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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Verducci: Despite verdict, Clemens still on trial in court of public opinion

Including the Verducci Defect…my latest Clemens/Bonds HOF Ballot Collecting Gizmo has ~ 51 - Will vote for C/B. 73 - Will Not vote for C/B. 42 - Not Sure.

The two of them were inseparable, typically with Andy Pettitte close by. We know that Pettitte, Clemens’ close friend and workout partner, used HGH and used McNamee as his supplier and facilitator. We know that Debbie Clemens, Roger’s wife, used HGH and used McNamee as her supplier and facilitator. Other Yankees obtained their drugs and the how-tos of using them from McNamee. But we are left to believe that Clemens, while forging a closer bond with McNamee than anyone else, found a second stage to his career only on the magic of hard work and a split-finger fastball, as if he were the only baseball player to “work hard.” I once worked out with Clemens and McNamee to experience the famous Clemens work ethic, after which he repaired to a Manhattan diner for a bacon cheeseburger the size of a Buick.

I attended a business luncheon once with Clemens, who, as the guest speaker, went out of his way to praise my 2002 story on steroids in baseball and to speak up about the need to clean up the game.

In an era with no testing, with a known PED supplier as his trainer, with many stars of the game juicing, Clemens insists he remained as good or better than any of them into his 40s without any dropoff in stuff while pitching clean in a dirty game.

From age 21 to 33, Clemens won 63 percent of his games with a 3.06 ERA, a 144 ERA+ and a 1.185 WHIP. And from age 34 to 43, he won 70 percent of his games with a 3.17 ERA, a 142 ERA+ and a 1.158 WHIP. There was no evidence of aging whatsoever. He continued to “work hard.”

Repoz Posted: June 19, 2012 at 05:08 PM | 94 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: roger clemens, steroids

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   1. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: June 19, 2012 at 05:41 PM (#4161412)
I don't understand why people give a crap about HGH. Isn't it about equivalent to injecting yourself with magic pixie dust?
   2. Bhaakon Posted: June 19, 2012 at 06:46 PM (#4161454)
I don't understand why people give a crap about HGH. Isn't it about equivalent to injecting yourself with magic pixie dust?


The intent to cheat matters as more than the effectiveness of execution. Players get suspended for corked bats, even though it's probably detrimental to performance, and Shoeless Joe got banned for life despite hitting .375 in the World Series.

   3. Tom Nawrocki Posted: June 19, 2012 at 06:58 PM (#4161461)
From age 21 to 33, Clemens won 63 percent of his games with a 3.06 ERA, a 144 ERA+ and a 1.185 WHIP. And from age 34 to 43, he won 70 percent of his games with a 3.17 ERA, a 142 ERA+ and a 1.158 WHIP.


From age 21 to 33, Randy Johnson won 65 percent of his games with a 3.37 ERA, a 128 ERA+ and a 1.255 WHIP. And from age 34 to 43, he won 65 percent of his games with a 3.23 ERA, a 141 ERA+ and a 1.110 WHIP.

Either Clemens' record is not evidence of PED use, or Johnson is a prime suspect too. And I didn't get to cherry-pick Johnson's career; his "old" group of seasons would have been much stronger if I had used 21 to 32 and 33 to 43, since his age 33 season was one of his best.
   4. Bob Tufts Posted: June 19, 2012 at 06:59 PM (#4161462)
Clemens sure was aging rapidly in 1996 - he led the AL in K's with 257. He then added a split finger fastball when he went to Toronto.

I await Verducci's vote on Curt Schilling:

- Played with Roger in Boston and supposedly turned around his career in 1992 when Clemens lit into him.

- Schilling won 20 games at ages 34, 35 and 37 and was 110-95 from age 21 to 33 and 106-51 afterwards.

- How do we know conclusively that he only received a marcaine injection in his ankle in that famous 2004 playoff game?

- Schilling played on the 1993 Phillies with numerous people mentioned in the Mitchell Report.

- And should the potential investigation of 38 Studios be held against Schilling in any HOF vote?


   5. Ray (RDP) Posted: June 19, 2012 at 06:59 PM (#4161463)
Verducci: Despite verdict, Clemens still on trial in court of public opinion


That is a kangaroo court.
   6. AJMcCringleberry Posted: June 19, 2012 at 07:02 PM (#4161465)
as if he were the only baseball player to “work hard.”

Was he the only one to use HGH?
   7. Tom Nawrocki Posted: June 19, 2012 at 07:03 PM (#4161466)
Shoeless Joe got banned for life despite hitting .375 in the World Series.


The White Sox didn't throw every single game. In the games they were supposed to lose, Jackson was terrible.
   8. marko Posted: June 19, 2012 at 07:13 PM (#4161471)
Either Clemens' record is not evidence of PED use, or Johnson is a prime suspect too. And I didn't get to cherry-pick Johnson's career; his "old" group of seasons would have been much stronger if I had used 21 to 32 and 33 to 43, since his age 33 season was one of his best.


The only player who has been linked to steroids that has had a strange increase in numbers is Barry Bonds. If you at other suspected or known users, nobody (including Clemens) numerically looks to have benefited from any steroid use. I believe Barra has pointed this out before.
   9. Bob Tufts Posted: June 19, 2012 at 07:15 PM (#4161477)
That is a kangaroo court.


No, kangaroos are far smarter than the sportswriters that create and maintain the court of public opinion.
   10. Srul Itza Posted: June 19, 2012 at 07:16 PM (#4161479)
The two of them were inseparable, typically with Andy Pettitte close by.


And yet he never saw Clemens use anything, nor outside of two conversations, at the most, ever discussed it with him.
   11. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: June 19, 2012 at 07:24 PM (#4161491)
In an era with no testing, with a known PED supplier as his trainer, with many stars of the game juicing, Clemens insists he remained as good or better than any of them into his 40s without any dropoff in stuff while pitching clean in a dirty game.

Verducci is right: There's really nothing to commend Clemens as one of the people you'd expect to pitch clean in a dirty game. Maybe he did, but he certainly isn't at or near the top of the list of guys you'd expect to buck the trend.
   12. Tom Nawrocki Posted: June 19, 2012 at 07:32 PM (#4161497)
Hey, let's do another one:

Nolan Ryan age 19 to 33: .514 WP, 3.17 ERA, 111 ERA+, 1.311 WHIP.
Nolan Ryan age 34 to 46: .543 WP, 3.21 ERA, 113 ERA+, 1.170 WHIP.

What's in that Advil, anyway?

   13. Ray (RDP) Posted: June 19, 2012 at 07:38 PM (#4161501)
Note also, Tom, the strikeout numbers Ryan was putting up in his 40s.
   14. Ray (RDP) Posted: June 19, 2012 at 07:40 PM (#4161502)
No, kangaroos are far smarter than the sportswriters that create and maintain the court of public opinion.


I like how Gonfalon pointed out yesterday that the court of public opinion is much tougher than federal court because, why, the court of public opinion has a 100% conviction rate!

   15. Bob Tufts Posted: June 19, 2012 at 07:43 PM (#4161505)
Verducci is right: There's really nothing to commend Clemens as one of the people you'd expect to pitch clean in a dirty game. Maybe he did, but he certainly isn't at or near the top of the list of guys you'd expect to buck the trend.


From USA Today's trial summaries:

"(Catcher Charlie) O'Brien said that in 1997 in Toronto the key to Clemens' Cy Young Award-winning season was that he developed a new pitch for him, the split-fingered fastball. O'Brien demonstrated to the jury how the pitch was gripped. O'Brien was asked how Clemens had such a good season in 1997 at age 35. "That pitch right there-aasplit-fingered fastball," he said. "Left-handed batters just had a tough time hitting it. … It definitely made his game much tougher.''

Occam's Razor/Clemens' split finger?
   16. Walt Davis Posted: June 19, 2012 at 07:51 PM (#4161510)
The intent to cheat matters as more than the effectiveness of execution

Maybe. But given Verducci's argument is about how Clemens' excellent late-career performance is evidence he used, the ineffectiveness of HGH counters that.

So, Verducci only cites use of HGH.
Verduccie cites late-career performance as circumstantial evidence.
There's no evidence HGH helps performance.
Verducci should know that.
Verducci's circumstantial evidence of performance tells us nothing about HGH use.
Verducci's other evidence is circumstantial evidence of "look who he hung out with."
Do we have any reason to trust this circumstantial evidence anymore than the other discredited evidence he offered?

Other Yankees obtained their drugs and the how-tos of using them from McNamee.

Serious question: do we have anybody but McNamee's word on this?
   17. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: June 19, 2012 at 07:51 PM (#4161511)
Occam's Razor/Clemens' split finger?

I'm not explaining or using his numbers, merely noting that he wouldn't be atop my list of guys I'd expect to buck the trend of 'roid use, which was rampant in the game in the post-96 phase of his career.

Is he to you? Do you truly believe he abstained when his trainer supplied to others and half the league, including many superstars, were 'roiding? The guy who threw a bat at Mike Piazza in the World Series, regularly hotheaded his way out of playoff games, and was well known for his "work habits"?

It's as much art as science but, sorry, I don't. I'd vote for him for the HOF on my first ballot, but I also believe he 'roided.
   18. Walt Davis Posted: June 19, 2012 at 07:53 PM (#4161514)
Also, the "public" doesn't care about this at all. A handful of sportswriters and fans care about this. Any semi-conspiracy theorist who gets upset about people getting off on technicalities like not guilty verdicts will care about this for a day or two.
   19. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: June 19, 2012 at 07:58 PM (#4161516)
Including the Verducci Defect…my latest Clemens/Bonds HOF Ballot Collecting Gizmo has ~ 51 - Will vote for C/B. 73 - Will Not vote for C/B. 42 - Not Sure.



Are there no "Bonds but not Clemens" or "Clemens but not Bonds"?
   20. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: June 19, 2012 at 08:11 PM (#4161521)
O'Brien was asked how Clemens had such a good season in 1997 at age 35. "That pitch right there-aasplit-fingered fastball," he said. "Left-handed batters just had a tough time hitting it. … It definitely made his game much tougher.''

Take this for what little one-season splits are worth, but...

Clemens against RHB in '96: .241/.298/.360
Clemens against RHB in '97: .222/.283/.305

Definitely a marked improvement.

Clemens against LHB in '96: .234/.331/.356
Clemens against LHB in '97: .205/.265/.277

Definitely a much larger improvement.
   21. Bob Tufts Posted: June 19, 2012 at 08:14 PM (#4161522)
Is he to you? Do you truly believe he abstained when his trainer supplied to others and half the league, including many superstars, were 'roiding?


I cannot prove that he violated federal drug laws, have not seen any evidence that he violated federal drug laws and I am reluctant to speculate on use of illegal substances by any player due to simple fairness.

And as I have mentioned in the past, my personal experience playing in SF and KC with cocaine users, having a bad season and later hearing from club officials and a federal judge that my name was being inappropriately thrown around as a cokehead also make me want to see facts as opposed to the pretzel logic of the court of public opinion.

If there was a Mitchell report in the 80's, I'm assuming that I would have been in it. Therefore, F### all who speculate without any shred of actual proof - and that includes a larger percentage of sportswriters than the percentage of players supposed to have used steroids.
   22. marko Posted: June 19, 2012 at 08:18 PM (#4161524)
double post
   23. marko Posted: June 19, 2012 at 08:19 PM (#4161527)
"He got his velocity back,'' said Carlos Baerga, the Mets' second baseman, who batted against Clemens as a member of the Cleveland Indians. Had it been noticeable that Clemens had lost speed on his fastball? ''Oh yeah,'' Baerga said.

How does a pitcher regain lost velocity? ''Doing exercises, weights,'' Baerga said. ''He might have had a great conditioning program in the off season. Maybe he was determined to show everybody that he hadn't lost anything.''




http://www.nytimes.com/1997/09/02/sports/at-35-clemens-rises-to-top-of-his-game.html?pagewanted=all&src=pm
   24. Ray (RDP) Posted: June 19, 2012 at 08:21 PM (#4161531)
"'He got his velocity back,'' said Carlos Baerga, the Mets' second baseman, who batted against Clemens as a member of the Cleveland Indians. Had it been noticeable that Clemens had lost speed on his fastball? ''Oh yeah,'' Baerga said.


Since Baerga lost his bat speed in 1996, never to return, it's not surprising he thought Clemens had gained velocity.

   25. SuperGrover Posted: June 19, 2012 at 08:26 PM (#4161537)
If you at other suspected or known users, nobody (including Clemens) numerically looks to have benefited from any steroid use.


Mark McGwire had an OPS+ of 183 after the age of 30, 143 up through the age of 30
Sammy Sosa had an OPS+ of 142 after the age of 30, 119 up through the age of 30
Ken Caminiti had an OPS+ of 134 after the age of 30, 94 up through the age of 30

Those are pretty large outliers from typical aging cycles. Doesn't prove anything, obviously, but I'd say there are pretty obvious improvements in late career performance that corresponds exactly with purported steroid use.
   26. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: June 19, 2012 at 08:27 PM (#4161540)
The two of them were inseparable, typically with Andy Pettitte close by. We know that Pettitte, Clemens’ close friend and workout partner, used HGH and used McNamee as his supplier and facilitator.
We "know" that Pettitte

(a) never discussed his own use of hGH with Clemens;
(b) never consulted Clemens about using;
(c) never followed up with Clemens on the one sentence he remembers Clemens saying about his own use.
(d) did not use hGH while working out with Clemens.
(e) did not witness Clemens using.

So, what exactly is the significance of the fact that they were friends and workout partners, except to refute the idea that Clemens used?
   27. Ray (RDP) Posted: June 19, 2012 at 08:28 PM (#4161541)
You can't show steroids use from a stat sheet.

   28. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: June 19, 2012 at 08:30 PM (#4161544)
That really is the fault line here, and really has been the fault line for the last several years -- should sportswriters be speculating in the public press about who is and who isn't using steroids? That question underpins a lot of arguments here that appear to be substantive discussions of who did and didn't. They're really about more than that.

My narrow interest is in who did and didn't gain what I consider to be a competitive edge in a sport I follow. That strikes me as a legitimate topic of discussion on a message board. If I owned a newspaper, I wouldn't have my people engaging in speculation. The coke witch hunts of the 80s were ridiculous; the Mitchell Report less so, but nevertheless a pointless, overzealous, primarily political pursuit.

   29. AJMcCringleberry Posted: June 19, 2012 at 08:30 PM (#4161545)
Those are pretty large outliers from typical aging cycles. Doesn't prove anything, obviously, but I'd say there are pretty obvious improvements in late career performance that corresponds exactly with purported steroid use.

"Exactly"?
   30. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: June 19, 2012 at 08:31 PM (#4161546)
Verducci is right: There's really nothing to commend Clemens as one of the people you'd expect to pitch clean in a dirty game. Maybe he did, but he certainly isn't at or near the top of the list of guys you'd expect to buck the trend.
While I appreciate the deep personal insight you have into Roger Clemens' psyche from your vast experience of never-having-met-him, what exactly is this sort of analysis supposed to be worth?
   31. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: June 19, 2012 at 09:01 PM (#4161569)
While I appreciate the deep personal insight you have into Roger Clemens' psyche from your vast experience of never-having-met-him, what exactly is this sort of analysis supposed to be worth?

Whatever worth it's deemed to have, I guess. What's any analysis "worth"?

It certaintly bears no pretention of "deep personal insight" into "Clemens' psyche" but nor is such a thing really necessary to reach a particular conclusion.
   32. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: June 19, 2012 at 09:04 PM (#4161574)
Mark McGwire had an OPS+ of 183 after the age of 30, 143 up through the age of 30
Sammy Sosa had an OPS+ of 142 after the age of 30, 119 up through the age of 30
Ken Caminiti had an OPS+ of 134 after the age of 30, 94 up through the age of 30


Roberto Clemente: 116 through 30, 155 after 30.
Willie Stargell: 136 through 30, 156 after.

Maybe the '60s Pirates were the initiators of steroids in baseball.

Ed Delahanty: 146 through 30, 167 after.

Or maybe the problem goes back a bit further than that.
   33. marko Posted: June 19, 2012 at 09:21 PM (#4161588)
Mark McGwire had an OPS+ of 183 after the age of 30, 143 up through the age of 30
Sammy Sosa had an OPS+ of 142 after the age of 30, 119 up through the age of 30


The only evidence we have on Sosa is that he supposedly tested positive in 2003. People like Ray and David love to point out that the only years in question for Clemens are 1998, 2000, and 2001, so doesn't Sosa deserve the same benefit of the doubt? Plus, Sosa's increase in production occurred in his prime, in his late 20's.

Let's face it, with the exception of Bonds, there's no other player who has shown a drastic increase in production at an older age. Randy Johnson, who has never been linked to steroids, is the closest to Bonds in terms of production at an old age. Any other player doesn't come close. None of this means that I believe Bonds is the only one who benefited from any sort of PED, because I don't. I think many others did (and that includes Clemens). I'm just saying no other player besides Bonds statistically shows to have gained any substantial boost from ped's. Allan Barra has talked about this before.
   34. Ray (RDP) Posted: June 19, 2012 at 09:24 PM (#4161591)
Dwight Evans: 123 OPS+ through 30, 131 after.
   35. Ron J Posted: June 19, 2012 at 09:33 PM (#4161605)
#33 But if Bonds is the only one to gain and not the only one to use what does this tell us?

To me it says that Bonds is the key not PEDs.

Worth noting that there was one key area that Bonds was clearly doing something different than anybody else. Everybody else in the game was using whip handle bats. According to Sam Holman (the guy who made Bonds' bats) the handle on Bonds' bats were so thick that the weights used in the on-deck circle didn't fit.

It's also worth noting that unlike pretty much everybody else using maple bats, Bonds didn't have a problem with them shattering.
   36. Ray (RDP) Posted: June 19, 2012 at 09:36 PM (#4161614)
The only evidence we have on Sosa is that he supposedly tested positive in 2003.


We have no evidence. Michael Schmidt of the NYT claims that some dishonorable people (*) with access to the 2003 list told him Sosa was on it, but without him telling us who it was and what substance(s) Sosa supposedly tested positive for, his word on this is useless.

(*) They would have to be dishonorable, right? The information was under a judge's seal.

People like Ray and David love to point out that the only years in question for Clemens are 1998, 2000, and 2001,


"Love to point out?" Those are the years McNamee provided, and outside of McNamee there's nothing.

so doesn't Sosa deserve the same benefit of the doubt?


Not sure what this means. I haven't condemned him for anything. There's no evidence that he used, other than the crime of him hitting more home runs than Maris.

Let's face it, with the exception of Bonds, there's no other player who has shown a drastic increase in production at an older age. Randy Johnson, who has never been linked to steroids, is the closest to Bonds in terms of production at an old age. Any other player doesn't come close. None of this means that I believe Bonds is the only one who benefited from any sort of PED, because I don't. I think many others did (and that includes Clemens). I'm just saying no other player besides Bonds statistically shows to have gained any substantial boost from ped's. Allan Barra has talked about this before.


This might clue you in to the very valid hypothesis that steroids don't impact baseball performance very much if at all.
   37. Ron J Posted: June 19, 2012 at 09:38 PM (#4161617)
#34 And then there's Hank Sauer.

   38. flournoy Posted: June 19, 2012 at 10:03 PM (#4161640)
Ed Delahanty: 146 through 30, 167 after.


Delahanty may not be a great example, he really fell off a cliff at the end of his career.
   39. Bob Tufts Posted: June 19, 2012 at 10:12 PM (#4161652)
And now that Freddy Galvis has been suspended for 50 games, what would his stats have been without illegal PED's? Or is a line of .226/.254/.363 and OPS of .617 a definite indicator of PED usage?
   40.     Hey Gurl Posted: June 19, 2012 at 10:17 PM (#4161655)
If public opinion meant anything, more of the population would be in prison than out.
   41. marko Posted: June 19, 2012 at 11:25 PM (#4161699)
This might clue you in to the very valid hypothesis that steroids don't impact baseball performance very much if at all.


If that's the case, then it should be clear that steroids or no steroids, Bonds and Clemens deserve recognition as the best player/pitcher ever, since only Babe Ruth and Walter Johnson statistically have cases to be ranked ahead of Bonds and Clemens, and both of them arguably faced vastly inferior competition in comparison to Bonds and Clemens.

Do you agree with that assertion, Ray?
   42. bjhanke Posted: June 19, 2012 at 11:37 PM (#4161710)
"Mark McGwire had an OPS+ of 183 after the age of 30, 143 up through the age of 30
Sammy Sosa had an OPS+ of 142 after the age of 30, 119 up through the age of 30
Ken Caminiti had an OPS+ of 134 after the age of 30, 94 up through the age of 30

Those are pretty large outliers from typical aging cycles. Doesn't prove anything, obviously, but I'd say there are pretty obvious improvements in late career performance that corresponds exactly with purported steroid use."

Um, no, at least in the case of McGwire, and this points out one of the numerous problems with the steroid accusations. Jose Canseco goes to great lengths, in his book that had a large part in starting this mess, to say that Mac was doing steroids starting in 1988. That's his sophomore season. So there is NO (actually a negative) age correspondence with "purported steroid use;" Mac is purported to have been using since he was in his early 20s. One of the largest problems in dealing with the kangaroo court (cokes to all) of public opinion is that said court tends to conveniently forget anything that does not support its preconceived convictions.

Timing, in general, is a problem for steroid accusers. Did Barry Bonds start using in 2001, when he suddenly hit the 73? If so, how did he put up the numbers he did before then, when he was the dominant hitter in at least the NL? And doesn't that really make him out to be what no one else has ever managed to call him, a saint? Saint Barry, winning MVPs and dominating his league, keeping many records and awards safe from those horrible roiders, completely clean, until he finally, slipping due to age, tragically succumbs to the LURE of STEROIDS in 2001! Saint Barry. Man, how did you manage that? And if you say no, he started when his career first began, then how do you explain 2001? I say that the Lords of Baseball told the umpires, very publicly, to start enforcing the strike zone as written, which meant that a serious area of high pitches suddenly became strikes. Barry, who was a tremendous judge of the strike zone, suddenly had to start swinging at high strikes, only to find that he had a sweet spot there. What's your explanation?

If McGwire started roiding when he hit his 70, what about his early years, especially the rookie season, when he set the rookie record for homers in a pitcher's ballpark, in a year when Saint Jose specifically says (page 7) that he was NOT yet using? And if he started when Saint Jose the Ever-Truthful says he did, how do you explain 1998? My explanation is that he went from a pitcher's park to a neutral park, since STL had moved the fences in after Whitey Herzog left. What's yours? - Brock Hanke
   43. Ray (RDP) Posted: June 19, 2012 at 11:46 PM (#4161719)
If that's the case, then it should be clear that steroids or no steroids, Bonds and Clemens deserve recognition as the best player/pitcher ever, since only Babe Ruth and Walter Johnson statistically have cases to be ranked ahead of Bonds and Clemens, and both of them arguably faced vastly inferior competition in comparison to Bonds and Clemens.

Do you agree with that assertion, Ray?


Is this a trick question? Of course I agree. With the qualification that it depends on the era adjustments. (*) But I don't consider PEDs at all when asking who the greatest players ever were.

(*) I have Bonds as the greatest hitter ever, but could get behind Ruth or even Williams. I have Clemens as probably the greatest pitcher ever (on career), but could get behind Walter Johnson. As far as I'm concerned, steroids/hgh/amphetamines have zero to do with these questions.
   44. Ron J Posted: June 19, 2012 at 11:53 PM (#4161721)
#41 Ray and DMN are RSB alum. We were talking about Bonds' chances of surpassing Ted Williams as the greatest LF as early as 1994. The consensus was that he was very likely to get Musial for # but that he'd have to age unusually well to have any chance at Williams. Given that he became the greatest old player of all time ... well Ruth's still a mighty tough target. Not so much because of the fact that he pitched very well, but that he was a productive major leaguer so young. And then aged very well.

I think it takes timelining to move Bonds past Ruth in overall value, and the fact that Bonds wouldn't have been able to play in the majors during Ruth's day offers support for some pretty healthy timelining.
   45. base ball chick Posted: June 20, 2012 at 12:17 AM (#4161729)
clemens is still "on trial" mr. verducci, because you and your close minded, thinkless friends who prefer screaming matches to actual, you know, INVESTIGATING, decided it would get better headlines to scream how mcnamee is Mr. Truthful and andy pettitte, admitted drug user, was lured to his destruction by That Terrible Roger Clemens.

anyone who has bothered to you know, like actually READ what people have said and check the timeline AND read what went down in court can't possibly conclude that mcnamee is not a piece of shtt liar and there is no reason whatsoever to think he didn't make it all up about clemens - especially after the feds suggested that he remember about how roger did roids.

i am actually MORE convinced that clemens never did roids for the simple reason that the feds spent hundreds of millions and zillions of person-hours trying like heck to find SOME evidence or person who could support mcnamee's story and for ALL their looking, they found exactly ZERO.
   46. marko Posted: June 20, 2012 at 12:20 AM (#4161732)
hours trying like heck to find SOME evidence or person who could support mcnamee's story


Well, Corso did, but you can argue that McNamee always had intentions of framing Clemens as far back as 2005. I don't believe that, but it can be argued.
   47. Walt Davis Posted: June 20, 2012 at 12:46 AM (#4161739)
So, in the CoPO, are Pettitte's HoF chances now dead? We'd been speculating that the WP% and the "honesty" about PED usage and trying to throw Clemens under the bus might actually get him serious attention. Now that he has "changed" his testimony to get Clemens off the hook, is his candidacy now dead in the water?
   48. base ball chick Posted: June 20, 2012 at 01:15 AM (#4161745)
marko

i can absolutely believe that mcnamee had intentions of BLACKMAILING roger clemens and anyone else, especially after balco and canseco got all the media knowitalls all hexcited.
and corso didn't support mcnamee's story - the time was wrong

walt

i don't think that the trial or pettitte's admitted drug use and repeated lies about his drug use will affect his HOF chances. the media doesn't seem to care about that at all.

then again, i don't think that pettitte has any more business being in the HOF than jack morris does
   49. Walt Davis Posted: June 20, 2012 at 01:31 AM (#4161751)
i don't think that the trial or pettitte's admitted drug use and repeated lies about his drug use will affect his HOF chances. the media doesn't seem to care about that at all.

I think you missed my point bbc. Those same media that WERE giving Pettitte a pass are also the ones claiming that Pettitte "changed his testimony" at trial (well, some are anyway). Pettitte has now denied them one of their precious trophies on the wall. Does Pettitte now lose his free pass and/or just get ignored at HoF time? Or does he remain the "honest" hero?
   50. Chip Posted: June 20, 2012 at 02:12 AM (#4161757)
I think the working theory right now is that Clemens with his evil powers got Andy to change his story, and it's not Andy's fault.

Or if you're Mike Francesa, that Andy _wanted_ to say more about Clemens at the trial and was prevented from doing so by the judge's rulings.
   51. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: June 20, 2012 at 02:33 AM (#4161759)
Worth noting that there was one key area that Bonds was clearly doing something different than anybody else. Everybody else in the game was using whip handle bats. According to Sam Holman (the guy who made Bonds' bats) the handle on Bonds' bats were so thick that the weights used in the on-deck circle didn't fit.


I've seen you point to this before, and it's preposterous. The knob on Bonds' bat may very well have been too thick to put a conventional donut on, but no one could swing a bat where the handle approached the width of the the barrel on other player's bats (which is what would be necessary for the donut not to fit). His bats might have had a slightly larger handle than was typical in that time frame, but nothing like you've suggested.

If you have any doubts, just look up a photo of Bonds swinging in that time frame. There's nothing obviously unconventional about the handle width.

   52. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: June 20, 2012 at 05:54 AM (#4161786)
Whatever worth it's deemed to have, I guess. What's any analysis "worth"?
If it's logical and based on facts, quite a bit. If it's based on phrenology, not much. I prefer to judge whether Clemens used steroids by looking at the hard evidence, not guess what he would be thinking if he happened to be thinking the way I wanted him to be thinking.
   53. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: June 20, 2012 at 06:27 AM (#4161788)
Well, Corso did, but you can argue that McNamee always had intentions of framing Clemens as far back as 2005. I don't believe that, but it can be argued.
Corso didn't, exactly.
   54. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: June 20, 2012 at 07:28 AM (#4161791)
I think the working theory right now is that Clemens with his evil powers got Andy to change his story, and it's not Andy's fault.


These are not the roids you're looking for.
   55. marko Posted: June 20, 2012 at 07:55 AM (#4161796)
and corso didn't support mcnamee's story - the time was wrong


I fail to see how the time line in his original testimony about McNamee telling him about saving the needles he allegedly injected Clemens with is wrong.

Corso didn't, exactly.


Fair enough. So the question is, why did he suddenly change his testimony?


   56. JC Posted: June 20, 2012 at 10:23 AM (#4161881)
From age 21 to 33, Randy Johnson won 65 percent of his games with a 3.37 ERA, a 128 ERA+ and a 1.255 WHIP. And from age 34 to 43, he won 65 percent of his games with a 3.23 ERA, a 141 ERA+ and a 1.110 WHIP.

Either Clemens' record is not evidence of PED use, or Johnson is a prime suspect too. And I didn't get to cherry-pick Johnson's career; his "old" group of seasons would have been much stronger if I had used 21 to 32 and 33 to 43, since his age 33 season was one of his best.


Randy Johnson all but admitted to PED use a few years ago.
   57. Booey Posted: June 20, 2012 at 11:08 AM (#4161919)
There's no evidence that he used, other than the crime of him hitting more home runs than Maris.


Sad, but true. When links to roids were revealed about McGwire and Bonds, people automatically lumped Sosa into the same category for no reason other than that Sammy topped 60 homers too.

When Ryan Howard was chasing Maris in 2006, I rooted against him getting there cuz I thought he would've automatically been assumed to be juicing if he had. People seem to think that upper 50's is the max amount of homeruns a "clean" player can possibly hit in a season.

Randy Johnson all but admitted to PED use a few years ago.


Is my sarcasm detector on the fritz, or did the Unit actually say something that implied this?
   58. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: June 20, 2012 at 11:42 AM (#4161960)
I fail to see how the time line in his original testimony about McNamee telling him about saving the needles he allegedly injected Clemens with is wrong.
Not that part -- but the part about McNamee bragging about his dosing of Clemens doesn't fit with McNamee's timeframe for when he dosed Clemens.

Fair enough. So the question is, why did he suddenly change his testimony?
Because his memory is just as fluid as anyone else's? Not to mention that grand juries are not adversarial; witnesses say whatever the prosecutors want them to say. (I don't mean that they lie, but that they can be guided into saying things that, upon cross-examination, fall apart.)
   59. zenbitz Posted: June 20, 2012 at 11:46 AM (#4161967)
Randy Johnson OBVIOUSLY had too much Human Growth Hormone in his system! Probably started when he was a teenager!
   60. zenbitz Posted: June 20, 2012 at 11:52 AM (#4161973)
I don't have much new to say as a staunch pro-roider - but I am pretty good at Math.

There is really no possible way to infer THE EFFECTS of drug use from baseball statistics unless you have a control set with known usage and timing.

I would say the Clemens trail actually lends support that he was a non-user, or extremely rare user. Or a criminal mastermind.

What really sickens me is that there are probably sports "writers" out there who don't really care much about PEDs/Baseball at all but are simply writing the articles that they believe the public wants to read about this stuff.
   61. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: June 20, 2012 at 12:10 PM (#4161993)
What really sickens me is that there are probably sports "writers" out there who don't really care much about PEDs/Baseball at all but are simply writing the articles that they believe the public wants to read about this stuff.

Does the free publicity the papers give the players and teams in major league baseball bother you, too? The newspaper and TV business have been very, very good for major league baseball and its players.
   62. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: June 20, 2012 at 01:03 PM (#4162036)
Does the free publicity the papers give the players and teams in major league baseball bother you, too? The newspaper and TV business have been very, very good for major league baseball and its players.


I know you were being snarky (and I get why) but I really would much rather read writers who enjoy sports than those who do not. There are a lot of writers/media personalities who don't seem to enjoy the sport they cover. I understand at the end of the day it's a job and subject to the doldrums we all go through at work but it really detracts from the experience. A great example from the Boston area is the Boston Globe. Their two big name columnists are Dan Shaughnessy and Bob Ryan. I love Ryan, I don't always agree with him but I usually like what he writes. This is especially true when he writes about basketball, his love of the game shines through the page. Conversely, I couldn't begin to guess what sports Shaughnessy enjoys. He seems to ##### and moan and never express any sense of joy or wonder at the games.

If a writer doesn't like baseball, he shouldn't be covering it. Get on the football or soccer or MMA beat if that's what you prefer. These writers who just hate everything and take every possible shot at the horrible evil steroid users (or malcontents or players who don't hustle) are not enjoyable to read and I don't like having their stuff take a prominent role in the discussion of a sport I love.
   63. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: June 20, 2012 at 01:45 PM (#4162059)
What really sickens me is that there are probably sports "writers" out there who don't really care much about PEDs/Baseball at all but are simply writing the articles that they believe the public wants to read about this stuff.
I guarantee you that every single person commenting on these BBTF threads has put more time into looking at the evidence than the writers have. Even if your only contribution to the thread is to ask a question about the evidence, you're showing more interest than they do.
   64. Moeball Posted: June 20, 2012 at 01:58 PM (#4162069)
Let's face it, with the exception of Bonds, there's no other player who has shown a drastic increase in production at an older age.


Let's see, a player whose career went through 3 distinct key phases:

1)Early phase - starting out - averaged about 20 HRs per 500 AB (this lasts 3 or 4 years)
2)Middle phase - player's prime - HR/AB ratio jumps significantly (50% or more) (this lasts a decade or so)
3)Late burst - HR/AB ratio dramatically jumps again (lasts 4 or 5 years after the player hits age 35)

Yes, this pattern does indeed describe Barry Bonds' career. Surely no other player in history matched this pattern.

Oops! Sorry, it also describes Hank Aaron's career.

Yes, in terms of production (especially if you're talking OPS+), Bonds does have larger % increases than Aaron does, but it doesn't mean Hank didn't exhibit the same tendencies.

While we're at it, I wouldn't make too much of a fuss about OPS+, for that matter. The discussion at hand has always been about HRs. No one cares if a player has a dramatic increase in singles, doubles or triples late in his career. It's the homers everyone's focused on.



   65. marko Posted: June 20, 2012 at 02:10 PM (#4162078)
Because his memory is just as fluid as anyone else's?




And how can you be certain that his memory wasn't correct the first time?
   66. SuperGrover Posted: June 20, 2012 at 02:54 PM (#4162110)
The only evidence we have on Sosa is that he supposedly tested positive in 2003. People like Ray and David love to point out that the only years in question for Clemens are 1998, 2000, and 2001, so doesn't Sosa deserve the same benefit of the doubt? Plus, Sosa's increase in production occurred in his prime, in his late 20's.

Let's face it, with the exception of Bonds, there's no other player who has shown a drastic increase in production at an older age. Randy Johnson, who has never been linked to steroids, is the closest to Bonds in terms of production at an old age. Any other player doesn't come close. None of this means that I believe Bonds is the only one who benefited from any sort of PED, because I don't. I think many others did (and that includes Clemens). I'm just saying no other player besides Bonds statistically shows to have gained any substantial boost from ped's. Allan Barra has talked about this before.


1) the statement was anyone associated with steroid use. Sosa most certainly was. Was he proven? No.

2) Sosa's peak was 32 with his decline not starting not really beginning until 35 (his 34 season had an OPS+ that was higher than any season prior to age 29). That is without question off the typical peak cycle. Doesn't prove anything as there are numerous other examples of such, but it is not typical.

3) How many people have EVER shown a drastic increase in performance at an old age? The pool is very shallow. To me, that seems to be a pretty silly way to prove steroid use.



   67. SuperGrover Posted: June 20, 2012 at 03:06 PM (#4162122)
Roberto Clemente: 116 through 30, 155 after 30.
Willie Stargell: 136 through 30, 156 after.

Maybe the '60s Pirates were the initiators of steroids in baseball.

Ed Delahanty: 146 through 30, 167 after.

Or maybe the problem goes back a bit further than that.


As I stated, the late career improvement doesn't prove anything. However, there IS late career improvement that is atypical. Unique? Of course not, but people state there is no evidence of improvement without at least acknowledging that several folks associated with PEDs do have atypical career progressions.
   68. Random Transaction Generator Posted: June 20, 2012 at 03:34 PM (#4162139)
Of course not, but people state there is no evidence of improvement without at least acknowledging that several folks associated with PEDs do have atypical career progressions.


Several folks associated with maple bats do have atypical career progressions.
   69. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: June 20, 2012 at 04:47 PM (#4162194)
As I stated, the late career improvement doesn't prove anything. However, there IS late career improvement that is atypical. Unique? Of course not, but people state there is no evidence of improvement without at least acknowledging that several folks associated with PEDs do have atypical career progressions.


The problem with your argument is that if Bonds used PEDs and that caused his atypical stats then why haven't other PED users replicated his stats if the PEDs are the cause of the stats? And if someone is amazingly good, they are by definition atypical so anything they do can be considered as the cause of it.

Wade Boggs ate a lot of chicken, drank a ton of beer and banged a lot of sluts. Clearly that caused his atypical ability to get a shitload of hits.
   70. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: June 20, 2012 at 04:51 PM (#4162196)
Just found this and had to share it. It proves Clemens took massive does of steroids.
   71. phredbird Posted: June 20, 2012 at 05:53 PM (#4162237)
no. 38 is not getting the respect it deserves.

:)
   72. Los Angeles El Hombre de Anaheim Posted: June 20, 2012 at 06:06 PM (#4162242)
I guarantee you that every single person commenting on these BBTF threads has put more time into looking at the evidence than the writers have. Even if your only contribution to the thread is to ask a question about the evidence, you're showing more interest than they do.
As if to illustrate the point, Bob Ryan was on the Mr. Tony radio program yesterday, and said basically that the jury was "sports-ignorant and Clemens-ignorant", and that they didn't know what "we all know" ("we" being the sports-knowing public) that Clemens wanted to follow in Nolan Ryan's footsteps and be a power pitcher late into his career, so he took steroids.

"We all know that," which is why you don't need to look for evidence. You just know, unless you're "sports ignorant."

   73. Ray (RDP) Posted: June 20, 2012 at 06:15 PM (#4162245)
As if to illustrate the point, Bob Ryan was on the Mr. Tony radio program yesterday, and said basically that the jury was "sports-ignorant and Clemens-ignorant", and that they didn't know what "we all know" ("we" being the sports-knowing public) that Clemens wanted to follow in Nolan Ryan's footsteps and be a power pitcher late into his career, so he took steroids.


Such fantastic, insightful armchair pop pyschology proving Clemens's guilt. SugarBear would be proud.

Though if Ryan (Bob) is correct that Clemens wanted to "follow in Ryan's footsteps," that would have to mean that Ryan (Nolan) took steroids first.
   74. Ron J Posted: June 20, 2012 at 06:16 PM (#4162246)
#51 Why preposterous? Holman is on record as saying that he won't make bats with a handle thinner than 7/8 of an inch -- and that Bonds used thicker handles than that. Wouldn't take much of an increase in thickness of the handle to keep the standard weight from going on. And if you think you can judge thickness by eye from a photo, well I think you're wrong.

But I've only seen the quote about the handle on Bonds' bats once and can't find it again. Holman normally doesn't discuss the specifics of a client's bat.

Other things of note. Holman simply paid more for wood, and personally selected the wood for Bonds' bats from each batch (Bonds paid $500 per bat and paid up front at a time when Holman's company was having serious cash flow issues. Holman has said that this kept the company in business and he was grateful)

   75. marko Posted: June 20, 2012 at 07:18 PM (#4162287)
Though if Ryan (Bob) is correct that Clemens wanted to "follow in Ryan's footsteps," that would have to mean that Ryan (Nolan) took steroids first.




You'd be surprised at how many people have suspicions about Ryan (myself included)
   76. Ray (RDP) Posted: June 20, 2012 at 08:44 PM (#4162388)
You'd be surprised at how many people have suspicions about Ryan (myself included)


Me too, as his columns are so crappy that one wonders what kinds of drugs he's under the influence of while writing them.
   77. Spahn Insane Posted: June 20, 2012 at 08:49 PM (#4162391)
Though if Ryan (Bob) is correct that Clemens wanted to "follow in Ryan's footsteps," that would have to mean that Ryan (Nolan) took steroids first.

It would also mean Clemens wanted to be a worse pitcher than he actually was.
   78. marko Posted: June 20, 2012 at 08:56 PM (#4162397)
Me too, as his columns are so crappy that one wonders what kinds of drugs he's under the influence of while writing them.


Definitely have to give you credit where it's due.
   79. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: June 20, 2012 at 09:09 PM (#4162409)
#51 Why preposterous? Holman is on record as saying that he won't make bats with a handle thinner than 7/8 of an inch -- and that Bonds used thicker handles than that. Wouldn't take much of an increase in thickness of the handle to keep the standard weight from going on. And if you think you can judge thickness by eye from a photo, well I think you're wrong.


It is preposterous Ron. The bat handle is the thinnest part of the bat, with a thicker knob and a thicker bat barrel. The handle can't possibly stop the donut from going on the bat unless it's thicker than the knob, which would be a very dangerous thing.

Edit: Screw it, I can't get a photo to load. Search for any photo from Bonds' time with the Giants and my point will become obvious. I don't care whether you can tell precisely how big the handle is from it, you can certainly tell it's nowhere near as thick as the knob.

It's certainly possible that Barry Bonds couldn't put standard weights on his bats. It just wasn't the handles preventing them.

   80. Misirlou was a Buddhist prodigy Posted: June 20, 2012 at 09:13 PM (#4162412)
Link doesn't work.

I seem to recall that Sammy Sosa had a bad with an abnormally sized knob as well.
   81. Misirlou was a Buddhist prodigy Posted: June 20, 2012 at 09:14 PM (#4162416)
   82. Misirlou was a Buddhist prodigy Posted: June 20, 2012 at 09:16 PM (#4162419)
   83. Ray (RDP) Posted: June 21, 2012 at 12:02 AM (#4162514)
For those of you who haven't been able to find the smoking gun that proves Clemens used: you're not smart enough. Mike Francesa has found it.

Quoting now from a segment on WFAN:

Ok, here's the smoking gun with Clemens. Boston watches Clemens go 11-14 with a 4.46 era, 9-7, 10-5, 10-13. That's 40-39. In three of those four years he doesn't pitch 200 innings; he has a 40-39 record for those 4 years; he's 33 years old, and they think he's done. He's a power pitcher and they think he's done. He has not had a big year since 1992, he has had two losing years, he has only one time made 30 starts in those 4 years, he's starting to break down physically. He throws 170 innings, 140 innings, 190 innings - only 200 innings once. He goes to Toronto -- voila at 34. And remember: this got people fired in Boston. 21-7 with a 2.05 ERA in 264 innings. 20-6 with a 2.65 ERA in 234 innings. What happened? What happened? WHAT HAPPENED? Where did that come from? Where was that the last four years in Boston that they waited for it, and then he goes to Toronto, and then spits out along the way after that a 20-3 year with the Yankees, an 18-4 year in Houston... I mean, where did those years come from, where they basically said wait a minute, we gave him four years here - we think he's done, he's 33 years old... Then all of a sudden he has another career! There's the smoking gun.


This is like shooting fish in a barrel, but:

1. Quoting W-L record is of course silly. Clemens had a 130 ERA+ over the four year stretch from 1993-1996. He led the league in ERA+ in 1994 and he was fifth in 1996. Yes, he was off his game during that stretch, but there was nothing wrong with his 1994 and 1996.

2. As for three of the four years not reaching 200 innings... um... there was the strike. He "only" pitched 170 innings in 1994 but that prorates out to 240 innings in a full schedule. In 1993 he pitched 191 innings, and in 1996 he pitched 242 innings. So there was really only one year that was very low in innings, 1995, which - even with the strike - prorates out to 158. The average over the four years is 208 innings per year if the strike is factored in. Again, yes, it's fewer innings than he was pitching. But nothing wrong with it. And most of it was 1995.

3. Same nonsense for the 30 starts thing.

4. Not a big year since 1992... No. He led the league in ERA+ in 1994 (what else was he supposed to do, other than hit home runs also?), and in 1996 was 5th in ERA+ while striking out 257 batters in 242 innings, leading the league in Ks and K/9.

5. Nobody in Boston "thought he was done." Even Dan Duquette, much maligned for his "twilight" comment, offered Clemens four years and $24 million. Toronto certainly didn't think he was done, offering him three years and $24 million.

----

Here are Francesa's reasons for the verdict vs. what HOF voters will consider:

And remember, the voters... someone brought up the court of law before... there is not the level that you need to convict someone in a court of law for these sportswriters. For sportswriters it is subjective. There is a clause for sportsmanship, integrity, that stuff. They can make their own decisions, and they don't need overwhelming evidence here. And remember, I mean, the courts narrowed the scope. Andy wasn't allowed to say anything he knew about it, he wasn't allowed to say anything about Clemens's history, he was not alllowed to talk about anything, he wasn't allowed to talk about McNamee, and so they narrowed the scope so dramatically that they didn't even give them a chance to put all the evidence in.


He's way off the mark regarding what Pettitte was allowed to testify to. There were some rulings around the edges, regarding whether Pettitte could say that McNamee supplied him and the like, but by and large Pettitte was able to tell what he knew. The problem was that Pettitte knew next to nothing.
   84. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: June 21, 2012 at 12:18 AM (#4162518)
He goes to Toronto -- voila at 34. And remember: this got people fired in Boston.


Who got fired in Boston because Roger pitched well in Toronto? Mike Gimbel?

   85. Ray (RDP) Posted: June 21, 2012 at 12:20 AM (#4162519)
Who got fired in Boston because Roger pitched well in Toronto? Mike Gimbel?


He told you. "People" did.
   86. baudib Posted: June 21, 2012 at 12:40 AM (#4162523)
Bill James noted that pitcher longevity is basically tied to strikeout rate. The more guys you strike out, the longer your career will be. As one of the greatest strikeout pitchers in history, Clemens should be expected to have a very long career.


A couple of issues should be noted:
A. As mentioned, Clemens' mediocre record in his last few years with the Red Sox is an obvious red herring. He had a couple of seasons not quite up to his standards but he was generally great. He led the league in ERA+ in 1994 and led the league in strikeouts in 1996.

B. Clemens DID suffer decline. He wasn't the same pitcher with the Yankees that he was with the Blue Jays, though he was very good. I think most would acknowledge the large disparity in talent between the AL and NL around the turn of the century, which explains some of his improvement upon moving from NY to Houston.

Look at the list of career strikeout leaders:

1. Nolan Ryan was pitching no-hitters and still leading the league in Ks well into his 40s. Ryan was arguably a better pitcher in his 40s than any other time in his career. After age 40 his ERA+ was 116. It was 111 in his 30s. From 25-29 (leaving out his years of struggling with the Mets), it was 114.

2. Randy Johnson's peak was sometime around age 35-38. He led the league in Ks at age 40. His 40+ career is similar to Ryan's with a 73-52 record and 116 ERA+. His age 36+ career blows away Clemens'.

3. Steve Carlton's best 3-year period started at age 35. He won Cy Young Awards at 35 and 37. His 1981 season (age 37) was arguably as good as his 1980 CYA season, and his 1983 season (age 39) was almost as good as his 1982 CYA season.

4. Bert Blyleven had some uneven seasons but he led the league in Ks at age 34 and had fine seasons with the Twins at age 35-36. He had one of his best seasons at age 38 (17-5, 2.73 ERA).

5. Tom Seaver had a Cy Young-worthy season at age 36 and was perfectly good ages 38-40 (114 ERA+).

6. Gaylord Perry won a Cy Young Award at age 39.

These are your career strikeout leaders. There are other guys. Bob Tufts went over Schilling. John Smoltz came back from career-threatening injury to become the best reliever in the game at age 35 and then converted back to being one of the best starters in the game at age 38. His ERA+ from age 38-40 was 135 vs. his career ERA+ of 125.

David Wells, who wasn't a big strikeout pitcher and probably never lifted anything heavier than a quarter-pounder with cheese, had basically all of his best seasons after age 34.

Basically, it shouldn't surprise anyone when a great pitcher pitches well after turning 35.

   87. OCF Posted: June 21, 2012 at 02:41 AM (#4162533)
Following up on what baudib said, but looking further back in history.

There were always effective old pitchers. Just as there were always a lot more pitchers who burned out or blew out their arms; it was the rare survivors who became the great old pitchers. Cy Young was a great pitcher well into his 40s - one version of the tale was the he finally got driven out of the league when he got so fat and immobile that he couldn't really field bunts. Jack Quinn spent 2 1/2 years in the PCL starting at age 32, and then came back to the majors to throw 2600 innings at an ERA+ of 119 from the age of 34 on. And while, as I said, there were always pitchers who were great in their 20's and then wrecked their arms, there's the weird backwards career of Dazzy Vance who somehow unwrecked his arm at the age of 30 and became the world's greatest strikeout pitcher for over a decade after that. Warren Spahn kept going, and going, and going. Then there was something they discovered in the 30's: an older pitcher who couldn't carry the inning load that he had when he was young could still be very effective as a 140-inning spot starter. Ted Lyons, the "Sunday pitcher," was the prototype of this, but he wasn't the only one. (That wouldn't work now, with today's regular schedules and no doubleheaders.)
   88. baudib Posted: June 21, 2012 at 06:58 AM (#4162541)
We didn't even mention Walter Johnson, who won a Triple Crown at an older age than Clemens did; Pete Alexander or Satchel Paige.

Funny thing is, Canseco is an admitted user, yet there was really nothing unusual about his career at all. How come no one ever considers this?

Once you start with the assumption that Canseco was an exceptional talent who could hit 30+ homers at age 21, his career shape is very regular and normal:

-- 116 OPS+ as a rookie, 110 as a sophomore
-- Big step forward at age 23, in sort of a fluky year.
-- Four-year peak, including an injury-marred season, ending at age 26. OPS+ ranging from 147-170.
-- An extended prime period from age 27-31, in which he was constantly hurt, but hit when he was on the field (OPS+ ranging from 128-146)
-- A 5-year fade to the end (OPS+ from 106 to 134, with lots of missed time)

Compare his career to Reggie Jackson, whose probably the most similar player in history to Canseco, they're very similar. Except:
1. Reggie was always a bit better. Reggie only got a cup of coffee at 21, but was better at 22. Like Canseco, he took a huge step forward at age 23, a season he never again approached in terms of raw numbers or qualitative measures.
2. Reggie stayed healthy.
3. Reggie aged better. Reggie's second-best year came at age 34, when Canseco was all but done. Reggie also had a big year at age 36, and a decent bounce-back season at age 39.



   89. Ray (RDP) Posted: June 21, 2012 at 07:23 AM (#4162552)
I should also have mentioned, re Francesa's presentation, that Clemens having a historically great year in Toronto in 1997 doesn't fit with McNamee's timeline, as McNamee doesn't claim to have supplied Clemens with anything until 1998.
   90. Booey Posted: June 21, 2012 at 11:20 AM (#4162724)
Remember, steroids do whatever you're trying to prove that they do. They cause the body to break down, leading to multiple injuries (McGwire, Canseco, Caminiti). But they also do the exact opposite and improve longevity, helping players stay healthy and productive for an unnaturally long time (Clemens, Bonds, Palmeiro).
   91. zenbitz Posted: June 21, 2012 at 02:41 PM (#4162891)
@86,87,88

LOWMYGAWD. That prooves it!!! All those guys were roided to the gills.

/sportswriter logic
   92. Moeball Posted: June 21, 2012 at 04:37 PM (#4162965)
IIRC part of the beginning of the end in Boston for Roger was the '94 season:

1)People (fans, writers) were PO'd over the WS being cancelled (which, of course, was 100% the fault of the players, right?:))

2)The writers and fans were absolutely hammering Clemens about what a crappy year he had based exclusively on his W-L record

Any Boston fans out there who were there at the time and can corroborate what I'm remembering? I would especially like to see some of the old columns, I'm sure they're out there.

I seem to recall reading somewhere that Clemens said that got him started on thinking maybe it was time to go somewhere else given the treatment he was receiving.
   93. McCoy Posted: June 21, 2012 at 04:45 PM (#4162968)
Funny thing is, Canseco is an admitted user, yet there was really nothing unusual about his career at all. How come no one ever considers this?

Well, Canseco was using steroids in the minor leagues whereas if we are to believe the rumors and confessions the other guys (Clemens, Bonds, Sosa, McGwire. . . .) started using during their major league career.
   94. McCoy Posted: June 21, 2012 at 04:47 PM (#4162970)
LOWMYGAWD. That prooves it!!! All those guys were roided to the gills.

The only issue is that the guys 1 through 6 in post 86 do have a whiff of PEDS/steroids/cheating about them.

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