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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Jesse Barfield says arm tells all in war for drug-free baseball

Yikes! Greg Luzinski must have been on turanabull from a very young age!

Since Barfield is so familiar with strong arms he thinks it’s a giveaway to which players are on performance enhancing drugs. The giveaway is not when an outfielder suddenly develops a rocket arm. It’s when someone with a rocket arm suddenly can’t throw.

“When you look at guys, you have a pretty good idea of whether they are on something or not. It’s not natural to have muscles growing out of your neck like this,” Barfield said, holding his hands on his neck in a big circle.

Barfield said outfielders using PED’s build up their muscles so much around their shoulders, they can’t throw.

“They can’t get the arm up over the top because of how the muscles are built up,” he said. “It’s not natural. Guys who could throw, suddenly can’t throw.”

Barfield said it was never an issue with the Blue Jays of his era. With Lloyd Moseby and George Bell as his outfield mates, Toronto had one of the finest young outfields in the business.

“As close as we were as a team we would know if anyone was doing anything like that and if they were, we would have . . . stopped it right away.”

Repoz Posted: January 17, 2012 at 04:57 AM | 51 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: blue jays, history, steroids

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   1. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: January 17, 2012 at 05:53 AM (#4038457)
"Back in my day," says retired player, "we did things the right way. Now all these kids today have no respect for the game."

"Say, on your way to the car, can you ask those children to get off my lawn? Thanks."
   2. Xander Posted: January 17, 2012 at 06:21 AM (#4038460)
I thought this was going to be an article about track marks.
   3. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: January 17, 2012 at 06:47 AM (#4038465)
Hmmmm, then Bonds must have been juicing during the 1992 playoffs.
   4. Jacob Posted: January 17, 2012 at 07:03 AM (#4038468)
“As close as we were as a team we would know if anyone was doing anything like that and if they were, we would have . . . stopped it right away.”


Is that a pause there? Or, did they leave something out? I wonder.
   5. Downtown Bookie Posted: January 17, 2012 at 07:07 AM (#4038469)
“They can’t get the arm up over the top because of how the muscles are built up,” he said. “It’s not natural. Guys who could throw, suddenly can’t throw.”


Further proof Roger Clemens didn't take steroids.

DB
   6. Posada Posse Posted: January 17, 2012 at 07:19 AM (#4038470)
I always knew Johnny Damon was a cheater!
   7. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: January 17, 2012 at 07:29 AM (#4038471)
“As close as we were as a team we would know if anyone was doing anything like that and if they were, we would have . . . stopped it right away.”

Is that a pause there? Or, did they leave something out? I wonder.

yeah--they left out the word "not"
   8. Accent Shallow is probably a hologram Posted: January 17, 2012 at 08:05 AM (#4038476)
Seriously, though: can anyone recall a player who this happened to?

Best I can recall, is too much weightlifting (and following lack of flexibility) blamed for Ruben Sierra's failure to become a superstar.
   9. Heinie Mantush (Krusty) Posted: January 17, 2012 at 09:08 AM (#4038488)


Best I can recall, is too much weightlifting (and following lack of flexibility) blamed for Ruben Sierra's failure to become a superstar.


The cw through baseball that muscles/weightlifting would impede play is thought to be why steroid use didn't really take off in the sport until the late 80's. Eventually, Canseco/Downing/whoever else proved that weight training was much more beneficial than not. And please don't cite isolated examples like Mickey Mantle trying corticosteroids according to Zev Chaffets or Willie Mays' weightlifting. It's obvious from game footage that the vast majority of players weren't in the gym, much less juiced, before 1985ish.

Jeff Francouer is actually a recent example of guy who got too big, hurt himself, and has improved since slimming back down.
   10. Repoz Posted: January 17, 2012 at 09:15 AM (#4038495)
Seriously, though: can anyone recall a player who this happened to?

I remember Phillie announcers worrying about Lenny Dykstra being too buffed to throw. Not that it mattered.
   11. UCCF Posted: January 17, 2012 at 09:34 AM (#4038503)
Seriously, though: can anyone recall a player who this happened to?

Sosa went from a guy good for about 15 assists/year through 1998 to someone who never went over 8 for the rest of his career.

(Not that I think there's anything to this.)
   12. Rally Posted: January 17, 2012 at 10:03 AM (#4038522)
Sosa was the first one I thought of. Maybe Juan Gonzalez?
   13. Clemenza Posted: January 17, 2012 at 10:14 AM (#4038527)
So no pitchers benefited from steroids then?
   14. zack Posted: January 17, 2012 at 10:18 AM (#4038531)
So no pitchers benefited from steroids then?


That doesn't necessarily follow. Barfield is saying hitters built mass on their shoulders which impedes throwing (but presumably aids hitting). A pitcher could take steroids but make sure they lifted in a manner that benefits throwing instead of impedeing it.
   15. SoSH U at work Posted: January 17, 2012 at 10:28 AM (#4038539)
Seriously, though: can anyone recall a player who this happened to?


Could Gabe Kapler throw before he got big? Considering the pissant arm he had at the end, he seems like a guy who could actually fit the bill of getting too bulky to throw.

   16. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 17, 2012 at 10:33 AM (#4038543)

Seriously, though: can anyone recall a player who this happened to?


Lance Parrish bulked up one winter much to the disgust of Sparky Anderson. Not sure if it affected his throwing that much though.
   17. Der-K: at 10% emotional investment Posted: January 17, 2012 at 10:34 AM (#4038545)
What zach said. I suspect that there's something to this - but you can't just say because a guy lost his arm* / got too big that he roided up.

* Well, unless he literally lost it, due to an infected needle or something.
   18. valuearbitrageur Posted: January 17, 2012 at 10:37 AM (#4038550)
That doesn't necessarily follow. Barfield is saying hitters built mass on their shoulders which impedes throwing (but presumably aids hitting). A pitcher could take steroids but make sure they lifted in a manner that benefits throwing instead of impedeing it.


Actually, it follows exactly.The idea that weight training impedes motion, so it would also follow it's going to hurt your swing. Which of course was the standard concern about weight training in baseball until it became widely accepted. And it's interesting that Jesse feels you can weight train all the muscles you want, it's only when you train them a little harder with the aid of steroids that this problem occurs. So Jesse is clearly repeating/repackaging folklore, barring other evidence.

Wasn't there a manager who ordered his players not to bowl during the season, afraid it would screw up their baseball motions?
   19. Squash Posted: January 17, 2012 at 10:51 AM (#4038556)
Seriously, though: can anyone recall a player who this happened to?

Dave Steward. He bulked up one offseason, started the year ineffective, and said later on he had gotten too big and lost his flexibility.

Wasn't there a manager who ordered his players not to bowl during the season, afraid it would screw up their baseball motions?

In the 50s they were also not supposed to play golf or tennis. Tennis I think most of today's MLBers could live without, but if golfing was outlawed there would be a riot. Although it does seem like most of the big golfers are pitchers.
   20. Der-K: at 10% emotional investment Posted: January 17, 2012 at 10:57 AM (#4038560)
Sure - pitchers have more "off days".
   21. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 17, 2012 at 11:17 AM (#4038575)

Seriously, though: can anyone recall a player who this happened to?


Willie Mays Hays.
   22. Rally Posted: January 17, 2012 at 11:33 AM (#4038592)
Willie Mays Hays.


At least that Willie Mays Hayes went on to a fine medical career.

In the 50s they were also not supposed to play golf or tennis. Tennis I think most of today's MLBers could live without, but if golfing was outlawed there would be a riot. Although it does seem like most of the big golfers are pitchers.


Probably true. How can you enjoy your status as millionaires without playing golf every now and then? But from personal experience, there was nothing worse for my baseball swing than playing golf, and nothing worse for my golf swing than playing baseball.
   23. Papa Squid Posted: January 17, 2012 at 12:06 PM (#4038628)
But from personal experience, there was nothing worse for my baseball swing than playing golf, and nothing worse for my golf swing than playing baseball.


I've had the same experience. I ended up with this hybrid swing that was terrible at both sports one summer...
   24. Downtown Bookie Posted: January 17, 2012 at 12:34 PM (#4038644)
In the 50s they were also not supposed to play golf or tennis.


In his book The Bronx Zoo [at least, I think that's where I read it] Sparky Lyle wriites that Billy Martin didn't want his players playing tennis because, in Martin's eyes, tennis was an, um, unmanly sport.

DB
   25. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: January 17, 2012 at 01:12 PM (#4038668)
In his book The Bronx Zoo [at least, I think that's where I read it] Sparky Lyle wriites that Billy Martin didn't want his players playing tennis because, in Martin's eyes, tennis was an, um, unmanly sport.

yes--he called it a pussy sport
   26. cardsfanboy Posted: January 17, 2012 at 01:18 PM (#4038674)
What type of arm did Ted Kluszewski, wasn't he probably the most notable weight lifter prior to Downing?
   27. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: January 17, 2012 at 01:22 PM (#4038677)
What type of arm did Ted Kluszewski, wasn't he probably the most notable weight lifter prior to Downing?

nope--Klu was one of those (annoying) individuals who was super strong without ever coming close to a gym.

(This guy never lifted weights, either)
   28. simon bedford Posted: January 17, 2012 at 01:36 PM (#4038695)
the Jays in the late 80s had a very fractured clubhouse so i have no clue what the hell Barfield is talking about.
   29. Poulanc Posted: January 17, 2012 at 01:48 PM (#4038706)
And please don't cite isolated examples like Mickey Mantle trying corticosteroids according to Zev Chaffets or Willie Mays' weightlifting. It's obvious from game footage that the vast majority of players weren't in the gym, much less juiced, before 1985ish.


What about Tom House?
   30. Adam Starblind Posted: January 17, 2012 at 02:12 PM (#4038743)
What zach said. I suspect that there's something to this - but you can't just say because a guy lost his arm* / got too big that he roided up.

* Well, unless he literally lost it, due to an infected needle or something.


Hey, don't joke - that really happened!!!
   31. valuearbitrageur Posted: January 17, 2012 at 02:13 PM (#4038746)
In his book The Bronx Zoo [at least, I think that's where I read it] Sparky Lyle wriites that Billy Martin didn't want his players playing tennis because, in Martin's eyes, tennis was an, um, unmanly sport.


I remember reading in Duroacher's autobiography it said he told Dizzy Dean not to play golf during the season. Not because it would hurt his motion, but because Dizzy was winning big gambling at golf, and Leo thought when Dizzy started pitching he'd lose his golf swing. Supposedly Dizzy didn't listen and lost all his winnings back.
   32. Walt Davis Posted: January 17, 2012 at 02:27 PM (#4038771)
Now we can exactly pinpoint the start of the steroid era.

Moseby retired after 91, Barfield after 92 and Bell after 93. Clearly these upstanding gents simply couldn't stand watching baseball turn into a roid-riddled circus.
   33. SoSH U at work Posted: January 17, 2012 at 02:34 PM (#4038777)
Moseby retired after 91, Barfield after 92 and Bell after 93. Clearly these upstanding gents simply couldn't stand watching baseball turn into a roid-riddled circus.


This is just Jesse's roundabout way of saying he was obviously the least steroidy player of the last 40 years.

   34. rfloh Posted: January 17, 2012 at 02:56 PM (#4038807)
Accent Shallow Posted: January 17, 2012 at 08:05 AM (#4038476)
"Best I can recall, is too much weightlifting (and following lack of flexibility) blamed for Ruben Sierra's failure to become a superstar."

Not so much too much lifting weights (lifting weights is different from weightlifting, weightlifing refers specifically to the olympic lifts, snatch and clean and jerk), but rather lifting weights "wrongly", ie working tits and arms, with the goal of developing a beach body. And one of the best ways to develop dynamic flexibility-strength is resistance training / gymnastics / lifting weights using a full / extreme range of motion. Athletes generally don't need passive flexibility (for example stretching hamstring up put your leg on a table), they need dynamic active flexibility (for example doing a head-high kick). Having too much passive flexibility actually might increase the risk of soft tissue injuries especially in a reactive sport that has physical collision.

. Heinie Mantush (Krusty) Posted: January 17, 2012 at 09:08 AM (#4038488)
"The cw through baseball that muscles/weightlifting would impede play is thought to be why steroid use didn't really take off in the sport until the late 80's. "

No, not really. Put it this way: if you go to the gym and lift weights, say 3-5 sets of 10 moderate weight per exercise, focusing on felling "pumped", your body will develop differently compared to if you lift say 5 sets of 1-3 reps of very heavy / maximal weight, or 5 sets of 1-3 reps of moderate weight at maximal velocity. Furthermore there is the issue of exercises uses. For most athletes there is little to no need to do tits and arms exercises (football players do need them though), especially not arm exercises, whereas there is great need to do legs, hips, ass exercises. The issue is that athletes are humans too, and want bodies that are considered attractive, big tits, big arms, they don't want huge asses, thick hips, a thick midsection (doing lots of heavy lower body weight will develop your ab and midsection muscles).

Or put another way, look at an olympic weightlifter vs a pro bodybuilder. In street clothes, most olympic lifters in the middle weight and lower classes, male and female, are not distinguishable from a typical athlete / athletic person, unless you're a lifter yourself, and you know what to look for. Lifting tremendously heavy weights, or fairly heavy weights at tremendous speeds, does not result in all that much muscular hypertrophy, since the aim is not muscular hypertrophy, but rather, lifting tremendously heavy weights. Whereas a bodybuilder is immediately noticeable, no matter what s/he is wearing.
   35. rfloh Posted: January 17, 2012 at 02:57 PM (#4038808)
"That doesn't necessarily follow. Barfield is saying hitters built mass on their shoulders which impedes throwing (but presumably aids hitting). A pitcher could take steroids but make sure they lifted in a manner that benefits throwing instead of impedeing it."

But Barfield is saying that hitters built their shoulder mass using PEDs. He isn't saying that they built their shoulder mass with (incorrect) exercises.
   36. Rally Posted: January 17, 2012 at 03:55 PM (#4038860)
Lifting tremendously heavy weights, or fairly heavy weights at tremendous speeds, does not result in all that much muscular hypertrophy, since the aim is not muscular hypertrophy, but rather, lifting tremendously heavy weights.


I pick things up and put them down.
   37. rfloh Posted: January 17, 2012 at 04:08 PM (#4038875)
"I pick things up and put them down."

Heh. Weightlifters don't believe in putting weights down. We just drop them. From 8 / 9 feet in the air. A few hundred pounds.
   38. ray james Posted: January 17, 2012 at 07:02 PM (#4038960)
When I think of a guy who wrecked his career getting musclebound, I think of Wes Chamberlain.

Don't know if his arm deteriorated after getting bulked up though.
   39. Steve Treder Posted: January 17, 2012 at 07:34 PM (#4038975)
Glenallen Hill was a fast runner and good defensive outfielder with a decent throwing arm for about the first half of his career. Then in his early 30s he bulked up quickly and dramatically, gained power, but lost all of his speed and any semblance of defensive ability.
   40. Mike Emeigh Posted: January 17, 2012 at 09:28 PM (#4039020)
I pick things up and put them down.


That commercial played regularly at Five County Stadium all of last year (Planet Fitness is one of their sponsors); I never saw it on TV until a week or so ago.

-- MWE
   41. Everybody Loves Tyrus Raymond Posted: January 17, 2012 at 09:30 PM (#4039022)
When I think of a guy who wrecked his career getting musclebound bagged lots of fine 'tang, I think of Wes Wilt Chamberlain.

   42. jingoist Posted: January 17, 2012 at 11:05 PM (#4039065)
Wilt did use that one specific muscle numerous times over the years.
"Big Musty" was in demand in all the cities he visited.
He claimed 20,000 conquests.
Even if he was off by 90% that's still 2,000 different women.
That's probably more women than have been bedded by the entire BTF community!
   43. haggard Posted: January 17, 2012 at 11:25 PM (#4039074)
Wilt may have the numbers, but Bill Russell got all the big women.
   44. Something Other Posted: January 18, 2012 at 02:56 AM (#4039137)
@42: I'm having trouble thinking that sex with 20,000 different women is going to be better (according to my LPNCH** index) than an alternative distribution of that much sex, something like sex with 40 different women, where 10 are purely raving one-nighters, some are week long affairs, a few more go for a month or two, several for a year or two, and several more go for some years, with the last one continuing on for decades. That seems like a much happier, more fruitfully philosophical mix than 20,000 different women, which largely precludes the joys of 'variation within repetition' along with relationship growth. In fact, sex with 20,000 different women with minimal repetition seems like one of the WORST ways to have sex something like 20,000 to 21,000 times.

Sex is often at its best from one to six months into a relationship, where the freshness is still there, but awareness of the woman as a distinct human being deepens powerfully, the meaning of the relationship is strong and rich, and the wounds inflicted haven't reached the infected stage. Having sex 20,000 times means having sex three times a day every day for two decades, or twice a day every day for three decades. I never thought I'd think it, let alone say it, but that looks a lot like work.

**Love Pleasure Novelty Comfort Happiness
   45. Sleepy's not going to blame himself Posted: January 18, 2012 at 03:47 AM (#4039149)
In fact, sex with 20,000 different women with minimal repetition seems like one of the WORST ways to have sex something like 20,000 to 21,000 times.


Yes, that has always seemed ridiculous, and strange; I thought it was 10,000 but using your number, that's 2.74 women per day, every day, no vacations, for 20 years? That's insane. I mean, even assuming you could, why would you? How would you even count it, and why would you keep counting? Say you did 100 women every New Years eve, for 20 years, just so you could relax the rest of the year, that's still an average of 2.45 women per day, the rest of the year.

Exhausting new years eve from hell doesn't even help, much.

At some point, VORF has to approximate zero, or actually go negative, compared to VONHTFSTAD.
   46. Sleepy's not going to blame himself Posted: January 18, 2012 at 03:49 AM (#4039150)
   47. ray james Posted: January 18, 2012 at 07:24 AM (#4039168)
I mean, even assuming you could, why would you?


To prove what a horse's ass you are?
   48. Something Other Posted: January 18, 2012 at 03:34 PM (#4039611)
@46--go ahead, let's hear it! :)

@45--"Not Having To F@@@ Several Times A Day"?

@47--Yup. Reminds me of a Twilight Zone episode where this gambler dies, wakes up in Las Vegas, maybe, with a woman on each arm and can't lose at any game of chance. At first he thinks he's in heaven, but he literally CAN'T lose, and eventually realizes he's in hell.
   49. The Long Arm of Rudy Law Posted: January 18, 2012 at 04:00 PM (#4039632)
Here's a picture of Barfield injecting his guinea pig. The other guy in the picture had about ten outfield assists per year before then, and 15 the year the picture was taken. He then had three of them over the last 15 years of his career.
   50. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: January 18, 2012 at 04:01 PM (#4039634)
Yep.
Consider any guy you can come up with who could pretty much #### whenever they wanted to - rock stars, politicians, whatever - and then think: is this person happy?
Was Elvis happy? Wilt? Is Kobe a happy guy?
I always remember Paul Stanley's desperate need to be seen as "guy surrounded by hot women" in the Decline of Western Civilization movie. Jeez, man... okay, already.
   51. Rally Posted: January 18, 2012 at 04:04 PM (#4039639)
That's probably more women than have been bedded by the entire BTF community!


Wilt's got me by many thousands in shot attempts, but when it comes to actual scoring I've got him beat 2-0.

To the best of my knowledge no kids of Wilt have ever come forward. When I was in high school though I did wonder if Wes Chamberlain could be one. He was born in Chicago in April 1966. I wonder where Wilt was around July of 1965.

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