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Thursday, April 20, 2017

Cubs’ John Lackey and Chris Bosio imply Eric Thames is using PEDs

In his post-game press conference, Lackey said (via the Chicago Tribune) that Thames’ home run was “kinda one of those things that makes you scratch your head.” Lackey seemingly very intentionally winked at the reporter who asked him the question.

Bosio appeared on the Mully and Hanley show and was asked about Starling Marte‘s recent suspension after testing positive for Nandrolone. Chris Cwik of Yahoo Sports provides the transcript:

Well, the bottom line is [Thames] has hit the ball and we gotta figure out a way to get around [it]. All that other stuff, I’ll let other people worry about. But he’s doing stuff that I haven’t seen done for a long time.

You start thinking about Ken Griffey Jr., Manny Ramirez when he went to the Dodgers, Barry Bonds … You’re talking about some of the greatest players to ever play this game. So, yeah, it’s probably a ‘head-scratcher’ because nobody knows who this guy is. And when he was here before, his body has changed. But, like I said, I’ll leave that to everyone else and we’re just gonna try to worry about how to pitch him better and get him out.

For what it’s worth, Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports reports that Thames was given a drug test immediately after Monday’s game against the Cubs.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 20, 2017 at 06:17 PM | 66 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: cubs, eric thames, john lackey, peds

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   1. Rickey! No. You move. Posted: April 20, 2017 at 06:26 PM (#5439288)
Well, we can scratch "lovable" off any list of potential description of the Cubs and replace it with sore-losing asshats.
   2. cardsfanboy Posted: April 20, 2017 at 06:37 PM (#5439295)
I'm not seeing anything of note different from what Thames is doing than what Cecil Fielder did.
   3. Kiko Sakata Posted: April 20, 2017 at 06:43 PM (#5439299)
Well, we can scratch "lovable" off any list of potential description of the Cubs and replace it with sore-losing asshats.


John Lackey was already pretty low on my personal list of "favorite" Cubs and this certainly doesn't help. Chris Bosio has a lot of goodwill built up for his work as a pitching coach, but, yeah, this is definitely tapping into those reserves.
   4. Like Flies On Sherbert Posted: April 20, 2017 at 06:52 PM (#5439304)
John Lackey is a jerk. To put it nicely.
   5. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: April 20, 2017 at 06:54 PM (#5439305)
And when he was here before, his body has changed.

Yeah, Boz, I wouldn't talk too much about body changing if I were you - it looks like you've consumed a LOT of Portliness Enhancing Donuts since your playing days.
   6. 6 - 4 - 3 Posted: April 20, 2017 at 07:09 PM (#5439311)
Yeah, Boz, I wouldn't talk too much about body changing if I were you - it looks like you've consumed a LOT of Portliness Enhancing Donuts since your playing days.

Had the exact same thought.
   7. Moses Taylor, Unwavering Optimist Posted: April 20, 2017 at 07:10 PM (#5439312)
Well, we can scratch "lovable" off any list of potential description of the Cubs and replace it with sore-losing asshats.

They've won 4 of 6 against the Brewers. Lackey is just a regular ol asshat.
   8. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: April 20, 2017 at 07:28 PM (#5439318)
Few things would make me happier than Lackey getting popped for PEDs.
   9. Brian Posted: April 20, 2017 at 08:45 PM (#5439368)
Yeah, Boz, I wouldn't talk too much about body changing if I were you - it looks like you've consumed a LOT of Portliness Enhancing Donuts since your playing days.





Actually, Bosio had a pretty good head start in the fat department DURING his playing days.




   10. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: April 20, 2017 at 08:49 PM (#5439374)
Actually, Bosio had a pretty good head start in the fat department DURING his playing days.

Yeah, and Bonds was pretty well-toned before he started juicing too.
   11. PreservedFish Posted: April 20, 2017 at 09:00 PM (#5439387)
Sure looks like Thames was absolutely jacked when he was in the league before. I love his story. He became a man in Korea.
   12. Walt Davis Posted: April 21, 2017 at 12:06 AM (#5439539)
it looks like you've consumed a LOT of Portliness Enhancing Donuts since your playing days

Hmmm ... Bosio, Leo Mazzone ... you might be onto something here. And if Portliness Enhancing Donuts improve pitching coach performance, some team needs to hire me yesterday!
   13. Walt Davis Posted: April 21, 2017 at 12:16 AM (#5439545)
I'm not seeing anything of note different from what Thames is doing than what Cecil Fielder did.

I suspect it is the 959 slug, 1 HR every 8.5 PA that has some folks thinking this is the sort of thing we haven't seen anybody do since Mac/Bonds. He's on about a 80 HR pace -- isn't it time you thought of the children CFB?

Not that it matters but through his first 14 games after returning, Fielder hit 174/261/391 so I doubt anybody was scratching their heads right away. Coincidentally, starting with his next game, he went on a 396/483/901 stretch with 14 HR in 118 PA. Folks did notice that as I recall. :-)

For the rest of the season he hit a very solid but not mind-boggling 261/365/540 with 34 HR in 502 PA.
   14. Cargo Cultist Posted: April 21, 2017 at 12:26 AM (#5439547)
I have the same suspicions that the Cubs do. That HR rate is frankly unnatural, and the last time we saw one like it the cause of it was not human athleticism at all but purely chemical enhancement.

The MLB needs to be giving some surprise PED tests soon.
   15. Like Flies On Sherbert Posted: April 21, 2017 at 12:32 AM (#5439548)
"Just a small sample, Mr. Thames..."
   16. Dog on the sidewalk Posted: April 21, 2017 at 12:34 AM (#5439550)
So unnatural that he's tied for the league lead in homers with 2 others and just 1 ahead of 5 others. Probably no more than 4 or 5 of them will hit 70+ home runs. It's a tad early for pitchforks.
   17. ptodd Posted: April 21, 2017 at 01:12 AM (#5439554)
124 HR in a bit over 1300 AB in Korea. No idea how effective their testing program is or if they have one. Could have been an opportunity for him to have used PED's and they have long lasting effects even if he is clean now. Of course it looks like MLB has juiced the ball over the last 2 years so that may be it.
   18. Scott Ross Posted: April 21, 2017 at 01:59 AM (#5439558)
The MLB needs to be giving some surprise PED tests soon


FTA: "For what it’s worth, Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports reports that Thames was given a drug test immediately after Monday’s game against the Cubs."

Do we ever hear hitters casually speculating about the PED use of pitchers?
   19. Walt Davis Posted: April 21, 2017 at 02:21 AM (#5439559)
the cause of it was not human athleticism at all but purely chemical enhancement.

This is just dumb. No matter what you may think of McGwire, Bonds or whoever else you are convinced used roids, they were excellent athletes, excellent hitters. You also had a bejillion other factors at play during sillyball -- expansion, Coors, a change in the approach of hitters, possibly a juiced ball, weight room training (roid-aided or not), etc. The idea that a regimen of PEDs can turn you from somebody not good enough to play MLB to the MVP is laughable.
   20. Walt Davis Posted: April 21, 2017 at 02:33 AM (#5439560)
To be clear, I have no reason to think Thames is using. I would of course not be surprised as I wouldn't be surprised to find that any elite athlete is using. Until such time as he may get caught, I will assume he is "clean."

That said, regarding Nightengale, I'd think the more relevant question is "when was his first test under MLB's testing procedures." Some people talk about PEDs as if the effect arrives and disappears overnight. I would be even less surprised if Thames roided to the gills in Korea, got much stronger, stopped the day his agent started negotiating with the Brewers -- or however long it would have to be to make sure he peed clean by the time of his first MLB test. He'd still be plenty strong by spring, he'd still be working out a lot and even if his ability to increase/maintain his muscle mass was diminished, it's gonna be a long time before he's Billy Hamilton (who, given his blazing speed, should be just as "obvious" a roid user as Thames).

I believe everybody gets tested in spring training. I assume those tests are now processed (Marte) so I assume Thames was not flagged.
   21. Cooper Nielson Posted: April 21, 2017 at 04:32 AM (#5439561)
Yeah, Boz, I wouldn't talk too much about body changing if I were you - it looks like you've consumed a LOT of Portliness Enhancing Donuts since your playing days.

As mentioned above, Chris Bosio wasn't exactly svelte in his playing days.
   22. Bug Selig Posted: April 21, 2017 at 07:21 AM (#5439566)
124 HR in a bit over 1300 AB in Korea. No idea how effective their testing program is or if they have one. Could have been an opportunity for him to have used PED's and they have long lasting effects even if he is clean now.
Or maybe he had access to peanut better, chocolate milk, and a decent set of weights. Jesus Christ, is anyone here aware that thousands of people have transformed their bodies far more radically than Thames did using just those three things. Oh, and sleep - that's important, too.
   23. PreservedFish Posted: April 21, 2017 at 08:03 AM (#5439573)
   24. The_Ex Posted: April 21, 2017 at 08:43 AM (#5439590)
Thames was pretty big in his Blue Jay days. At that time he looked like a guy who packs on muscle, now even more so.

   25. BrianBrianson Posted: April 21, 2017 at 08:53 AM (#5439597)
Thames was only on 20 HR/season pace in his time with the Jays. But in those days, he closed his eyes and swung at every pitch. It's not a real change, except he apparently read Ted Williams' sentence on hitting.
   26. Random Transaction Generator Posted: April 21, 2017 at 08:54 AM (#5439598)
That HR rate is frankly unnatural, and the last time we saw one like it the cause of it was not human athleticism at all but purely chemical enhancement.


I assume you said the same thing about Trevor Story or Gary Sanchez after just 60 PA last year, right?
   27. Lassus Posted: April 21, 2017 at 08:59 AM (#5439599)
So unnatural that he's tied for the league lead in homers with 2 others and just 1 ahead of 5 others.

Are you looking for a punching, hippie?
   28. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: April 21, 2017 at 09:03 AM (#5439603)
5 of Thames' 7 HRs came against the Reds in Cincinnati. Another came off Lackey on a day where he gave up 3 HRs. Lackey and Bosio may want to pump the brakes on the Bonds and Griffey comparisons.
   29. Like Flies On Sherbert Posted: April 21, 2017 at 09:11 AM (#5439608)
I will assume he is "clean."


I assume ballplayers are "dirty"
   30. Jay Z Posted: April 21, 2017 at 09:36 AM (#5439628)
This is just dumb. No matter what you may think of McGwire, Bonds or whoever else you are convinced used roids, they were excellent athletes, excellent hitters. You also had a bejillion other factors at play during sillyball -- expansion, Coors, a change in the approach of hitters, possibly a juiced ball, weight room training (roid-aided or not), etc. The idea that a regimen of PEDs can turn you from somebody not good enough to play MLB to the MVP is laughable.


I think PEDs can turn someone not healthy enough to play MLB into MVP. I think it did for McGwire.
   31. zonk Posted: April 21, 2017 at 09:44 AM (#5439633)
Well, I figured I'd only make it through half Lackey's 2-year deal before remembering how much I hate him... looks like he beat expectations, at least.

   32. Brian C Posted: April 21, 2017 at 09:48 AM (#5439639)
This thread is pretty shameful. Lackey and Bosio were irresponsible in saying what they said, and look at how, as a result, this whole thread has devolved into "is he juicing or isn't he?" as if there's any reason to think he is aside from what two jackasses said on the radio.

That's how smears work, I guess.
   33. Jose is El Absurd Pollo Posted: April 21, 2017 at 09:50 AM (#5439642)
This thread is pretty shameful. Lackey and Bosio were irresponsible in saying what they said, and look at how, as a result, this whole thread has devolved into "is he juicing or isn't he?" as if there's any reason to think he is aside from what two jackasses said on the radio.

That's how smears work, I guess.


I was just thinking about that. Thames' response should be "there is as much evidence I'm juicing as there is that John Lackey is sleeping with Joe Maddon's wife." We are all culpable on this one. It doesn't deserve a reasonable response.
   34. Rickey! No. You move. Posted: April 21, 2017 at 09:50 AM (#5439643)
I have the same suspicions that the Cubs do.


Of course. You, like John Lackey, are a jackass.
   35. Rickey! No. You move. Posted: April 21, 2017 at 09:52 AM (#5439644)
I was just thinking about that. Thames' response should be "there is as much evidence I'm juicing as there is that John Lackey is sleeping with Joe Maddon's wife." We are all culpable on this one. It doesn't deserve a reasonable response.


There was recently posted a fantastic article on Thames that detailed precisely how he worked extremely hard in Japan to create plate discipline he never had in the US. Given that, and given that MLB is likely still pitching him to his old book, the hot start isn't that unbelievable.
   36. Batman Posted: April 21, 2017 at 09:53 AM (#5439645)
I was just thinking about that. Thames' response should be "there is as much evidence I'm juicing as there is that John Lackey is sleeping with Joe Maddon's wife." We are all culpable on this one. It doesn't deserve a reasonable response.
I want that to become the all-purpose answer to any accusation.
   37. ReggieThomasLives Posted: April 21, 2017 at 10:11 AM (#5439665)
I think PEDs can turn someone not healthy enough to play MLB into MVP. I think it did for McGwire.


By accounts, McGwire hit 49 HR as a clean rookie in less than 150 games, then started juicing and was hurt every year until he hit 70. So which is it, did steroids cause or cure his injuries?
   38. Greg Pope Posted: April 21, 2017 at 10:27 AM (#5439680)
Thames has less than 60 AB. Let's all remember Voros's Law before we go off the deep end.
   39. Jose is El Absurd Pollo Posted: April 21, 2017 at 10:40 AM (#5439690)
off the deep end.


Really? Now we are going to dunk the guy in a pool and see if he floats?

EDIT: That's a Monty Python reference, not an Al Campanis reference.
   40. Sunday silence Posted: April 21, 2017 at 10:43 AM (#5439692)
I love his story. He became a man in Korea.


Like how? He fought at the Chosin Reservoir or something?
   41. zonk Posted: April 21, 2017 at 10:54 AM (#5439702)
I love his story. He became a man in Korea.


Like how? He fought at the Chosin Reservoir or something?


Brilliantly landing baseballs behind the OF defenders and walls.
   42. Jay Z Posted: April 21, 2017 at 10:55 AM (#5439703)
By accounts, McGwire hit 49 HR as a clean rookie in less than 150 games, then started juicing and was hurt every year until he hit 70. So which is it, did steroids cause or cure his injuries?


PEDs include more than just steroids. It could be both!
   43. zack Posted: April 21, 2017 at 12:15 PM (#5439759)
I have no reason to believe that John Lackey has murdered more than one prostitute.
   44. Sleepy's still holding up that little wild bouquet Posted: April 21, 2017 at 12:19 PM (#5439763)
You start thinking about Ken Griffey Jr., Manny Ramirez when he went to the Dodgers, Barry Bonds … You’re talking about some of the greatest players to ever play this game.
Interesting that he apparently seems to be claiming that Ken Griffey Jr was a roider?
   45. Ardo Posted: April 21, 2017 at 12:20 PM (#5439765)
Lackey is a tool, and I say that as a Cubs fan. The real question is why Bosio repeated and amplified the innuendo.
   46. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: April 21, 2017 at 12:41 PM (#5439781)
Interesting that he apparently seems to be claiming that Ken Griffey Jr was a roider?


We must never forget the melodramatic purported "Game of Shadows" conversation between Barry Bonds and Ken Griffey Jr. In which Bonds supposedly bitched about McGwire and Sosa stealing his rightful acclaim, then deviously twirled his handlebar mustache, made a Jack Nicholson Joker expression and snarled, "Wait until they get a load of me."

Beyond the likelihood of Barry Bonds revealing his nefarious plot like a talkative 007 villain, the best part of the story was always Ken Griffey Jr representing 50% of the secret steroid conversation but accruing 0% of the blame. Barry shoulda wore his cap backwards.
   47. johnseal Posted: April 21, 2017 at 12:49 PM (#5439792)
I didn't like Sling Blade when he pitched for the Angels, and I like him less now.
   48. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: April 21, 2017 at 12:57 PM (#5439797)
Barry shoulda wore his cap backwards.

IIRC, Bonds actually did wear his cap backwards fairly frequently. His freakishly ginormous cap.
   49. Jose is El Absurd Pollo Posted: April 21, 2017 at 01:01 PM (#5439804)
I have no reason to believe John Lackey was on the grassy knoll.
   50. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: April 21, 2017 at 01:04 PM (#5439807)
Interesting that he apparently seems to be claiming that Ken Griffey Jr was a roider?

Junior had as big a body changing as anyone.
   51. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: April 21, 2017 at 01:17 PM (#5439820)
IIRC, Bonds actually did wear his cap backwards fairly frequently. His freakishly ginormous cap.


The truth is even more shocking. Barry Bonds' cap was also on steroids. Its brim shrunk from view like any roider's nutsack.
   52. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: April 21, 2017 at 01:24 PM (#5439821)
The truth is even more shocking. Barry Bonds' cap was also on steroids.

That explains the capne.
   53. AROM Posted: April 21, 2017 at 01:27 PM (#5439822)
Not to mention Griffey's cap size dwarfed that of Bonds
   54. Like Flies On Sherbert Posted: April 21, 2017 at 01:37 PM (#5439827)
Lackey is a tool, and I say that as a Cubs fan. The real question is why Bosio repeated and amplified the innuendo.


Pitchers are prima donnas. The other teams cheating if I suck.
   55. Sleepy's still holding up that little wild bouquet Posted: April 21, 2017 at 02:07 PM (#5439841)
I have no reason to believe that John Lackey has murdered more than one prostitute.
But did he do leg exercises with Jake Arrieta during the offseason?
   56. Baldrick Posted: April 21, 2017 at 02:40 PM (#5439852)
I assumed it was a reference to the consecutive games with home runs thing, since Thames made it to five - and Griffey of course is tied for the all-time record at eight, while Bonds had runs of seven and six. But Manny didn't have any run in his Dodger season, so maybe not. The point was, I think: guys who can do this sort of thing are all-time greats, not 'nobodies' like Thames.

Except, Griffey is tied at eight with...Dale Long (and Mattingly). And right behind him are guys like Kevin Mench, Walker Cooper, and Morgan Ensberg. So yeah, sometimes guys are just locked in for a week.
   57. Spahn Insane, stimulus-funded BurlyMan™ Posted: April 21, 2017 at 02:54 PM (#5439858)
Lackey is a tool, and I say that as a Cubs fan. The real question is why Bosio repeated and amplified the innuendo.

Cosigned.
   58. Curtschillingsdingleberrybatboy Posted: April 21, 2017 at 04:38 PM (#5439926)
The new market inefficiency is guys who initially couldn't hit breaking pitches in MLB, ended up playing in an East Asian country, made an adjustment - cuz everybody's into plate discipline there- then raked.
   59. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: April 21, 2017 at 06:55 PM (#5440011)
precisely how he worked extremely hard in Japan to create plate discipline he never had in the US.


Must have racked up a ton of frequent flyer miles doing all that hard work in Japan while he was playing baseball in Korea.
   60. dejarouehg Posted: April 21, 2017 at 11:47 PM (#5440208)
I have no reason to believe John Lackey was on the grassy knoll.


He looks like he grazes, so you never know.
   61. dejarouehg Posted: April 21, 2017 at 11:47 PM (#5440210)
I have no reason to believe John Lackey was on the grassy knoll.


He looks like he grazes, so you never know.
   62. X-Roid User Posted: April 22, 2017 at 08:08 AM (#5440260)
So which is it, did steroids cause or cure his injuries?


These two things are not mutually exclusive.
   63. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: April 22, 2017 at 08:25 AM (#5440262)
I love his story. He became a man in Korea.


Like how? He fought at the Chosin Reservoir or something?


Brilliantly landing baseballs behind the OF defenders and walls.


Well played, sir!
   64. Darren Posted: April 22, 2017 at 09:08 AM (#5440270)
You know who's body really really changed and it corresponded with a huge improvement in his playing?

2011, Fat, 32 year old: 6.41 ERA, -1.9 WAR
2013-17, Svelte, 34-38 year old: 3.36 ERA, 12.0 WAR

???????

   65. shoewizard Posted: April 22, 2017 at 10:00 AM (#5440276)
The only thing that looks different to me on his body is the scar on his elbow. He's a dick, but I'm not buying that.
   66. Darren Posted: April 22, 2017 at 12:11 PM (#5440320)
The point is not that he's using, it's to hoist him on his own ridiculous petard.

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