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Monday, January 09, 2012

Wyers: Suspicious Minds

Rob Neyer wrote an article about keeping an open mind during Hall of Fame voting season... Neyer writes in the comments, in response to a reader saying there’s no more evidence Jeff Bagwell used PEDs than Barry Larkin:

Really? None at all?

Let me suggest a thought experiment, AstroB.

I would like you to assign numbers to two players, representing the likelihood that they used steroids at some point in their careers.

The players are Derek Jeter and Edgar Martinez. Go....

if we look at players who have actually been identified as taking steroids or other performance-enhancing drugs—either through the Mitchell report or suspension by MLB—they aren’t any bigger than the average player. The average PED user was 73 inches tall and 193 pounds. The average MLB player over the same time span was 74 inches, 195 pounds…

What if Neyer wasn’t referring to body type, but position? Designated hitter has different offensive requirements than shortstop and no counterweighting defensive responsibilities. But let’s look at changes in home runs per plate appearance between the two positions in the pre- and post-“steroids” era:

                    SS_HR_PA     DH_HR_PA
        1980-1992   0.011        0.031
        1993-2011   0.017	 0.038
        Difference  0.007	 0.007
The District Attorney Posted: January 09, 2012 at 11:42 AM | 31 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: hall of fame, history, steroids

Reader Comments and Retorts

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Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. Ray (CTL) Posted: January 09, 2012 at 12:08 PM (#4032148)
We're caught in a trap... I can't walk out...
   2. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 09, 2012 at 12:13 PM (#4032151)
Been spending most their lives living in a PED user's paradise....
   3. JJ1986 Posted: January 09, 2012 at 12:22 PM (#4032161)
Neyer never comes back and replies after being challenged on that comment. I'm sure he was talking about muscle size, but he could at least clarify that instead of hiding behind vagueness of Martinez feeling more like a steroid user than Jeter.

   4. cardsfanboy Posted: January 09, 2012 at 12:30 PM (#4032170)
vagueness of Martinez feeling more like a steroid user than Jeter.


Really? Martinez is the one you would have picked as the likely steroid user? the guy who's career ended relatively early? I don't see how anyone could not think Jeter is one of the 50 most likely roiders in baseball.
   5. RJ in TO Posted: January 09, 2012 at 12:34 PM (#4032175)
the guy who's career ended relatively early?


He retired at the age of 41, after being an elite hitter at the age of 40. How did his career end relatively early?
   6. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: January 09, 2012 at 12:35 PM (#4032177)
Really? Martinez is the one you would have picked as the likely steroid user? the guy who's career ended relatively early?

haven't you heard? If you keep getting hurt, it means you're using steroids. If you never get hurt, it means you're using steroids.
   7. Ray (CTL) Posted: January 09, 2012 at 12:37 PM (#4032181)
Really? None at all?

Let me suggest a thought experiment, AstroB.

I would like you to assign numbers to two players, representing the likelihood that they used steroids at some point in their careers.

The players are Derek Jeter and Edgar Martinez. Go.


I don't know what the actual number would be, but it would be the same for Jeter as it would for Martinez.

   8. The Long Arm of Rudy Law Posted: January 09, 2012 at 12:41 PM (#4032182)
We've got plenty of hearsay and conjecture, those are kinds of evidence.

The same evidence suggests that Larkin and Jeter, since they were/are great baseball players, are more likely to be steroid users than people who weren't good at baseball.
   9. -- Posted: January 09, 2012 at 12:46 PM (#4032188)
The idea that Jeter is the poster boy for "He's the last guy who would 'roid" is absolutely comical. Don't people pay attention to the stories about the real Derek Jeter -- the gift baskets, the silly emotional freeze-out of A-Rod, the shakedown of Christian Lopez for hit 3K, (arguably) the selfish refusal to move from SS?

Nothing about Derek Jeter -- nothing at all -- suggests that he would refrain from gaining the competitive advantage of 'roids because of some commitment to doing the "right" thing.

A likely scenario is that, over a decade ago, he heard that A-Rod and Nomar were 'roiding and, to keep up, he 'roided. Hell, he could have been the first of the three in.

Grow up, people. Jesus.
   10. JPWF1313 Posted: January 09, 2012 at 12:51 PM (#4032192)
the silly emotional freeze-out of A-Rod


how on earth would an emotional freeze-out of A-Rod by ANYONE be "silly"?
The silly part would be being "friends" with a centaur-wannabe in the first place
   11. Squash Posted: January 09, 2012 at 12:52 PM (#4032194)
The idea that Jeter is the poster boy for "He's the last guy who would 'roid" is absolutely comical. Don't people pay attention to the stories about the real Derek Jeter -- the gift baskets, the silly emotional freeze-out of A-Rod, the shakedown of Christian Lopez for hit 3K, (arguably) the selfish refusal to move from SS?

You don't get it, he dove into the stands man, HE DOVE INTO THE FREAKING STANDS!!!
   12. Randy Jones Posted: January 09, 2012 at 01:05 PM (#4032205)
the shakedown of Christian Lopez for hit 3K


Explain this.
   13. attaboy Posted: January 09, 2012 at 01:06 PM (#4032207)
And when Mariano is revealed to be a user...watch out! 6 of his best 7 years (based on ERA+) have been at the age of 33 or older and his best was at 39! I thought the defination of a user, based on Bonds' example, was someone who clearly did not follow the age curve and like Bonds, Mariano does not just not follow it, he destroys it!
   14. Swedish Chef Posted: January 09, 2012 at 01:08 PM (#4032210)
I don't think Jeter juiced, he would know that neither bacne nor shriveling balls would be a hit with the ladies.
   15. Nasty Nate Posted: January 09, 2012 at 01:13 PM (#4032212)
I wish Post #9 would be forwarded to noted jeterphile Bill "The Connecticut Sports Guy" Simmons...

the shakedown of Christian Lopez for hit 3K



Explain this.


ugh, no, not again
   16. Mike Fast Posted: January 09, 2012 at 01:18 PM (#4032219)
I don't think Jeter juiced, he would know that neither bacne nor shriveling balls would be a hit with the ladies.


You mean the "clear" wasn't so named because it clears up bacne?
   17. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: January 09, 2012 at 01:19 PM (#4032221)
And when Mariano is revealed to be a user...watch out! 6 of his best 7 years (based on ERA+) have been at the age of 33 or older and his best was at 39! I thought the defination of a user, based on Bonds' example, was someone who clearly did not follow the age curve and like Bonds, Mariano does not just not follow it, he destroys it!

Ages 33-39 are pre-K for a Highlander.
   18. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: January 09, 2012 at 01:23 PM (#4032224)
the shakedown of Christian Lopez for hit 3K


Explain this.



Here you go.
   19. Randy Jones Posted: January 09, 2012 at 01:39 PM (#4032238)
Oh, I know exactly what was being referred to. I don't understand how it constitutes a shakedown or what Jeter had to do with it at all.
   20. Nasty Nate Posted: January 09, 2012 at 01:42 PM (#4032242)
Oh, I know exactly what was being referred to. I don't understand how it constitutes a shakedown or what Jeter had to do with it at all.


uh, that's why he linked to a thread which included the whole shakedown theory...
   21. Randy Jones Posted: January 09, 2012 at 01:43 PM (#4032247)
Yes, but I would rather not read a 4 page thread of SBB trolling.
   22. Addison Russell T. Davies (chris h.) Posted: January 09, 2012 at 01:46 PM (#4032249)
So is Neyer completely around the bend on this stuff, or what?

I just don't understand his position.
   23. The District Attorney Posted: January 09, 2012 at 01:52 PM (#4032253)
Neyer is responding in the comments to this article, but he's basically just saying "Edgar Martinez and Derek Jeter are equally likely? Really?"

I don't know what his underlying point is either. I understand that he thinks that, if you think PED use is relevant (which he doesn't), then you might as well follow through on it and decide for yourself whether someone used them, as opposed to just singling out those who failed tests or confessed. But I don't get what the Edgar/Jeter comparison is adding to the conversation, and Neyer seems strangely reluctant to just come out and say whatever it is he's trying to get at with it.
   24. JJ1986 Posted: January 09, 2012 at 01:56 PM (#4032257)
But I don't understand what the Edgar/Jeter comparison is elucidating.


If one feels like Bagwell and Edgar are more likely to have used than Jeter, that is apparently reason enough to suspect them even with no actual evidence. If Rob were actually keeping an open mind, he would try and analyze why he suspects Bagwell and Edgar and then determine if that suspicion is based on anything.
   25. Good cripple hitter Posted: January 09, 2012 at 01:59 PM (#4032262)
So is Neyer completely around the bend on this stuff, or what?

I just don't understand his position.


In the comments, Neyer agrees with the statement that "[there's] harder evidence against Bagwell, Larkin, and Martinez that [people] haven’t heard about." So it appears that Neyer's going with the lame "I have evidence/hearsay/whatever that they used, but I can't/won't share it with you" ploy.

I find it odd that he writes "there is exactly as much reason to suspect Edgar of steroid use as Bagwell". It's possible that Edgar used, but Bagwell's got more circumstantial stuff, namely the gym owner/manager who was bragging about being Bagwell's steroid dealer. I wouldn't count that much against Bagwell, but on a hypothetical 1 - 10 steroid meter I'd give him a point or two above Edgar for that.
   26. Rally Posted: January 09, 2012 at 02:38 PM (#4032318)
If we set probability based on what we know, Jeter is less likely to have used than Edgar, simply because he's played for 7 seasons with random testing, and has not (yet) failed a test. Bagwell played one year under testing, so he's maybe 1% less likely than Edgar. But Bagwell's number would be bumped up a bit if you believe the stuff in #25.
   27. filihok Posted: January 09, 2012 at 02:53 PM (#4032341)
But let’s look at changes in home runs per plate appearance between the two positions in the pre- and post-“steroids” era:

SS_HR_PA DH_HR_PA
1980-1992 0.011 0.031
1993-2011 0.017 0.038


.17/.11=54.5% increase
.38/.31=22.5% increase

   28. AJMcCringleberry Posted: January 09, 2012 at 03:19 PM (#4032392)
Here's how I figure if a guy used PEDs:

Is he a pro athlete?
Yes: Probably
No: Probably not
   29. Athletic Supporter is USDA certified lean Posted: January 09, 2012 at 03:49 PM (#4032450)
And when Mariano is revealed to be a user...watch out! 6 of his best 7 years (based on ERA+) have been at the age of 33 or older and his best was at 39! I thought the defination of a user, based on Bonds' example, was someone who clearly did not follow the age curve and like Bonds, Mariano does not just not follow it, he destroys it!


Why would a robot need to take steroids?
   30. Something Other Posted: January 10, 2012 at 03:30 PM (#4033434)
What's up with the Christmas video?

[pulls wife aside: "Hey, hon, let's torment little Sissy and pretend we got her the wrong thing. She'll cry, everyone will laugh at her, it'll be great!"]
   31. The District Attorney Posted: January 10, 2012 at 03:41 PM (#4033444)
Heh, Neyer's response in the comments to this article got a -4 rating from the BP users, and thus has fallen below the threshold to be displayed.

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