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Are Baseball Fans being Naive about illegal substances


pabrewerfan

Are baseball fans being naive about steroids? Why do we fans simply overlook other eras where it appears that illegal substance was used to increase player performance?[

 

There is a naiveness as to when steroids became popular through out professional sports. In 1954, the Soviets dominated the World Weightlfiting Championships. Their team physician admitted to administering steroids to the team. By 1972 there were full-scale drug-testing in the Olympics but it wasn't until the late 1980's/early 1990's that testing became reliable.

 

We all know that the NFL players were taking steroids in the 70's like it was candy. So why couldn't steroid have crossed from sport to sport? Well it did. Tom House, who pitched from 1971 to 1978, admitted to using steroids. As a matter of fact his comment about it is ""I actually think that the game is cleaner today than when I was playing.'' ..."Every generation of players -- the '20s, '30s, '40s on up -- everybody was looking for a way to get the most out of their bodies, and they took whatever they possibly could. It was almost expected. . . "

 

There was a greater number of players to join the 500 home run club in the 60's and 70's then today. Could it be that increased reliability in steroid testing in the late 80's has creating a false general assumption that the - 90's to present - is the steroid era?

 

 

In addiiton,

Look at the top career homeruns hitters:

Hank Aaron had his best HR season at age 37.

Barry Bonds had his best HR season at age 36.

Babe Ruth had his best HR season at age 32.

Willie Mays had his best HR season at 34.

 

It doesn't appear that Bonds surge in power is out of the norm with other greats.

 

Any thoughts?????

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It doesn't appear that Bonds surge in power is out of the norm with other greats.

 

Key word in there...surge in power. The others you cite didn't have a rather sudden surge in power, and certainly not as they played into the final years of their careers. Their numbers were basically consistent over time. Willie Mayes may have hit 52 when he was 34, but he also hit 51 when he was 24. Similar can be said about Ruth and Aaron. Show me the corresponsing results for Bonds, and I'll consider the arguement. Also, I wasn't there, but I'd be willing to bet they didn't see an increase in their hat sizes either.

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I don't know the years, but just by looking at pictures of the before and after...Bonds, Giambi, McGwire, Sosa...you can tell that something ain't right there.

 

People don't change that much from one year to the next.

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yeah, and what happened with Gwynn was natural? no, it was a bad knee, lots of food, and genetics.

 

I'm 26, and my body shape has changed dramatically since I was 18. I'm sure most here agree that bodies change. What's crazy is that people seem to think McGwire and Bonds were products of steroids. McGwire was the alltime homer leader at USC, and Bonds was looking like a Hall of Famer when he first signed with the Giants. His homer binge of late is also a product of him not trying as hard in the field, which has resulted in none of the injuries that plagued him in his 30s.

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Could it be that increased reliability in steroid testing in the late 80's has creating a false general assumption that the - 90's to present - is the steroid era?

 

No, because until the early 90s (as noted in the 756 thread on OT), steroids weren't technically "illegal" as a Schedule III controlled substance.

 

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It doesn't appear that Bonds surge in power is out of the norm with other greats.

 

But how much *greater* of a power surge was it compared to that of the other "greats?"

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Nobody ever said they weren't already good, if not great players players. If you believe those guys are not the products of steroids/HGH/PED's, you are either blind or unwilling to look at it objectively. Comparing Tony Gwynn getting fat to adding 40 pounds of lean muscle, having your head grow, and /or terrible acne? C'mon.
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I love how baseball relates to the recent past as the "steroids" era.....yet they have their heads in the sand and don't even acknowledge that HGH use is rampant. We're in the HGH era right now, boys. They are ignoring the obvious again while acting self-righteous about trying to clean up the past. I find it obnoxious.
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If you believe those guys are not the products of steroids/HGH/PED's, you are either blind or unwilling to look at it objectively.

 

Their bodies may be to a degree, but the statistics they put up aren't. That's his point.

 

You don't just load up on steroids and HGH and hit 70 bombs. It doesn't work that way. Otherwise guys would be stupid not to take them.

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Their bodies may be to a degree, but the statistics they put up aren't. That's his point.

 

You don't just load up on steroids and HGH and hit 70 bombs. It doesn't work that way.


 

Thus the other comment I made that those guys were already good, if not great players, but the statistics they put up most certainly are the product of performance enhancers. Steroids and HGH help with muscle mass, reflexes, recovery time, etc. So yeah, they would certainly hit their share of HR's anyway, nobody is denying that. But, not 60+, 70, and certainly not at 36, 37, 38 years old. That's the difference, which makes the point rather silly and...well...pointless.

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It's a good idea...but there's nothing you can about the past 30 - 50 years ago. There wasn't as much media coverage is the first factor and now looking at other norms you shouldn't shoot up for power when you're over 35. There is more coverage and with the media you can't tell me that Mac and Bonds didn't gain a ton of muscle...if they busted their butts and everything why couldn't everyone do that? Say JJ or Weeks...if they gain 40 pounds of muscle in the next 5 years there will be questions. Maybe it was just hard work, but the facts against them have proved their is at least questions related to how they got so big. Look at any sport with an incrase in late 30's in todays era and that's not normal. There was not the media coverage there is now and anyone could be on something and we won't know about it. Hank's numbers were never all that high at HRs, but he played a long time. The new media pops out a lot of things that awhile ago we wouldn't know, but when a player like Bonds admits to putting on a possible juiced cream and he didn't know what was in it...come on that raises questions. Look at his rookie pictures and Macs. They got huge and why couldn't everyone else do that? I just find if strange that they got huge and this is their full-time job and they also had huge power numbers...
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http://i11.photobucket.com/albums/a186/sheetsforcyyoung/HistoricalHomeRUns.jpg

 

I dont know, Bonds certainly isnt eyepoppingly out of line.

 

Edit: Can any mods make the graph work?

 

Edit: Yup --1992casey http://forum.brewerfan.net/images/smilies/wink.gif

 

Thanks,

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No, because until the early 90s (as noted in the 756 thread on OT), steroids weren't technically "illegal" as a Schedule III controlled substance.
Just checked and you are right. Even though they were not specifically mentioned in the collective bargaining agreement, they would fall under the same group as all illegal drugs. If it was illegal in the US you couldn't use it in baseball. According to Wikipedia(I know not really a good source, but I don't have time to do a better check) anabolic steroids became illegal in the US in 1990. Up until then they were legal in the US and thus legal in baseball.

 

EDIT: By the way I fall under the "cheaters area always ahead of the testers so everybody is suspect" group.

Fan is short for fanatic.

I blame Wang.

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Interesting comparison.

 

I for one feel that the impact of steriods was not as great as some make it to be, that steriod use was so widespread during the last decade everyone was to a certain extend still on an even playing field, and that substance abuse was present during past eras as well.

 

While I don't know if I'll be celebrating Bond's record, I no longer am rooting against him. I'll take it as a very historical moment that needs to be taken in its proper context, just like all records.

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The reason I don't get too worked up about Bonds steroid use and how it effects records is because of the never talked about massive steroid abuse by pitchers.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"88.6% of all statistics are made up right there on the spot" Todd Snider

 

-Posted by the fan formerly known as X ellence. David Stearns has brought me back..

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I dont know, Bonds certainly isnt eyepoppingly out of line.
No, not in terms of 'spike differential', but for his age he certainly does stand out, just in terms of 'HR reached'.
Stearns Brewing Co.: Sustainability from farm to plate
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No, not in terms of 'spike differential', but for his age he certainly does stand out, just in terms of 'HR reached'.

 

well, maybe just to play devil's advocate, Ruth (and maybe not even Aaron) wasn't exactly hitting the weight room every day like Bonds and players today do or hiring traveling dietitians and cooks. we know a ton more today about maintaining athletic longevity than even 20 years ago, so to see Bonds maintaining his production four or so years beyond what Aaron or Ruth did can't be unreasonable.

 

and then you can take it from the flip side, too. that because athletes are more physically refined, it takes longer for the player to begin a Major League career. On the chart, those guys broke in at around 20, but Bonds took three years longer, and it's not a tough stretch to say that he has just as much natural talent.

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On the chart, those guys broke in at around 20, but Bonds took three years longer, and it's not a tough stretch to say that he has just as much natural talent.

 

because Bonds was at ASU, studying attractive women, as all males do there

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Correct me if I am wrong but nobody else on that Chart had their 5 best homerun seasons from 35-40. Nobody else has a season where they hit 27 more home runs in one season after they turned 35 than they had hit in any season before they turned 35.

 

Yes that is a statistical annomolly.

 

Lets look at the stats for a second.

 

1996- age 31 - 42 Home Runs 158 Games 517 AB's

1997- age 32 - 40 Home Runs 159 Games 532 AB's

1998- age 33 - 37 Home Runs 156 Games 552 AB's

1999- age 34 - 34 Home Runs 102 Games 355 AB's

2000- age 35 - 49 Home Runs 143 Games 480 AB's

2001- age 36 - 73 Home Runs 153 Games 476 AB's

2002- age 37 - 46 Home Runs 143 Games 403 AB's

2003- age 38 - 45 Home Runs 130 Games 390 AB's

2004- age 39 - 45 Home Runs 147 Games 373 AB's

 

Take a guess when he started using Steroids or HGH or whatever you want to call it. If you want to go back into the 20's that is fine but I don't think you will find anything different.

 

Bonds' past 34 years are abnormal for any athlete. Yes Athletic training has improved but not to that extent. Before Steroids Bonds was a 35-45 a year Home Run hitter in 500 to 600 AB's and slowing down gradually. After Steroids Bonds was a 45-73 a year Home Run hitter in 375- 480 AB's.

 

Personally I don't think Steroids helped him at all

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While I don't know if I'll be celebrating Bond's record, I no longer am rooting against him.

I will be rooting against him. Not because of his steroid use, but because I just don't like his personality. And, I like Hank and will always consider him a Milwaukee ball player.

 

Quote:
the never talked about massive steroid abuse by pitchers.

I never get this either. Pitchers share a locker room with hitters. If they see the hitters juicing and getting away with it, they'll start juicing at a similar rate. Maybe the records of today are a little deflated because of the juiced pitchers?

The poster previously known as Robin19, now @RFCoder

EA Sports...It's in the game...until we arbitrarily decide to shut off the server.

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That chart looked to me like something was up. He was the only one who had a huge spike at the end of his career. The only other one that had the highest total at 38 was also the one that was the most consistant through his career. He is also the only one whose average homerun distance went up after age 35. It's been a few years since I saw that chart I'll try to find it.

 

we know a ton more today about maintaining athletic longevity than even 20 years ago, so to see Bonds maintaining his production four or so years beyond what Aaron or Ruth did can't be unreasonable.

 

If that's true then Bonds would have been hitting homeruns at his post 35 age at a younger age as well. I think where the questions lay is his sudden size change. Bonds like all athletes today conditioned and weight lifted his entire career. Then one year he changes his workout regime and got significantly bigger and his HR total jumped by a huge margin. You don't get significantly bigger in one year simply by changing your workout regime. A better regime would no doubt help but not to the degree he had. Add to it his workout regime change happens to have been done by someone convicted of dirstibuting steroids and it doesn't take a rocket scientist to see the connection.

There needs to be a King Thames version of the bible.
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If that's true then Bonds would have been hitting homeruns at his post 35 age at a younger age as well. I think where the questions lay is his sudden size change. Bonds like all athletes today conditioned and weight lifted his entire career. Then one year he changes his workout regime and got significantly bigger and his HR total jumped by a huge margin. You don't get significantly bigger in one year simply by changing your workout regime. A better regime would no doubt help but not to the degree he had. Add to it his workout regime change happens to have been done by someone convicted of dirstibuting steroids and it doesn't take a rocket scientist to see the connection.

 

For those that don't know the year that Bonds started using it was 1999. The year after the great Home Run Chase. Bonds got injured that year but the power surge was definitely evident from 1 HR in every 15 AB's to 1 HR in ever 10 AB's ( the best rate in his career).

 

2000 was 1 in every 9.8

2001 was 1 in every 6.5

2002 was 1 in every 8.8

2003 was 1 in every 8.7

2004 was 1 in every 8.3

 

It should be noted that his best full season before age 35 was one in every 11.7 AB's

 

Yes he was Juiced and yes the Juice helped him.

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Comparing Bonds to Ruth and Aaron is pretty interesting. Why not also compare him a known user? The person in question would have to have not used in his younger days, started using when he got older, and drastically improved as a result. Fortunately, we have former MVP Ken Caminiti for comparison.

 

Bonds made a huge leap in almost all major statistical categories from the 1999 through the 2000 season, and has not let up (until arguably right now). This is highly unusual, as he was 13 years into his career by 1999, and past what should have been his prime. Caminiti shows a similar progression. His career began in 1987. As of 1993 his career high in home runs was 13. But in 1994, he starts to make gradual increases, much like Barry?s 2000 season (49 home runs). In 1994 he hits 18, a career high. 1995, he increases that by almost 50%, hitting 26. Finally, during his tainted MVP season of 1996 he hit 40! He also set a career high in BA (.326) and RBI (130). His slugging went up over 100 points from his previous high (.621, beating his also steroid induced .513 of a year earlier). His slugging that year was almost 200 points higher than his career average. In 1996, Ken was 33 years old. Not as old as Bonds but still years past his prime. The fact that Caminiti was younger than Bonds during his Seroid years actually hurts Bonds' case.

 

I can't do a graph right now, but look at these numbers:

 

Ken Caminiti, HRs, 1993-1998 ? 13, 18, 26, 40, 26, 29

 

Barry Bonds, HRs, 1998-2003 ? 37, 34 (in 102 games, 49 over 150), 49, 73, 46, 45.

 

The pattern is basically the same.

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the never talked about massive steroid abuse by pitchers.

 

All that means is on the occasions when Bonds did face a pitcher on steroids the playing field was level. Where he really made the surge was on the majority of days when he wasn't facing juiced pitchers. For your arguement to work he would have to have faced nothing but juiced pitchers. I suspect if that was the case he would have hit his career norm of homeruns.

There needs to be a King Thames version of the bible.
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