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Saturday, February 09, 2013

Cecil Fielder’s 51 HRs lost in steroid-era fallout

Also, Cecil…if you add all the numbers on a roulette wheel it comes to 666.

Back then, they talked about him in the same category as Babe Ruth and Roger Maris, because those were some of the only players who ever approached that type of feat.

Now, they don’t talk about him at all. Now, 50 is just a number. Now, even Fielder doesn’t have a feel for his place in baseball history.

“It’s hard to hone in on it now, man, because it’s been done so many times,” Fielder said recently during the annual Party With The Pros fundraiser at the Electric City Trolley Museum. “I was the 11th player in the major leagues to do it. It has been done more since I did it than it was in the 100 years of baseball before I did it.

“That’s depressing.”

... But this is what performance-enhancing drugs have done to the game, and listening to Fielder, it’s difficult to blame anyone for wanting to keep anyone who had their greatest successes during the steroids era out of the Hall of Fame.

“The way I look at that is, if they let one in, they’re going to have to let them all in,” he said. “I don’t know if the writers are going to take that chance. There’s going to be someone who gets in, and later on in life, you’re going to find out they cheated.”

.. Fielder said there’s a simple way to eliminate PED use in baseball, to prevent someone like Alex Rodriguez from not only using PEDs, but going back to them when playing clean is not working.

“This is how you do it: busted one time, you’re suspended for one year; busted two times, you’re suspended two years; busted three times, you’re out of the game,” Fielder said. “That will change a lot of minds.”

So, harsher penalties?

“Yeah,” he responded. “Harsh. I mean, let’s play the game right. Let’s everyone be on the same playing field, coming to the field working hard to win.”.

Repoz Posted: February 09, 2013 at 03:38 PM | 29 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: history

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   1. Gotham Dave Posted: February 09, 2013 at 03:51 PM (#4366145)
After all, 1991 was before anybody had ever done steroids, so we can be 100% sure that degenerate gambler Cecil Fielder was maintaining the highest moral standards.
   2. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: February 09, 2013 at 04:14 PM (#4366155)
I hear you about 1991, the gambling, etc., but two contradictory statements that act as a microcosm of my confusion on the whole steroid thing:

1) Fielder was so big, and so strong by simply having a good swing with his huge body behind it, that I do not think of him as a steroid guy at all.

2) Manny Alexander was caught using PEDs.

Who knows, really?
   3. Repoz Posted: February 09, 2013 at 04:23 PM (#4366159)
coming to the field working hard to win.

Like...uhh, playing weight.
   4. Walt Davis Posted: February 09, 2013 at 05:11 PM (#4366170)
I was the 11th player in the major leagues to do it. It has been done more since I did it than it was in the 100 years of baseball before I did it.

Technically true but of course nobody had even come close to 50 until Ruth so it's really the 70 years before he did it. And he was the 11th player but the 18th time it had happened.

And of course the sillyball era was not the first time this sort of thing had happened. From 1920 to 1938, it was done 8 times -- 4 by Ruth, 2 by Foxx, Wilson and Greenberg. That was once every 40 team-seasons.

It was done 5 times in the 10-year span of 1947-56 -- 2 Kiner, Mize, Mays and Mantle. That was once per every 32 team-seasons.

Now, there's no denying that it was done 18 times between 1995-2002 which is about once every 15 team-seasons. Since testing began, we've had 6 50-HR seasons, all in the last 6 years, so 1 per 30 team-seasons.

It would be nice if folks remembered about expansion and that there are nearly twice as many teams as there used to be. If 50-HR seasons happened at the same rate as they did in Kiner's day, we'd average about one per year. If it happened as often as in the 20s-30s, we'd see it about twice every three seasons.

That's before we start to account for the apparent shift in general batter strategy of trading Ks for power. Maybe everybody had to be roided to the gills to start employing the strategy but it looks like it's here to stay.

And now nobody will hit even 20 this year and Billy Hamilton will steal 200 bases with 37 triples.



   5. flournoy Posted: February 09, 2013 at 05:19 PM (#4366176)
And now nobody will hit even 20 this year and Billy Hamilton will steal 200 bases with 37 triples.


Or you could go Little League style and have all runs be scored on a sequence of: walk, steal second base, advance to third base on catcher's throwing error, score on wild pitch. That's some bad baseball.
   6. Darren Posted: February 09, 2013 at 05:43 PM (#4366189)
Fielder washed out, went to Japan, came back, all of a sudden, was hitting 95 HR in 2 years. Pretty suspicious.
   7. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: February 09, 2013 at 06:10 PM (#4366200)
I know #6 was made in jest buy Fielder did slug .560 in 175 AB as a 23 year old before going to Japan. I am surprised that someone didn't trade for him.
   8. Bug Selig Posted: February 09, 2013 at 06:28 PM (#4366209)
Or you could go Little League style and have all runs be scored on a sequence of: walk, steal second base, advance to third base on catcher's throwing error, score on wild pitch. That's some bad baseball.


So, you're saying to have Cecil or a member of his immediate family play all 9 positions?
   9. zenbitz Posted: February 09, 2013 at 06:40 PM (#4366215)
Fallout? More like "Event Horizon" amirite?

Edit: should have gone with Mass Effect
   10. AJMcCringleberry Posted: February 09, 2013 at 06:51 PM (#4366220)
Fielder would never do anything as bad as take drugs. He'd only steal your money.
   11. The District Attorney Posted: February 09, 2013 at 07:02 PM (#4366223)
Fielder did slug .560 in 175 AB as a 23 year old before going to Japan.
Yeah, that's why, although I certainly wasn't expecting him to hit 51 HR, I wasn't as shocked by the event as the populace is generally depicted as being. It'd be like if Russ Branyan got a regular job and hit 50. He had at least shown the capability to do that. (I of course acknowledge that not many people had been paying attention to a Blue Jays platoon DH.)

It's funny that this comes right after George Foster making similar comments. Naturally these guys want 50 HR to be rare! :) (As the article itself admittedly states.)
   12. ecwcat Posted: February 09, 2013 at 08:32 PM (#4366259)
I saw him hit 50 and 51...It was cool to see considering 50 was somewhat rare at the time..But he was done at age 33, and was a shadow of his 1990 self when he was with the Yanks in 96.
His place in history is a nice 4-year run out of nowhere, and being the dad of someone who is better.
   13. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: February 09, 2013 at 08:34 PM (#4366260)
the power of fat
   14. Greg K Posted: February 09, 2013 at 08:45 PM (#4366266)
Now, they don’t talk about him at all.

I don't know, I'd say Cecil Fielder gets talked about nowadays more than the average player who's been retired 15 years. Probably just not in the way he'd like to be talked about.
   15. RMc's desperate, often sordid world Posted: February 09, 2013 at 09:28 PM (#4366280)
Billy Hamilton will steal 200 bases

Said in jest, of course, but it made me think: would this even be possible? Hamilton did steal 155 last year with just 245 times on base (.632). To steal 200 would require he get on base about 300 times, so...if he bats lead-off the entire season, gets 700+ PA and a .400+ OBP, and hardly ever gets caught, then, yes, 200 SB is feasible. (What would his Strat card look like? Steal:AAAA?)
   16. Ulysses S. Fairsmith Posted: February 09, 2013 at 10:26 PM (#4366307)
I was at Tiger Stadium when Cecil Fielder hit his first home run for the Tigers, and I was at opening day last year at Comerica. I was really hoping Prince would hit one that day.
   17. Lance Posted: February 09, 2013 at 10:52 PM (#4366324)
I was at an afternoon game where the Tigers hosted the Royals a few years after Cecil's 51 HR put him on the map and he was already going downhill, and my most vivid memory of the game is how derisive the Detroit fans were of him. There were only like 5000 people at the game (the fans booed the guess the attendance game), and every time Fielder did anything at the plate, they mocked him. If it was a single, they would scream "turn it into two". If it was a groundout, they'd scream "leg it out". I laughed then as I was like 14 or so, later I felt sorry about it but as post #1 notes, Fielder hasn't exactly earned himself many positive feelings in the time since from anyone.
   18. Bug Selig Posted: February 09, 2013 at 10:57 PM (#4366330)
C'mon - who doesn't steal money from their kids from time to time?
   19. The Keith Law Blog Blah Blah (battlekow) Posted: February 09, 2013 at 11:22 PM (#4366336)
Fielder would never do anything as bad as take drugs. He'd only steal your money.

Cecil's met his rocking chair.
   20. Pat Rapper's Delight Posted: February 09, 2013 at 11:56 PM (#4366344)
(What would his Strat card look like? Steal:AAAA?)

*2-12/- (20-19)
   21. Pat Rapper's Delight Posted: February 09, 2013 at 11:59 PM (#4366346)
Naturally these guys want 50 HR to be rare!

Here's what I want to be rare: Blowhard retired players whining about how they are somehow morally superior to players from the c.1995-2005 era.
   22. Walt Davis Posted: February 10, 2013 at 04:13 AM (#4366378)
would this even be possible?

Hell, Lance Johnson stole well over 200 bases in one of my MLB 2000 (I'm guessing) seasons. He also had an OBP of about 450. Hell of a player!
   23. Moeball Posted: February 10, 2013 at 11:54 AM (#4366447)
Well, at least Cecil was part of one of the funnier moments I've ever seen in a baseball game (4/11/1993).

I was at an Angels game with my brother and in the 3rd inning Cecil hit a double off of Langston and chugged into second base. Fielder then took a bit of a lead off of second. Langston suddenly whirled and threw to second in an attempted pickoff move, but apparently second baseman Damion Easley either hadn't gotten the sign or was just a split second late starting. Easley sprinted towards second to grab the throw at the same time Fielder was coming back to second and I swear you could see Easley's eyes get big as saucers as a collision looked imminent. Damion was only about 155 pounds and Cecil was, well, shall we say substantially bigger than that? At any rate, Easley was able to snag the throw at the last second and also dodged the oncoming Fielder. I don't think Easley even really attempted much of a tag on the play; I think he was just worried about getting run over by a truck.

What was really funny was Easley then went to the mound and had a little chat with Langston. It didn't take a lip reader to tell he was basically saying "Don't you ever do that again - I could've gotten killed out there!"
   24. jdennis Posted: February 10, 2013 at 01:28 PM (#4366508)
for these lifetime bans, would they be like pete rose's ban and make them ineligible for HOF? or would that just be the end of their careers, and they would still be eligible if they played 10 years?

i promise if i ever own a major league team, i will build a retro style stadium with a cf distance of at least 430 feet and left/ right distances of at least 350 so my leading hr hitter has less than 30 every year. hopefully someone will get 30 triples too. 70 doubles?
   25. BDC Posted: February 10, 2013 at 01:58 PM (#4366526)
I got Ty Cobb up to about 150 SB once in an all-timers 154-game dice season: it helps if you have the guy try to steal second, third, and home every time he reaches first base. Also helps if you imagine Cobb livid from beyond the grave over Rickey Henderson stealing 130 :) Despite winning a batting title (.338), though, Cobb scored only 104 runs in my season, and the Tigers were terrible.
   26. John Northey Posted: February 10, 2013 at 02:34 PM (#4366545)
For a 'if I was a billionaire and owned a team' thing I'd want the Polo Ground again - 250 down the lines, over 500 to dead centre. Thus cheap home runs are possible, but hit it to centre and just watch the CF run and run and run and run...
   27. Walt Davis Posted: February 10, 2013 at 05:29 PM (#4366663)
for these lifetime bans, would they be like pete rose's ban and make them ineligible for HOF? or would that just be the end of their careers, and they would still be eligible if they played 10 years?

That's up to the HoF not MLB. They are independent (well "independent") organizations. Baseball banned Rose then the HoF passed a rule saying that if you were on baseball's ineligible list you couldn't be on the ballot. There's nothing in Rose's agreement with MLB about his HoF eligibility.

My guess here is probably not. To get a Rose-type lifetime ban, the CBA would have to contain language that forbid the suspended player from ever working in baseball again, even as a coach. That would be a strange thing for the MLBPA to agree to. Having said that though, the current agreement just says "permanent suspension from Major League and Minor League baseball." But then the agreement as a whole applies to the "championship season".

Anyway, I'm guessing only a Rose-type "you are so toxic you can't be associated with MLB in any way" ban would get you officially banned from the HoF. But a permanently banned player might not even make it on the ballot (not everybody with 10 years gets on the ballot, there's a selection committee) and would obviously not receive many votes if they did.
   28. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: February 10, 2013 at 05:44 PM (#4366680)
i remember being at a brewer game in about 1993/1994 where cecil was on first and had to chug into 3rd on a double and just about keeled over in exhaustion.

not joking. it was so obvious a slew of fans were screaming 'oxygen' and the like

i need to dig up that game box score
   29. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: February 10, 2013 at 05:49 PM (#4366684)
august 14, 1993

knew i wasn't dreaming that

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