Baseball Primer Newsblog
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Monday, February 20, 2012
Banned in Boston: Moneyball?
Have you seen the website http://steroids-and-baseball.com/? The author challenges the conventional wisdom about steroids. He disputes that there was a huge steroid-fueled increase in homeruns (he claims that changes in the manufacturing and composition of the baseballs is a much bigger factor), that steroid pose a serious danger to health, and that other players were “coerced” into using. I can’t verify the validity of his arguments, but he seems to have considerable evidence to back up his claims.
James: Yeah, and people who believe those things shouldn’t be criticized for challenging conventional wisdom. But I think it’s very unlikely that steroids were not the main cause of the explosion in home run numbers.
I am re reading Moneyball and know hindsight is 20/20 but am curious what the Athletics did not like about Prince Fielder for the draft other than Fielder being heavy. There is a comment about his size in the book but at the same time they draft Jeremy Brown who admittedly does not have a great body. Unless they just thought Prince Fielder was out of their price range for signing bonus. And Billy Beane had also indicated that oftentimes son’s of former major leaguers are successful. Hence Cecil Fielder and Prince Fielder. Seems like it ended up being a pretty good draft pick for “dumb” Milwaukee.
James: Don’t know anything about it. I never read “Moneyball”, for one thing. A player with the Fielder-type body style has to overcome a lot of resistance. Cecil Fielder was a 31st-round draft pick who refused to sign, was taken by the Royals in the old secondary draft. He hit .322 with 20 homers in 69 games in the low minors, and the Royals traded him to Toronto. He crushed the ball for four years in the Toronto system, and they sold him to Japan. People just didn’t believe he could play, based on his build. There’s a high skepticism attached to that type of a body.
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