Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
Quesy Feeling
2005-08-09 05:53
by Alex Belth

While Mariano Rivera is giving Yankee fans a peaceful, easy feeling each time he steps on the mound these days, I have to admit that I'm nervous. Not about Rivera, but about the possibility of another star player testing positive for steroids. I'm sure fans all over the country are feeling the same way. It seems inevitable that more guys are going to fall. Which Yankee will it be, I was wondering last night? Man, don't let it be Rivera or Jeter or Bernie or Rodriguez. Please. It's hard to say anything would surprise me, but really, if Mariano Rivera or Derek Jeter were found using steroids it would shock me.

As exciting as this season as been, it's hard not to feel that these are dark, paranoid times for baseball. Cynicism is at an all-time high. The commissioner's office has virtually sacrificed the integrity of the season witholding the Palmeiro test results for so long. Who knows what other players have tested positive yet are still allowed to continue playing? In the comments section yesterday, I wondered why nobody in the media has publicly suspected Roger Clemens of using performance-enhancing drugs. Today, Monte Poole wonders the exact same thing. I'm not saying that Clemens has done anything--how would I know?---I just think it is curious that he hasn't gotten the same third degree that other bulky veterans have received.

Maybe it's just me. But while I've got one eye on my team and my favorite players, I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Comments (118)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2005-08-09 06:32:47
1.   NetShrine
On ESPN Radio this AM, Greenie talked about this "rumor" of another big name about to be busted, that it was someone already in the appeal process, like Raffy was for months. I dunno? There are lots of candidates, sure.

To the Yankees, if it is one of them, well, then, get your forks out - because then they would be officially done this year - it will be a circus.

2005-08-09 06:38:36
2.   jkay
My guess would be Pavano. It would explain his disappearing act.
2005-08-09 06:55:05
3.   Paul in Boston
Alex, do you know something we don't? Bob Costas was interviewed before the Palmeiro thing broke, and mentioned him jokingly as the user of "performance enhancing" drugs as a Viagra pitch man. It wasn't very funny, but it certainly was prescient -- or he knew about Palmeiro ahead of time.

(I've always liked that word "prescient" ... defined as "perceiving the significance of events before they occur.")

2005-08-09 07:02:15
4.   NetShrine
FWIW, I just read this in the Dallas News:

"The absence of the supplements players believed to be absolutely safe – and a nasty rumor spreading through the clubhouse that many more positive tests are soon to be revealed – has some Rangers nervous about the drug-testing and policing program. The random-testing program calls for a 10-day suspension for a first offense and escalates from there. "

2005-08-09 07:19:25
5.   Fred Vincy
If I had to guess, one possible reason Clemens has escaped rumors is that he is a pitcher and the simplistic equation of steroids=brute force fits sluggers much better than pitchers, so it just doesn't "seem" right.

Please don't let it be Mo.

2005-08-09 07:24:57
6.   Joe in NYC
The Monte Poole article is long overdue ... Interesting that no white guys ever get suspected. In fact, Boone is the only white guy fingered in the Canseco book (I think), and the national press barely talks about him.
2005-08-09 07:29:40
7.   Kevin
On the August 6 edition of Baseball Prospectus Radio, Will Carroll mentioned a few times, quite cryptically, I might add, that he knew of other positive tests in the appeals process that should become public this week.

Since Will is one of the men behind Baseball Toaster... any chance we could get a little hint?

2005-08-09 07:31:03
8.   Alex Belth
I always thought there was something racial in the fact that Bonds was getting killed for being physically huge, and dominant as an older player, while Clemens got a pass. Poole is African American by the way.

And I don't know anything. Honest. Haven't even heard anything...I'm just suspicious.

2005-08-09 07:31:55
9.   Murray
Rivera doesn't fit the profile. He's built like a stick.

I think that there are plenty of pitchers who have experimented with performance-enhancing drugs. I just think that most sportswriters are too brain dead to have made the connection between pitching and performance-enhancing drugs because nothing jumps out from the stat line the way homer totals do.

2005-08-09 07:35:13
10.   Murray
Bonds's career is without precedent, and the photographic evidence of his physical change is damning. Clemens, on the other hand, is viewed as a Nolan Ryan-like freak of nature, right down to the Texas good-old-boy heritage. The racial component is overstated.

Wouldn't it be great if we found out that the lucky winner wasn't Clemens, but rather was Curt Schilling??

2005-08-09 07:39:53
11.   yankeefan1
I enjoy reading articles here and had no choice but to register and respond to this ridiculous article. To insinuate that either Rivera or Jeter is on steroids because people are floating around that "a big name got busted" is just asinine! Rivera has been doing his thing for 10 years, ditto with Derek. I think Rivera deserves more respect than to be accused whether it was indirectly or not of being a steroid user/cheater
2005-08-09 07:40:09
12.   Deltasocrates
With all due respect, the reason why Bonds has been questioned is that his performance from 1999/2000 onwards has gone beyond anything that could be reasonably expected at his age. It also went beyond his production in previous years (I make the appropriate proviso that Bonds' production previous to the 1999/2000 suspicious years was already HoF worthy).

Clemens, OTOH, has been productive at a great level for a long time. His current performance is not in and of itself that surprising when you factor in that he keeps himself in obscenely good shape, is now playing in the National League (look at Pedro Martinez' stats this year compared to last and look at Randy Johnson's this year compared to last, and you can see the big difference between the two leagues) and has a much better infield defense playing for him.

I have no concerns whatsoever about Mariano being on steroids. For steroids use to really make sense, you have to pump iron and muscle up.

Mariano, OTOH, is a particularly limber and lean athlete, and has been so all his career.

OTOH, it is remarkable how under the radar Mariano's fantastic season has been.
This has been the best regular season of the best closer in baseball history, and yet nobody is mentioning him in the same breath as Gagne's awesome save runs of recent memory were mentioned.

2005-08-09 07:41:57
13.   JohnnyC
Ironically, Peter Gammons was one of the few media types to discuss rampant PED abuse among pitchers in one of his columns this Spring. Without naming names, the one area that he believed to be rife with it was relief pitching, especially those minor league lifers in recent years who emerge from total obscurity to throw 95 MPH beebees for a season or two and then flame out. Like, you know, those weird-looking hulks who roll out of the Angels' bullpen or those masked men who have toiled in the Braves' bullpen. But even Gammons wasn't leveling with the reader because the real scandal would be starters who've used PED to turn uneventful careers into All-Star turns. And Gammons probably has his suspicions close to home.
2005-08-09 07:51:57
14.   Schteeve
Rivera is practically a priest.

Jeter is too image savvy.

2005-08-09 07:52:19
15.   Yanks in NH
I agree that the racial component is definitely overstated. In fact, until I read the above posts, I had never even thought of it before. The names that come to my mind are Giambi, Canseco himself, McGwire, etc.

I don't know whether or not it is prevalent in pitching, as stated above the press definitely has not focused there, but comparing Bonds to Clemens is like comparing apples to oranges since they serve completely different roles - slugger versus pitcher.

Regarding Mariano, Jeter, and Rodriguez, it's not going to happen. In fact, looking through the lineup, I am hard-pressed to find one possible candidate. The only one to even come close to suspicion would be Giambi based on past history, but he would have to be an absolute moron to be involved for the same reason!

2005-08-09 07:52:25
16.   Nick from Washington Heights
Rivera IS a priest
2005-08-09 07:53:40
17.   Nick from Washington Heights
JohnnyC, I've long wanted to ask you this because of your insights on pitching and the fact that you usually weigh in on the part of the game, but are/were you a pitcher or pitching coach?
2005-08-09 07:59:21
18.   dtrain
Do you guys remember around the time of the congressional hearings, when Schilling said that all the recent steroid talk had given him a greater appreciation for A-Rod as a freak of nature because he was the only "true" (read: non-juiced) 40-40 player in the game? That kind of struck me as odd because that implied that, in Schilling's mind, A-Rod was somehow automatically above suspicion for steroids, and I see know reason why Schilling wouldn't suspect Rodriguez just as much as he would anyone else in the game, especially considering how much he hates him. Any thoughts?
2005-08-09 08:02:33
19.   Nick from Washington Heights
If one is to believe Canseco, he lamented the fact that Jeter refused to use steroids, saying that he would have been one of the best of all time if he had. Since Canseco seems to be becoming a more reliable source everday, this might assuage our fairs regarding our Captain.

I suspect Tony Womack, Wayne Franklin and Ruben Sierra and it would be smart and the right thing to do for the Yanks to cut them before the test results come out.

2005-08-09 08:02:38
20.   NetShrine
I just hope it's going to be someone like Jeff Bagwell, Jim Thome, or Todd Helton rather than a Yankees player.

Of course, if it was Manny or Ortiz......well, go ahead, make my day.

2005-08-09 08:05:07
21.   Murray
The only guys on the Yankees who might merit suspicion are Sheffield and Giambi because of the BALCO scandal. I see no obvious candidates otherwise.
2005-08-09 08:05:24
22.   Nick from Washington Heights
fairs=fears-brain fart!
2005-08-09 08:06:27
23.   Nick from Washington Heights
Ruben is the only other obvious candidate.
2005-08-09 08:06:50
24.   Dan M
The "Clemens is known for his legendary workout regimen" rationale rings hollow because even if you're on steroids, you're still going to work out like a fiend. And does Bonds not also have a legendary workout regimen?
2005-08-09 08:08:36
25.   yankz
I keep having nightmares that it's Jeter. I'm 100% sure its not, but still, that would be awful. Someone said that dan patrick said that its a "high profile east coast player" like palmeiro- please, please be someone from Boston.
2005-08-09 08:17:05
26.   Dan M
Could be a Met.
2005-08-09 08:19:20
27.   JohnnyC
pitched in college, basically sucked...just opinionated about it, I guess. and I've been exposed to a wide spectrum of pitching philosophies, some good, some bad.
2005-08-09 08:27:41
28.   jedi
"Someone said that dan patrick said that its a "high profile east coast player" like palmeiro- please, please be someone from Boston."

Possible "high profile east coast players" who fit that mold in my mind:

Cliff Floyd
David Ortiz
Manny Ramirez
Gary Sheffield
Jason Giambi
Alex Rodriguez
Hideki Matsui
Paul Konerko
Sammy Sosa
Brian Roberts
Andruw Jones
Bobby Abreu
Jim Thome
Miguel Cabrera

All these names jump out on paper as questionable, but my first reaction after reading this list is that the only name that jumps up at me the most is Sammy Sosa. Have we forgotten about Sammy? This would be the dagger to the heart of the Orioles if this was true.

2005-08-09 08:29:04
29.   Paul in Boston
How about Beltran? Wouldn't surprise me.

I always thought that Bernie Williams looked a bit funny, but as Will Carroll frequently says, "you can't tell a steroid user by looking at him."

(Unless he's Boone, Mcgwire, Canseco, Giambi, Bonds, or those "female" East German olympic swimmers ...)

2005-08-09 08:32:55
30.   JohnnyC
Can't decide whether I'd be happier if it were Ortiz or Schilling. Would roll on the floor laughing if it were both.
2005-08-09 08:34:18
31.   yankeefan1
hopefully its not randy johnson, hes been awful all year after being so good last year..............i'd have a party if it was either manny/ortiz or the best candidate curtis schilling.
2005-08-09 08:36:02
32.   JohnnyC
could be Schilling...consider that panel that testified before Congress...gotta be a reason they were summoned...wasn't cause they wanted to hear Republican campaign speeches.
2005-08-09 08:59:55
33.   sam2175
Does anyone have any links to any of these rumors? What a distraction.

Relief pitchers fit the profile of steroid users for a good reason: if steroids help you to get back up on your feet, recuperate and pitch every day, then relief pitchers would be the biggest beneficiaries.

I have a hard time believing that steroids actually greatly enhnace hitting. They cannot help anyone with timing and basic hand-eye co-ordination. Some mishits may fly out, and that is probably all that can happen. Realistically, it cannot help anymore than a corked bat.

Now can they add 4-5 miles to your fastball if you are a pitcher? I would be doubtful about that as well. How come Billy Wagner, he of 5-11 and 190 lbs frame throws flames like that? Seems mechanics are a more important part there as well.

Now, one reason why I believe Bonds might have used it is because it helped him play outfield everyday, as he was growing older. He could maintain that workout regimen and be fit for playing everyday. Still, he is so far and above the rest of the competition that steroids cannot possibly explain all the difference. If they can, then I guess any average Joe can roid up and be a passable major leaguer.

2005-08-09 09:08:17
34.   Yanks in NH
Boy that would be beautiful if it was Manny or Ortiz and I wouldn't mind Schilling either for that matter!

Again, relax because it ain't ever going to be Jeter - I'd bet almost anything on it! Frankly, it's hard to pick any particular player on the team because you would have to have quite a limited mental capacity to get or stay involved with steroids in the current atmosphere in baseball. Of course, many ballplayers are not necessarily well known for their mental abilities!

2005-08-09 09:11:22
35.   jedi
When in doubt, just listen to Jose Canseco Words of Wisdom...

from MTV's Surreal Life:

Omarosa: "Did you really take steroids? Doesn't steroids make your pee pee small?"

Jose Canseco: "See that's where people are ignorant! It doesn't make your penis smaller, it actually makes your balls smaller. "

My wife watching this on TV: "Basically, isn't that just the same? What guy wants anything shrinking down there?"

2005-08-09 09:21:29
36.   Cliff Corcoran
I'd prefer to skip the guessing game, and, unlike Alex, I have no anxiety over the possibility of a Yankee suspension, but I had to respond to Sam here.

Sam, steroids can't turn a non-hitter into a hitter (the old "Average Joe" argument which you repeat above), but they can improve a hitter's ability. Some say steroids actually improve eyesite (improving tone in all the body's muscles, including those in the eye), but whether or not that's true what they absolutely do is increase strength, speed recovery, and help the muscles fire quicker.

What many miss in this discussion is that strength does not just mean brute force, but speed as well. Bat speed (as we've seen with Giambi this season) is a huge determinant of success at the plate. Similarly, arm speed translates directly into pitch speed.

Steroids don't teach anyone to hit or throw a wicked curve, or give Joe Schmoe the ability to react to a 90 MPH fastball, but they can put a triple-A lifer in the majors, earn a bench player a starting job, put a league average starter into the All-Star Game, turn an All-Star into an MVP, and turn a future Hall of Famer into the greatest player you've ever seen.

2005-08-09 09:23:11
37.   Yanks in NH
I believe that the steroids probably help with longevity, specifically maintaining strength and conditioning when combined with a solid workout regimen. It's not going to make a so so player a superstar, but it definitely could help a superstar extend their career and probably pump up their productivity to a certain degree simply because they are not getting worn down as easily as they would without.

And seriously, Bernie Williams of all people would be the unlikeliest suspect. If he's taking steroids, I'd hate to see his arm without!

2005-08-09 09:39:27
38.   sam2175
Thanks for the clarification, Cliff. However, I remain skeptical of the abilities of steroids with any game that has to rely so much on timing (and I mention baseball and cricket here). If they improve eye-sight, it is a major plus.

I dont mean to question any medical opinion that you might be privy to, and I would trust your words on it. However, I do believe more research is required to actually somewhat quantify the improvements in every single department of the hitting process. I.e., how much more time do you have before you can start firing your muscles towards the ball if you use steroids? If that contribution is significant, then that is a significant improvement: you can actually stay late on the ball and time your shots better if you are a high caliber major league player to begin with. Which might also explain why the timing is out of whack when you are out of steroids, as Giambi's case might have been, and you have to get used to your new eye-sight and muscle reaction, and this takes a while.

That was why I mentioned the corked bat advantage, and why it is diffiult to separate a quantitative effect. But I do understand the limitations of possible research or experimentation with this subject, as ethical and scientific values are bound to collide.

2005-08-09 09:57:50
39.   Cliff Corcoran
Sam, excellent job applying my explanation in reverse to Giambi, I think you're on to something there.
2005-08-09 10:08:56
40.   dtrain
I have a slightly unrelated question that's been chewing at me for some time - what is it that determines the strength of a player's throwing arm, and more to the point, how come you never see players' arm strength improve over the course of their career? If it's mainly an issue of sheer muscle strength, then why don't we ever see anyone's arm getting stronger over time as they bulk up? If it's a question of mechanics, then why don't we ever hear about coaches correcting a player's flawed throwing mechanics, like they do with hitting and pitching, again resulting in a better arm?
2005-08-09 10:15:45
41.   Shaun P
On Bonds and Clemens and working out -I think the difference is that stories were written about Clemens-the-workout-freak back in '86, before talk of steroids in baseball . . . while the first Bonds-the-workout-freak story I recall was 1999, just when his numbers took a huge upswing and right in the middle of the so-called "juiced period".

I have no idea if Clemens has ever juiced or not. I just think this is why the reaction is different. Race may also play a part, but I have no facts on that one, either.

2005-08-09 10:25:44
42.   Mike from Hoboken
If I were to bet on who the "high profile East Coast player is," I'd pick Jim Thome. Just a hunch.
2005-08-09 10:35:57
43.   Ben
Thome is a good guess, his production has dropped, nagging injuries, etc. The problem is, a lot of guys fit that description and they are all suspect right now.

Lost in all this is the fact that steroid is used the same way a drug is, to provide something the person feels he lacks. It may not be physically addictive, but I'm sure it is psychologically addictive. How else can you explain a guy like Palmeiro railing against accusations then getting caught still using. Sounds like classic drug abuse to me. I wouldn't mind seeing the baseball world treat this problem with a little more candor and less morality. Especially since they all but condoned usage up untill last year.

2005-08-09 10:45:17
44.   DrManhattan
Steve Kettmann (author of "One Day at Fenway and Cansco's ghostwriter for "Juiced") wrote a piece in TNR when the Verducci story first broke, in which he explicitly states that he believes Clemens was/is a steroid user:

It certainly would put the bat-throwing confrontation with Piazza in a new light, if true.

2005-08-09 11:37:35
45.   Alex Belth
"To insinuate that either Rivera or Jeter is on steroids because people are floating around that "a big name got busted" is just asinine!"

I never insinuated that Rivera or Jeter is on steroids. I said that I feared there will be more players busted and I that I hope beyond hope that it wouldn't be guys like Rivera, Jeter, Rodriguez, etc.

I also wrote, "It's hard to say anything would surprise me, but really, if Mariano Rivera or Derek Jeter were found using steroids it would shock me."

2005-08-09 11:39:41
46.   JohnnyC
Aha! It helped him throw the bat farther...and faster! Cheater!
2005-08-09 11:42:41
47.   Rich
I wouldn't be surprised if a Red Sox player tests positive for steroids. My guess would be Damon.
2005-08-09 11:43:09
48.   Yanks in NH
In the end, who really cares what exactly they do - they're illegal, so the users either need to clean up their act or get quicked out of baseball for good!
2005-08-09 11:44:27
49.   Yanks in NH
Why Damon - he'd be the last Red Sox I'd suspect?
2005-08-09 11:46:13
50.   Schteeve
I would not be shocked if it turned out that A-Rod had juiced. Slapgate and the play last night prove that he's not above "bending" the rules on the off chance that he might get away with something.

I'm not at all saying that I think he did, I'm just saying I wouldn't be shocked.

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2005-08-09 11:50:37
51.   Yanks in NH
"clean up their act or get quicked out of baseball" I do really know how to spell "kicked" - really I do!
2005-08-09 11:52:29
52.   Yanks in NH
Not A-Rod - he does not always have a solid grasp of the rules, but he has a wife who keeps him inline and would not let him mess around with steroids!
2005-08-09 12:01:29
53.   Zack
Damon is actually a very good call. Suddenly the past two years his production has skyrocketed, and his body has become more cut. The other Sox candidates I could imagine would be Ortiz (sudden production increase with the Sox, though not sold on it), Schilling (sudden paunch this season), and Gabe Kapler, though he was away until recently.
2005-08-09 12:12:52
54.   jedi
Gabe Kapler? That's like saying Tony Womack shoots up.

I wish it happened...

2005-08-09 12:15:57
55.   sam2175
I don't really know what this steroid program have really accomplished other than turning otherwise sane fans into wild guessings.

So far, the people busted are 1 first baseman, who was more of a finesse than power hitter, but could have benefitted (Cliff's point above), 3 OFers, most prominent being Alex Sanchez, known for his speed, and a few good relief pitchers, prominent being Rafael Betancourt and Juan Rincon, and Ryan Franklyn, a marginal starting pitcher.

Except for Palmeiro and the couple of RPs, none of them have even been successful MLers. Now, the range of names being discussed are Damon to Jeter to Mo to A-Rod. Nothing is out of the realm of possibility, but two things are probably worth mentioning,

1. More transparency is needed on this testing program, and

2. More precise knowledge on the subject of what skills are exactly enhanced by steroids are needed.

2005-08-09 12:17:07
56.   Mike from Hoboken
I guessed Thome above and I think that given his production and injury history it's a good guess. But now that someone mentioned Damon, I wonder if he's a strong possibility, too. Damon did a commercial not long ago for (I think) Puma where he appeared shirtless. His muscles had that puffy, rounded look that many people associate with steroid use and he had that sort of protruding midsection that a lot of 'roid users supposedly get. I know you aren't supposed to be able to tell by looking at someone, but as a gay man I've seen a lot of steroid-bloated Chelsea boys and it was startling how much Damon looked like one of them. (They have better haircuts than Damon, though.)
2005-08-09 12:22:55
57.   Monkey
Damon's production has really skyrocketed (especially for a leadoff hitter) and he is really a lot bigger than a) you think and b) he once was. He's also in that ever-important contract year going for what will more than likely be his last major contract. The chief diot needs to get P-A-I-D!
2005-08-09 12:29:47
58.   Hank
A couple comments...

First, I don't think the race issue can be ignored. We live in an era in which any athlete who rises significantly above his or her peers immediately comes under scrutiny. We've got nothing on Bonds -- not even from Canseco, I don't think -- but he's still generally assumed to be a user because he's big and putting up phenomenal numbers late into his forties. Ditto for Clemens, but he gets a pass. If you look beyond baseball, there's Lance Armstrong. In perhaps the dirtiest sport (drugwise, I mean) in the world, Armstrong has dominated like no athlete has ever dominated his sport. The Europeans are convinced he's cheating, Greg Lemond is convinced he's cheating, but the American press treats him like a saint. Meanwhile, Pedro Gómez has made a career of posting sneering and thinly veiled commentaries about Bonds throughout his rehab. The race issue is alive and well, believe me.

And now I've forgotten my second comment. Oh well.

2005-08-09 12:37:09
59.   Yanks in NH
"but two things are probably worth mentioning,

1. More transparency is needed on this testing program, and

2. More precise knowledge on the subject of what skills are exactly enhanced by steroids are needed."

Regarding 1) it's not right to tarnish someone's name for a false positive. Confirm it and then nail em to the wall, and 2) Why do we need to know what skills are enhanced - all we need to know is that their illegal (because of the long-term health consequences), so either stop using em or get out. Maybe, like the old days, these players can grind it out with just their own grit and determination and not rely on chemically and artificially enhancing their performance.

2005-08-09 12:40:08
60.   Monkey
Not to mention there's no test for HGH. The testing is hamstrung before it even starts.
2005-08-09 12:47:39
61.   sam2175
Yanks in NH,

Interesting points. However, is it really helping the way it is with the program? In place of actual users being identified, we now have a whole group of people pointing fingers at just about anyone, from Gabe Kapler to Alex Rodriguez. If false, wild accusations replace conviction, is anyone really better off?

False positives are really something you want to avoid, and due diligence has to be exercised there, however, the process could be speeded up and justice quickly delivered.

The second point about being illegal is well taken. It makes sense, however, from a purely academic point of view, to be able to put numbers from this era into perspective, and hence the knowledge is welcome (also can advance sports medicine as a subject, but once again, that is something of an academic interest). But that is, I believe, in second order in terms of importance.

2005-08-09 12:50:04
62.   Yanks in NH
How does the testing work - can they randomly ask any player and do they routinely test different people? Clemens probably has and will be tested.

Again, Bonds is under scrutiny because we are conditioned to believe that they are used primarily by sluggers to enhance performance and durability. The problem may well be as rampant with pitchers, but the perception (probably created by the press) is that it's the sluggers. Take any power hitter putting up numbers like Bonds at his age (black or white or any color for that matter) and in the current atmosphere, questions are going to come up about possible steroid use.

Since almost all the pitchers are not a focal point regarding steroid use, how can you say they are giving Clemens a pass (because he's white) and focusing on Bonds (because he's black). In fact, the only pitcher I heard of being possibly implicated (before today's posts) is Curt Schilling and what do you know - he's white.

Give the race thing a rest!

2005-08-09 12:55:04
63.   incarnadine
"I have a hard time believing that steroids actually greatly enhnace hitting. They cannot help anyone with timing and basic hand-eye co-ordination. Some mishits may fly out, and that is probably all that can happen. Realistically, it cannot help anymore than a corked bat."


I spent some time talking about this issue with an ex-Athletics farmhand, and what he said was essentially that if you are stronger, you can wait longer before you start your swing.

The extra time helps with pitch recognition and location, and could give you a big leg-up as far as hitting for average.

2005-08-09 12:59:58
64.   Murray
Am I missing something? Mark McGwire and Jason Giambi are both white. Both of them have gotten absolutely killed in the fallout from the PED scandal. McGwire's reputation is so shattered to bits that he was declared "unwelcome by fans in St. Louis" on ESPN's "Inside the Lines" Sunday morning by a columnist for the Post-Dispatch. Jason Giambi has been shredded everywhere he has gone this season and is the subject of juicing rumors now that he's playing well again. Meanwhile, Gary Sheffield, who actually testified before the BALCO grand jury, has gotten the freest free pass of anybody involved in the BALCO scandal this side of Randy Velarde.

That everybody assumes Bonds was juicing and nobody has assumed that Clemens is has nothing to do with race and everything to do with two factors: (i) the free pass all pitchers have received in the leveling of juicing charges against players; and (ii) that Bonds, but not Clemens, was subpoenaed by the grand jury in the BALCO scandal. Had Clemens been called to testify by the grand jury, then he, too, would be the subject of near-universal scorn and his reputation would be mud right now.

I could build an equally effective but similarly inane argument that juicing charges are biased against Californians. It's not racial.

2005-08-09 13:05:14
65.   sam2175

Thanks for the input, Cliff actually said something along similar lines before.

2005-08-09 15:26:33
66.   alasky
The speculation on this topic is totally ridiculous and painful to read. Ooh Ooh I know, it's John Olerud...I noticed his boys had shrunk a little bit last time I saw him adjust his cup...please stop, you're killing me
2005-08-09 16:14:07
67.   Simone
Alex, I think that suspicion of Clemens should be much stronger. It amazes me how it has never even occurred to most of the media. Canseco does suggest that Clemens used steroids in his book.

Hank, I completely with your comment. Race does play a role who gets a pass and who doesn't. The suspicions of Lance Armstrong should be off the chart given his long term association with Michele Ferrari, the Italian doctor found guilty of athletic fraud. Armstrong worked with this man for years and up until he was found guilty, defending him all the way. Armstrong has also made come questionable remarks about performance enhancing drugs. Yet none of this ever makes it way into the American sports media.

"I don't really know what this steroid program have really accomplished other than turning otherwise sane fans into wild guessings."

sam2175, I agree with you as well. Like Alex, I just keep hoping that no Yankee tests positive. On PTI today, Bud seemed to suggest that no big names were coming out so that is a relief.

2005-08-09 16:21:44
68.   yankz
Yikes, these White Sox commentators are awful. It's like they think that being entertaining means fluctuating your voice as much as possible. Someone needs to launch a pitch to rattle Contreras and shut these guys up.
2005-08-09 16:25:48
69.   yankz
The guy just said that the Yankee offense hasnt been consistently good. Does he not see the six guys batting .290 and above?! What does he think has carried this team to 10 games above .500, the stellar pitching???? Don't the Yankees lead the majors- or are awfully close to leading the majors- in runs per game? Sorry about the rant, but these guys are just pissing me off. I muted it, i couldnt take another word of "Contreras isnt going to be intimidated, hes giving the Yankees something theyre not used to, and thats challenging them and going right at them."
2005-08-09 17:15:12
70.   Dan-el
Yankz, agreed. They're real jerks.
2005-08-09 17:34:39
71.   tocho
Yankz, not to mention "good guys one, yankees nothing".

They are very bad but not even close to the Anaheim commentators.

The thing that pisses me off more is that Contreras is actually pitching really well. He got a huge strikeout on Giambi and is pitching efficiently (I know he had a couple of good games with the Yankees but he was never this efficient). Hopefully we get a couple of more men on base to get him of his rythm and make him throw more pitches!

2005-08-09 17:35:52
72.   tocho
BTW Chacon has been impressive.
2005-08-09 17:40:56
73.   singledd
4 hits yesterday, 2 today through 6 innings.
We need a plan!
2005-08-09 17:58:33
74.   Shaun P
I think now we know why the White Sox have been so successful this year - the pitchers don't give up many hits, and they don't walk anyone. Hard to believe that Contreras has given up only 1 walk against our line-up.

Fortunately, Chacon has pitched almost nearly as well as Contreras. Is it just because the White Sox lineup is bad (Timo Perez hitting 5th!?!)? Or did Cashman see something none of us did?

2005-08-09 18:08:33
75.   sam2175
Looks like Contreras is a man possessed today.

Time to go get Chacon, he has stopped throwing strikes after 100 pitches.

He did well, but he does put the reliever in a spot: 2 men on base without a single out.

Crap, he is still in the game and still throwing balls.

2005-08-09 18:11:35
76.   yankz
Chacon's been great. The offense HAS to get something done now, Chicago's bullpen is tough.
2005-08-09 18:11:39
77.   Rich
F-Rod has pitched 1/3 of an inning in a week, and Torre waws going to bring him in with the bases loaded. Fortunately, Chacon mooted the issue.

Contreras is showing what a pitcher can do once he gets away from Mel.

2005-08-09 18:20:26
78.   sam2175
Ahhh, that should have read with a single out. Chacon has been incredible, giving us what Clemens gives the Astros. Problem? Yankee offense is giving him less than what Astros give Clemens.
2005-08-09 18:22:27
79.   Rich
Torre gives F-Rod one batter. Moron.
2005-08-09 18:24:38
80.   sam2175
Ahhh, match-up mojo. Somene should tell Torre that F-Rod is actually better against lefties.
2005-08-09 18:24:56
81.   singledd
Contreras has always had filthy, nasty stuff. His ball has tremendous movement. With us, he would not throw strikes. This is not Mel's fault. Look at Small and Chacon. Mel must be a great coach.

Anyway, I though we dumped Contreras too soon.

2005-08-09 18:26:31
82.   Rich
Why do so many pitchers improve when they leave Mel?
2005-08-09 18:27:07
83.   Rosbif22
In regards to the "away from mel" thing...I thought contreras hasn't been doing too well this year?? does anybody know?
2005-08-09 18:28:38
84.   Rich
His ERA is 1.00 lower than it was last season.
2005-08-09 18:33:52
85.   Rosbif22
I am not, by any means, particularly skilled at analyzing looks as though some of peripheral statistics, k/9, k/bb are worse this year than last (although his avg. against is around 20 points lower) he just luckier this year, or is this something attributable to defense? or is he really a better pitcher now?
2005-08-09 18:35:23
86.   Rich
Kudos to Embree.
2005-08-09 18:36:24
87.   yankz
Is Embree turning into a viable option? He's pitched really well as of late...
2005-08-09 18:39:39
88.   Rich
I have to admit that Contreras's DIPS is virtually identical to what it was last season, but I don't think he has had the meltdowns that he had with the Yankees.
2005-08-09 18:42:18
89.   singledd
It may have something to do from being away NY, as opposed to Mel. Plenty of guys, not just pitchers, could not cut it in NY.

2003 NYY 3.30 OPS .597
2004 NYY 5.65 OPS .794
2004 CWS 5.30 OPS .772
2005 CWS 4.34 OPS .750

His Total NY ERA is lower then in Chicago, as was his OPS against. Trading him was a panic move. We thought we were getting an ace, but he is a number 3 guy.

Contreras had some great outing with NY, but on others he walked a ton of guys. How can you blame Mel for walks?

2005-08-09 18:45:22
90.   Rich
Holy shit, a fan fell out of the upper deck. When will they stop selling beer?
2005-08-09 18:47:27
91.   yankz
Wow, poor kid. I hope he's okay.
2005-08-09 18:52:41
92.   Shaun P
Way back when, Jay Jaffe and Steven Goldman were going to debate whether Mel was a good pitching coach, or a bad pitching coach. I never saw that it happened . . . but I sure would be curious to see it.

J.C. Bradbury ( has done some amazing research on "The Mazzone Effect". I wonder if it could be duplicated to see if there is a "Stottlemyre Effect" - even including data from the Mets, too.

2005-08-09 18:55:10
93.   Rich

Mystery Stottlemyre Theater

2005-08-09 18:59:55
94.   yankz
Boy, am I glad my just went out. I'm guessing the announcers are unbearable right now. Have they started making a case for Konerko for MVP?

A-Rod, Matsui, and Giambi need to homer in the 9th.

2005-08-09 19:00:22
95.   Rich
Torre can really handle a pen.

btw, Why did Jeter bunt?

2005-08-09 19:00:57
96.   Paul in Boston
May I be the first to mention that Konerko's home run reminded me of the one Sheffield hit off Embree earlier in the year? In other words, what on Earth was he doing facing the leading right-handed power hitter on the Sox in a 1 run game in the 9th?
2005-08-09 19:03:36
97.   Rich
If you're going to use Sturtze, why didn't he face Konerko?

That's why you don't just waste F-Rod.

2005-08-09 19:12:29
98.   yankz
I'm 1/3...
2005-08-09 19:13:17
99.   Rich
A-Rod homers. Thanks Torre, you are the worst manager ever.
2005-08-09 19:24:52
100.   Shaun P
Nothing like giving up an out just to advance Woemack - you know, the guy who is supposed to be able to steal. Meanwhile, Pierzynski has thrown out only 25% of the guys who've tried to steal on him . . . I hate the wasting of outs in a close game.

Thank God at least Bernie is on the bench to pinch hit for insta-out Tony. If he can draw a walk, and Jeter comes up . . .

Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2005-08-09 19:25:57
101.   yankz
I hate not being psychic. Posada's batting average is now .007 higher than Womack's. I hope Bernie still has a clutch swing left.
2005-08-09 19:27:36
102.   Shaun P
Thank you, Ozzie Guillen, for being dumb enough to bring in your "closer" just because its a close game. Small sample size, yes, but Bernie is 5 for 6 against Hermanson (when he was a starter). Keep your fingers crossed . . .
2005-08-09 19:29:23
103.   Shaun P
I almost just threw the Tivo remote through the TV. Summnabatch. Thanks for letting Embree pitch to a right-handed power-hitter, Joe.
2005-08-09 19:29:32
104.   Rich
Torre blew yet another win. He is the reason the Yankees aren't in first place.
2005-08-09 19:29:36
105.   rilkefan
BoSox manage to blow a big lead...
2005-08-09 19:31:11
106.   Rosbif22
what's going on now???
Gameday isn't updating!
2005-08-09 19:31:46
107.   yankz
My gameday (my was already messed up) froze. Did Bernie get out? Tough loss. If the yankees were destined to lose this game, I'm glad Jeter wasn't the last out AGAIN.
2005-08-09 19:32:19
108.   Rich
Bernie lined out hard to 1B to end the game with runners on 1st and 3rd.
2005-08-09 19:32:34
109.   Rosbif22
I saw it flash "SINGLE"...then it froze
2005-08-09 19:32:54
110.   Rosbif22
well, that sure wasn't what I was hoping for
2005-08-09 19:41:23
111.   randym77
That was a letdown of an ending.

Time to root for the Rangers. They scored five runs in the 7th to tie the Red Sox.

2005-08-09 19:53:06
112.   JohnnyC
Torre letting Embree face the White Sox's lone HR threat in a 1-0 game, top of the 9th, is indefensible. In what is tantamount to calling him an idiot, Kaat expressed his "surprise" at Torre's non-move. That's as far, I guess, as the Yankees announcers will go in "questionning" the great god Torre. Well, at least, we kept Sturtze out of the game, saving his arm for tomorrow afternoon...uh, what? He pitched after all. Well, it was a good thought. Too bad that thought hadn't strayed into his tiny mind in May or June instead of a 1-0 game against the best team in baseball at home while you're trying to match victories with Boston and Oakland. It's always something, isn't it?
2005-08-09 20:26:47
113.   yankeefan1
Joe torre sucks, ive been saying the yankees should have fired him for years, bringing weaver into the world series, bringing quantrill in last year, not to mention the 15 or so games he has lost on his own part with his idiotic managing this year. joe torre has lost it but it seems steinbrenner has lost it worse and is in serious bad health or else torre would have been turfed back in may
2005-08-09 21:01:28
114.   yankz
Torre bashing aside (I'm not disagreeing with any of it), who to send out for the 8th inning shouldn't have been an issue. Chacon pitches 7 innings of 3 hit ball against the best team in the bigs. This offense shouldve been able to score two measly runs. I'm beginning to believe that the reason we'll miss the playoffs is not so much the lack of quality pitching, its the lack of timely hitting to back up what pitching we have. Chacon should be 3-0 to back up his 1.42 ERA as a Yankee. Shut out by Contreras, the irony hurts so badly.
2005-08-09 21:11:11
115.   JohnnyC
Hey, the White Sox have the lowest team ERA in the league. Yes, it's ironic it's Contreras (BTW, Don Cooper must be fluent in Spanish 'cos Mel couldn't figure him out, right?) but not unexpected. Torre bashing is the point because the game was in hand...ARod, Matsui, Giambi vs. Hermanson with only a 1 run deficit to make up. You do everything within your power to win this game. That does not include doing something as blatantly stupid as pitching Embree against a right-handed power hitter. With Boston as vulnerable as they are, we'll miss the playoffs because of Torre, plain and simple.
2005-08-10 00:00:34
116.   brockdc
I am damn tired of searching for the logic in Torre's in-game strategy.
2005-08-10 04:45:39
117.   dtrain
Looks like we're not the only ones pissed off about Joe's idiocy:

"I'm not pleased with the manager," Steinbrenner said as he made his way to his sedan about 40 minutes after the game.

..."I don't know about why they left the lefthander in," Steinbrenner said, dressed in his vintage blue blazer. "He had a good inning and they kept him in there. He should never have pitched to Konerko - he's their best hitter."

2005-08-10 19:50:28
118.   mindy
I'm reaching way back in the comments section to #41. You state that Clemens has always been a work out freak since '86 and Bonds just started in '99, however, Clemens didn't really start his "navy seal" workouts until he hooked up with his current trainer which is when he was traded to Toronto in the late '90s. Thus going on to win his 4th and 5th Cy Youngs in a row. Coincidence? I hate to think it is Clemens, but that seems awfully ironic to me.

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