642486)
as background when molitor turned his life around it was the result of religion. as is far too common in that scenario, those who found faith to save themselves then use their belief system as a hammer against others. it is disappointing.

it's akin to someone losing a lot of weight and then sneering at their still heavyset friends.

better he try and demonstrate a sense of charity.
   40. Ray K Posted: January 20, 2014 at 02:05 PM (#4642679)
If fans care so much, how would you explain the huge surge in attendance when homers were flying out of ballparks like never before? Or the ones that came to games hours early just to watch guys who used to be 50 pounds lighter like McGwire and Sosa take batting practice? And why is the NFL so popular? Do you honestly believe fans are so stupid that they don't/didn't know what was going on? No. They ignored it cuz no one was forcing them to address it by bringing it up every 10 minutes.


Dude. I was there. Not only was I there, but I was immersed in it sabermetric-style.

Nobody knew. We all had theories about juiced balls, smaller ballparks, Denver, and expansion-diluted pitching. But nobody, at least as far as I know, suspected that steroid abuse was the driver behind the inflated numbers.

It's easy to look back, in hindsight, and claim that it was all obvious and that we fans were in denial. But it wasn't and we weren't. Go look at rsb sometime and see how many steroid-related posts you find before 2001.

There was in an individual on an Astros forum that stated, point blank, sometime in 2001, that all of the big players were taking steroids. It was obvious to him, visually. I watched as everyone piled on him and called him an idiot, but that single post opened my eyes. It gave me another explanation to consider. That's when the scales fell from my eyes and I began seeing what was really going on. I went from cheering

When Caminiti's revelations came out in 2002, that's when all hell broke loose for the general public.
   41. Booey Posted: January 20, 2014 at 04:29 PM (#4642758)
Dude. I was there.


So was I. My oldest brother was a big time weightlighter/steroid user back then and when the McGwire/Andro story broke, he basically laughed and said that Andro is just candy and McGwire is almost surely using something a lot stronger than that. I was 18 in the summer of '98 and I just shrugged and said, "Yeah, probably." I'd read about Olympic steroid scandals dating back to the 60's, NFL scandals from the 70's, more Olympic (Ben Johnson) and college football scandals from the 80's, and I remembered the Canseco steroid rumors in MLB just 10 years earlier. Hell, I remember watching an episode of Coach from the 90's that dealt with steroids. It blows my mind that anyone who was even vaguely familiar with sports history could claim to be shocked that there were PED's in baseball, or any other sport.

And again, how does the "we had no idea!" excuse work for the current NFL, now that the cat has been out of the bag in MLB for a decade? Why does each sport need it's own individual scandal before people can put 2+2 together and conclude that if steroids are rampant in one sport, then they probably are in other sports that require many of the same skills PED's are said to enhance (strength, speed, durability, etc)? Are fans really that stupid or naive? Or are they like the leagues themselves - perfectly willing to just sit back and enjoy the ride until a major scandal breaks and forces them to address the issue?
   42. Publius Publicola Posted: January 20, 2014 at 05:37 PM (#4642812)
And yet, we still get the "maple bats, smaller ballparks, tighter ball" nonsense as a daily staple right here to this very day.
   43. Booey Posted: January 20, 2014 at 05:49 PM (#4642822)
And yet, we still get the "maple bats, smaller ballparks, tighter ball" nonsense as a daily staple right here to this very day.


Those are legit points as well. Doesn't it seem likely that several factors combined together caused the sillyball era, including but not limited to steroids?
   44. Jason Michael(s) Bourn Identity Crisis Posted: January 20, 2014 at 07:42 PM (#4642857)
Don't forget "expansion era" when looking for contributing factors to sillyball.
   45. ThickieDon Posted: January 20, 2014 at 08:02 PM (#4642866)
Hey, is The Sillyball Era still going on?

Because home run rates now are the same as they were then.
   46. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: January 20, 2014 at 08:44 PM (#4642882)
post 45

don't bother folks with your 'facts'

they are on a roll.................

//sarcasm
   47. Booey Posted: January 20, 2014 at 09:28 PM (#4642895)
Because home run rates now are the same as they were then.


Team HR's per game, per BBREF:

2013 - 0.96
2012 - 1.02
2011 - 0.94
2010 - 0.95
2009 - 1.04
2008 - 1.00
2007 - 1.02
2006 - 1.11
2005 - 1.03
2004 - 1.12
2003 - 1.07
2002 - 1.04
2001 - 1.12
2000 - 1.17
1999 - 1.14
1998 - 1.04
1997 - 1.02
1996 - 1.09
1995 - 1.01
1994 - 1.03
1993 - 0.89
1992 - 0.72
1991 - 0.80
1990 - 0.79

The sillyball era is just a generic nickname and you're free to attach whatever beginning or end points you want to it, but HR rates have definitely gone down a bit. The 3 lowest seasons of the last 20 years have all come in the last 4 years.
   48. Publius Publicola Posted: January 20, 2014 at 09:28 PM (#4642896)
If by Sillyball, do you mean players are still juicing? Obviously they are.

EDIT: Booey's table suggests HR rates have dropped about 10 to 15% since testing was instituted.
   49. Booey Posted: January 20, 2014 at 09:35 PM (#4642898)
If by Sillyball, do you mean players are still juicing? Obviously they are.


That's why I always use the term 'sillyball era' rather than 'steroid era' to refer to the 90's and 2000's, since the 'steroid era' is likely every decade from the 1970's until the end of professional baseball.
   50. Publius Publicola Posted: January 20, 2014 at 09:42 PM (#4642899)
I don't think baseball really got rolling with the steroids until the nineties, maybe late eighties. With football, it was probably early seventies.
   51. Booey Posted: January 20, 2014 at 09:53 PM (#4642901)
With football, it was probably early seventies.


That's part of my original point; if they've been around since the early 70's (and that's probably accurate), then how come people STILL don't care in 2014, a full 40 years later? Why do fans have such a different opinion regarding football PED's vs baseball PED's? I'm not a football guy so I can't answer that, but I'd be curious to know what fans of both sports think.
   52. Publius Publicola Posted: January 20, 2014 at 10:10 PM (#4642907)
Because people like baseball for different reasons than they like football. Football is like watching a train wreck. If steroids are added to the already overwhelming mayhem, it doesn't matter.

But baseball is different. Fans like the history, the statistics, the pastoral imagery. Making it more like football ruins it for a lot of fans.
   53. Booey Posted: January 20, 2014 at 10:21 PM (#4642912)
But baseball is different. Fans like the history, the statistics, the pastoral imagery. Making it more like football ruins it for a lot of fans.


I don't know. Fans seemed to dig the McGwire/Sosa power show just fine.

I suspect that whenever a major steroid scandal involving star players that people actually care about finally rocks the NFL and forces people to address the problem, you'll see a lot of sudden outrage that was conveniently suppressed before.
   54. Ray K Posted: January 20, 2014 at 10:23 PM (#4642913)
So was I. My oldest brother was a big time weightlighter/steroid user back then and when the McGwire/Andro story broke, he basically laughed and said that Andro is just candy and McGwire is almost surely using something a lot stronger than that.
...
It blows my mind that anyone who was even vaguely familiar with sports history could claim to be shocked that there were PED's in baseball, or any other sport.


You knew because someone close to you was heavily into steroids/weightlifting back then and recognized the symptoms. That's the exception that proves my point. You were in a distinct minority with privileged insight. Steroids with baseball for several reasons now known to be false... one of the common canards was that baseball was a finesse sport.... bigger muscles couldn't help you hit a baseball, etc etc.

And again, how does the "we had no idea!" excuse work for the current NFL, now that the cat has been out of the bag in MLB for a decade? Why does each sport need it's own individual scandal before people can put 2+2 together and conclude that if steroids are rampant in one sport, then they probably are in other sports that require many of the same skills PED's are said to enhance (strength, speed, durability, etc)? Are fans really that stupid or naive? Or are they like the leagues themselves - perfectly willing to just sit back and enjoy the ride until a major scandal breaks and forces them to address the issue?


Different fans? I dunno. But remember that, in 1998, the internet was still really young and most fans got their sports information from things called newspapers (hard to believe, right?).

Anyway, I think it's awfully disingenuous to blame the FANS for not seeing what players were doing in private and trying to keep as secret as possible. It's like Homer Simpson telling Marge, "It takes two to lie. One to lie and one to listen"

   55. Booey Posted: January 20, 2014 at 10:41 PM (#4642918)
Anyway, I think it's awfully disingenuous to blame the FANS for not seeing what players were doing in privately and trying to keep as secret as possible. It's like Homer Simpson telling Marge, "It takes two to lie. One to lie and one to listen"


I've never BLAMED the fans - I've always blamed the league itself for allowing it. But to use your own word, I did (and still do) find it disingenuous that so many people expressed such surprise at a practice that had been common knowledge in other sports for 20+ years. The 'muscle can't help you hit a baseball' myth was long gone by 1998, and the Canseco steroid allegations that everyone handwaved away were 10 years old at this point.

Maybe my brothers experience gave me insight others didn't have, but I don't remember being surprised at all by anything he told me. I'd already basically assumed most athletes in all sports do whatever they can to get an edge, just like I assume that pretty much all rock stars abuse drugs, and I assume that most athletes and famous musicians alike cheat on their wives. It never surprises me when a new story breaks about a professional entertainer doing something sleazy that I figured they were probably doing all along.

Maybe I'm just too cynical. I don't know.
   56. Booey Posted: January 20, 2014 at 11:02 PM (#4642925)
Re: my #55 - Or maybe disingenuous is the wrong word. I tend to believe individual fans who say they had no idea. I don't think they're lying when they say they never suspected a thing (well, current NFL fans probably are), but I think they SHOULD have suspected something. So 'naive' is probably a better word to use.
   57. Dandy Salderson Posted: January 20, 2014 at 11:05 PM (#4642926)
Paul Molitor hit his career high in homers as a 36 year old, in 1993. Second and third highest slugging percentages as a 36 and 37 year old, 1993 and 1994. Career high in games played as a 39 year old in 1996. More home runs in his final four years - ages 38-41 and 1995-1998 than in his first four years - ages 21-24, 1978-1981.

Guessing who was or wasnt a steroid user is admittedly nasty stuff. But since I am feeling nasty, this career arc looks like a duck and smells like a duck.
   58. Ray K Posted: January 20, 2014 at 11:21 PM (#4642931)
More home runs in his final four years - ages 38-41 and 1995-1998 than in his first four years - ages 21-24, 1978-1981.


Hard to call a 15-homer peak of a veteran in the late 90s significantly greater than the 9-homer peak of a young player in the late 70s, especially considering the context of the eras.

Trolling?
   59. Ray K Posted: January 20, 2014 at 11:22 PM (#4642934)
So 'naive' is probably a better word to use.


You would be describing the vast majority of fans, then. Look, not everyone was a gym rat or knew the ins and outs of weight training. Given the absence of reporting on the issue, it's hard to call them naive.
   60. Dandy Salderson Posted: January 21, 2014 at 12:10 AM (#4642952)
Hard to call a 15-homer peak of a veteran in the late 90s significantly greater than the 9-homer peak of a young player in the late 70s, especially considering the context of the eras.

It is really not that hard, unless you are under the impression that home runs increased by 66%, and dont see any question marks in the aging curve.
   61. WillYoung Posted: January 21, 2014 at 09:10 AM (#4643013)
Career high in games played as a 39 year old in 1996.


Tom Kelly had decided that he wouldn't give Molitor a day off (unless asked) until Molitor reached 3,000 hits that season. Molitor never asked, so Kelly didn't rest him until he got his hit.
   62. vivaelpujols Posted: January 21, 2014 at 10:19 AM (#4643062)

The sillyball era is just a generic nickname and you're free to attach whatever beginning or end points you want to it, but HR rates have definitely gone down a bit. The 3 lowest seasons of the last 20 years have all come in the last 4 years.


I remember Walt or Guy or someone showing that this is entirely due to increased strikeouts, which doesn't really seem to have much to do with steroids.

If pitchers and hitters were both taking steroids, why would there be such a drastic increase in runs allowed? It has to be something that only effects one side, which would be balls, ballparks, strikezones, etc..
   63. Ron J2 Posted: January 21, 2014 at 10:54 AM (#4643102)
#47 What's driving down home runs is the increase in K rates. Results these days on contact are indistinguishable from the sillyball era. (IOW the drop in offense likely has more to do with Questec than anything else)

Went back to 1988. using only the AL -- my preference because it avoids all of the Colorado complications. (Also took out pitcher's batting)

BAOC = Hits/ (At Bats + Sac flies - strikeouts)
ISOC = (Total bases - hits) / (At Bats + Sac flies - strikeouts)
HRR = (At Bats + Sac flies - strikeouts) / Home runs

YEAR BABIP BAOC ISOC HRR
1988 .285 .306 .155 34.4
1989 .288 .307 .145 38.1
1990 .287 .307 .152 36.1
1991 .288 .309 .160 33.5
1992 .285 .305 .148 37.0 


YEAR BABIP BAOC ISOC HRR
1993 .294 .316 .168 31.5 



Something of a bridge year

YEAR BABIP BAOC ISOC HRR
1994  .299 .326 .193 26.0
1995  .298 .324 .188 26.8
1996  .304 .333 .202 24.0
1997  .302 .329 .192 25.9
1998  .302 .329 .195 25.8
1999  .302 .331 .199 24.6
2000  .303 .332 .202 24.2
2001  .297 .324 .196 25.6
2002  .292 .319 .195 26.0
2003  .294 .321 .193 26.0
2004  .300 .328 .198 24.9
2005  .296 .322 .189 26.7
2006  .305 .332 .196 25.5
2007  .305 .330 .186 28.5
2008  .302 .327 .186 28.1
2009  .300 .329 .199 24.7
2010  .296 .320 .181 28.4
2011  .294 .320 .186 27.5
2012  .293 .322 .197 24.5
2013  .296 .324 .192 25.6
AVE   .299 .326 .193 26.0 



AVE is the average 1994-2013

Standard deviation is .004 for BABIP and BAOC, .006 ISOC and 1.4 for HRR
   64. Booey Posted: January 21, 2014 at 12:15 PM (#4643204)
Look, not everyone was a gym rat or knew the ins and outs of weight training. Given the absence of reporting on the issue, it's hard to call them naive.


You didn't have to be a gym rat or know much at all about weight training. Even if you ignored the Canseco rumors from 10 years earlier and that specific connection to baseball, I have a hard time believing that anyone hadn't at least heard of steroids by 1998. The Olympic scandals in the 60's and 80's were pretty well publicized, as were the football scandals in the 70's and 80's. D.A.R.E. (drug abuse resistance education) - where a cop would come in once a week and talk about the dangers of drugs - was a required program at my school when I was in 6th grade (1990), and I remember his story about a physical encounter he had with a massive suspect on steroids suffering from roid rage. My junior high textbook in Health class from the early 90's (and it was probably written before that) mentioned the Ben Johnson story and the effects/side effects of steroids. TV shows had episodes about steroids (I personally remember seeing episodes of Coach and 90210 from the early 90's that dealt with steroids, and other posters in different threads have mentioned other shows that did as well). Hell, I had a writer buddy in high school that used to write crime dramas, and I remember one story he wrote after our sophmore year (1995) that was about a new strain of super steroids the local crimelord (doesn't every city have one?) was giving to his henchmen. And my buddy was a comic book geek (no disrespect to comic book geeks here) - he knew basically jack about sports.

Anyway, the point is - everyone had heard of steroids by 1998. And if it was widely known that athletes in some other sports had used them to try and increase their strength and speed, and if it was plainly obvious to anyone watching that baseball players were bulking up in the 90's like never before to increase their strength and bat speed (it wasn't hard at all for a kid in 1998 to compare the hulked up versions of McGwire and Sosa they saw every night on Sportscenter to the skinny versions on their 1990 baseball cards) then why is it such a stretch to suggest that the people who cared about PED's should've put 2 and 2 together and at least entertained the idea that maybe baseball players were trying something too? I'm not saying that everyone should've been throwing around wild accusations without evidence - I'm just a bit floored that so many people are claiming they had absolutely no idea and it was such an enormous shock when they found out. The shock value should've been about on par with when Clay Aiken or Ricky Martin came out of the closet - sort of a shrug and a "Yeah, that makes sense."
   65. Booey Posted: January 21, 2014 at 12:17 PM (#4643207)
I remember Walt or Guy or someone showing that this is entirely due to increased strikeouts, which doesn't really seem to have much to do with steroids.


Certainly possible. I actually wasn't even trying to give an opinion on why I thought HR rates were down; I was just disputing Thickie's claim that they weren't. They pretty clearly are, for whatever reason.
   66. base ball chick Posted: January 21, 2014 at 02:01 PM (#4643350)
John Northey Posted: January 19, 2014 at 03:23 PM (#4641951)

The point about how if player x uses PED's then all others feel the pressure is a good point though. Game of Shadows showed this issue clearly as it said Bonds pretty much felt no choice after the McGwire/Sosa HR chase...that if he wanted to be elite he would have to do PED's


- this should not be quoted as if it was Truth from God
the authors MADE IT UP - in fact, they stated that this information came from ken griffey jr (Guaranteed Clean Just Because) and griffey has emphatically denied MANY times saying it al ALL, and certainly not to the authors of that book


since MLB and the media and fans didn't care one iota about them at the time


- no one cared at ALL about steroid use or even discussing steroids until barry lamar bonds had the bad taste to break The Sacred Home Run Record and everyone went bananas

it is beyond ridiculous to insist that fans had nooooooo idea that steroids were in general use in baseball by the mid 90s

from the list of suspects already in the HOF:

first and foremost, nolan ryan
jeezus, his story/stat line is a HECK of a lot more obvious than roger clemens - take a look at him AND his stat line after leaving the astros. thrwing over 95 MPH well into his 40s? cmon

second,
kirby puckett
take a look at him AND his stats - sudden increase in muscle weight and homers???

molitor himself - massive improvement at age 36? that is Against The Aging Rules

carlton fisk should be another obvious one

tony gwynn suddenly learned to hit home runs at age 37 (snicker) after being told how to do that by ted williams

and goose gossage - jeezus, the guy is the definition of roid rage

mike schmidt, i don't think did and i would bet he regrets that he didn't think of it. and i admire the guy for it, too. honesty is pretty rare



   67. base ball chick Posted: January 21, 2014 at 02:04 PM (#4643354)
oh yeah

was clay aiken even ever IN the closet??? meaning he fronted straight?
(i can't think of even 1 person who, when they came out, didn't make me think, like duh, who didn't know that? except ellen's wife, maybe)
   68. Ray K Posted: January 21, 2014 at 02:27 PM (#4643377)
It is really not that hard, unless you are under the impression that home runs increased by 66%, and dont see any question marks in the aging curve.


The impression that I am under is that error bars increase as sample sizes decrease. Going from 9 to 15 is not the same thing as going from 36 to 60.
   69. Ray K Posted: January 21, 2014 at 02:36 PM (#4643386)
Went back to 1988. using only the AL -- my preference because it avoids all of the Colorado complications. (Also took out pitcher's batting)


What's the prevailing theory on why K rates have increased?
   70. Ray K Posted: January 21, 2014 at 02:44 PM (#4643393)
I'm just a bit floored that so many people are claiming they had absolutely no idea and it was such an enormous shock when they found out.


ok, let me explain again. There was a LOT of discussion about the inflated offensive numbers in the mid-90s and most fans fell back on known explanations that had historical precedent

1) 1987 rabbit ball revisited
2) Park effects, esp. Colorado and newer, smaller parks
3) Expansion-diluted pitching
4) Tighter strike zones being called (exc Glavine, of course)
5) Better weight training (i.e. simply working out more)

These were all theories offered as explanations. The idea of steroids didn't surface until the Andro revelation in McGwire's locker room but the press quickly dropped that and the majority of fans never heard of it.

I will certainly cop to being "naive" as I certainly felt that way when the revelations became clear. But my point is that a lot of the fans were either naive or simply not paying close attention.
   71. Booey Posted: January 21, 2014 at 03:05 PM (#4643419)
was clay aiken even ever IN the closet??? meaning he fronted straight?

Well, I don't think he ever pretended to be straight, but I thought I remembered him refusing to answer the question for awhile and having a "None of your business, and who cares, anyway?" attitude.

I'm a little ashamed that I know anything about the subject, so if anyone corrects my memory, I'll actually be a little relieved. :-)
   72. Booey Posted: January 21, 2014 at 03:17 PM (#4643436)
ok, let me explain again. There was a LOT of discussion about the inflated offensive numbers in the mid-90s and most fans fell back on known explanations that had historical precedent

1) 1987 rabbit ball revisited
2) Park effects, esp. Colorado and newer, smaller parks
3) Expansion-diluted pitching
4) Tighter strike zones being called (exc Glavine, of course)
5) Better weight training (i.e. simply working out more)


These were/are all valid explanations, but in some cases they may have also been an excuse to justify the offensive explosion without having to address the other, more controversial side of the issue. People just wanted their dingers back then, and the backlash the reporter who dared publish the Andro story in 1998 faced was a pretty good example of that. I think most sports fans did hear that story - it was all over Sportscenter, and I remember it being listed as one of those Sportsnation type questions on ESPN.com - they just didn't care.

You quoted The Simpsons to me earlier; the best Simpsons episode that relates to this discussion is the one with McGwire himself, from what, 1999? His response to Bart's question about why Major League Baseball was spying on everyone is the perfect metaphor for 1990's PED's, and it's even more appropriate that the line was delivered by Mac himself:

McGwire: "I could tell you the terrifying truth...or you can forget about it and watch me hit dingers!"

Everyone: "DINGERS!!!!"
   73. ThickieDon Posted: January 21, 2014 at 03:24 PM (#4643451)
Home runs per contact, Sillyballers. Strikeouts are way up.

The offensive dip is not based on lack of home runs (or head size... Or bacne LOL!), but an expanded strike zone and a decrease in contact.

Quite possibly there was another change in the ball.
   74. Ron J2 Posted: January 21, 2014 at 03:25 PM (#4643457)
#69 Pitcher selection, pitcher use (two are tightly combined -- you're seeing more power pitchers asked to go all out for a few batters), Questec, smaller benches (leaving less room for pinch-hitters and making LOOGYs much less risky), changes to equipment rules (specifically bat specifications)

In a sense it's a logical response to the change in batter selection. This is an important factor in the rise of offense that you missed in your list. It's absolutely clear that management realized sometime in the early 90s that selecting fast/low power switch-hitters was a losing tactic. These guys became far less common. The percentage of PAs given to witch-hitters dropped sharply and the guys who were affected were primarily fast, low ISO players (the decrease in the running game is almost perfectly explained by the change in the decrease in switch-hitters. Non switch-hitters were running at a similar rate)

So you're selecting hitters without a real concern for their contact rate and selecting pitchers for their ability to avoid bats and using technology to amplify the effects.
   75. ThickieDon Posted: January 21, 2014 at 03:26 PM (#4643459)
Ron J2 is the only non-knee jerk guy here.

Everyone else sounds like an ESPN commentator.
   76. Dandy Salderson Posted: January 21, 2014 at 03:49 PM (#4643492)
The impression that I am under is that error bars increase as sample sizes decrease. Going from 9 to 15 is not the same thing as going from 36 to 60.

That's a good point.
   77. base ball chick Posted: January 21, 2014 at 05:19 PM (#4643594)
ron

that makes sense
   78. Manny Coon Posted: January 21, 2014 at 05:30 PM (#4643602)

What's the prevailing theory on why K rates have increased?


Didn't they jump when amphetamine testing started? Unlike steroids that help both pitchers and hitters, amps seem like something would help a hitter more; they have more day to day grind to deal with and increased focus and reaction time would help a hitter more. They also starting using the ball/strike cameras more around that time, which likely changed the strike zone some.
   79. Manny Coon Posted: January 21, 2014 at 05:46 PM (#4643616)
Steroids have been around high school football forever and so many high school football players are multi-sport stars it seems obvious guys playing other sports would use them too, because are they often the same people. I don't see any good reason Joe Linebacker would stop taking for baseball or basketball season if it was making him stronger and faster and if the same guy ended up being better at baseball and pro baseball wasn't testing, I don't really see any reason for him to stop once he hit the next level.
   80. Booey Posted: January 21, 2014 at 07:38 PM (#4643709)
Easy rule of thumb - if steroids make work outs more productive, then any sport whose athletes need to work out probably has it's share of steroid users.
   81. vivaelpujols Posted: January 21, 2014 at 08:31 PM (#4643740)
Certainly possible. I actually wasn't even trying to give an opinion on why I thought HR rates were down; I was just disputing Thickie's claim that they weren't. They pretty clearly are, for whatever reason.


Well depends how you define home run rates.
   82. vivaelpujols Posted: January 21, 2014 at 08:34 PM (#4643743)
What's the prevailing theory on why K rates have increased?


Because for pitchers strikeouts are heavily correlated with success for obvious reasons. But for hitters strikeouts are also heavily correlated with success because they generally mean more power and harder contact. So both hitters and pitchers have an incentive to increase strikeouts.

   83. Jose Molina wants a nickname like ARod Posted: January 21, 2014 at 09:05 PM (#4643756)
Wait, Clay Aiken was juicing?
   84. Booey Posted: January 21, 2014 at 09:15 PM (#4643766)
#83 - Big time.
   85. Ray K Posted: January 22, 2014 at 12:55 AM (#4643861)
Well depends how you define home run rates.


Well, the rate per home run has been at sillyball levels for decades. Maybe longer, but I don't have a calculator handy. Clearly this guy was doing more than soaking his hands in brine.
   86. bachslunch Posted: January 22, 2014 at 08:41 AM (#4643913)
[Re steroids] With football, it was probably early seventies.

The 1963 San Diego Chargers were heavy anabolic steroid users (Dianabol), and use was team-sanctioned. One reference:

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/otl/news/story?id=3866837

   87. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: January 22, 2014 at 09:49 AM (#4643945)
Honest question: are steroids physically addictive in the way nicotine, alcohol and cocaine are?
   88. ThickieDon Posted: January 22, 2014 at 03:01 PM (#4644372)
Home runs per contact.

If there are 1000 balls hit, and 40 leave the yard. That sort of thing.

That's what we're talking about.

Contact is down, but balls are going over the warning track - to use Lasorda's wording - at the same rate.

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