Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Alex Rodriguez, Steroids, and 103 More

February 11, 2009 - Now I want to know. I want to know the names of the one hundred and three other players who were so stupid, that not only they took an illegal substance to cheat their way into the record books, or to a better contract, or just to the major leagues, and even though they knew that testing was coming, kept up with it. That stupidity, if nothing else, negates their rights to privacy. And we alll know, that right was breached the moment Balco and the federal investigation came into play. And I want to know, because I'm tired of the dribs and drabs of not knowing who was involved and the start of the next baseball season being tarred and feathered with a story about the steroid ball era. Let's get this out in the light of day, take our final measure of the situation as far as what it meant to that tainted era of baseball, then move forward. Oh, I know, the 103 more won't be a definitive list. It will only contain those stupid ones; there were others who had done things before, and probably after, but had stopped before the test. Yes, there probably were. And that's why I'm proposing a final call and policy to account for this.

Steroid Admittance Plan - In concert with legal authorities, offer amnesty to all players, including the 103, Barry Bonds, Miguel Tejada, Roger Clemens, etc., that if they come clean to what they did and when they did it, we will not prosecute, if that comes up, and we will not penalize their careers in baseball in the future. But why would they come forward if not already caught? The penalty for not coming forward is possible prosecution, and if found out by baseball below a legal situation, they would be barred, not only from the Hall of Fame, but working in baseball ever again.

Once we know what, when, who, and what affect it likely had, then baseball can decide what to do about its records. Baseball Writers can decide, with more complete information, whether any of these guys deserve induction into Cooperstown. As for the records, at the minimum, if the suspicions for those involved hold up, the Home Run records revert back to Hank Aaron and Roger Maris. I don't think that's too tough a deal to strike. It's only fair, and right, and just. No asterisk. They're gone, pushed off to the side. Not unlike the World Record by Ben Johnson in the Olympic Games. Not unlike a horse who wins a race, then is DQD for some infraction of his jockey. Not unlike a high school who used an ineligible player, then had to forfeit the game.

Now to Alex Rodriguez. He has now admitted that he did performance enhancing drugs, even if he didn't know what they were, for a period of time, ... he says 2001-3, so that he could justify his contract. Well, there was no justifying that contract or his new one, for that matter. And Mr. Hicks ought to ask for some of that money back, and so should the Yankees. His stats, which they based the money on, weren't the real ones, after all.

Now whether we believe that he used performance enhancing drugs before or after his stint with the Texas Rangers or not is another story. But he has no doubt now joined those on the list of admitted cheats, with more than a few on the think they did it, but have no proof. And his chase of Hank Aaron's 755 home runs has been painted with a steroid brush, tainted forever. But if we believe his timetable, just how much should he be docked, if at all, for that time period.

Totals for 3 Year Periods, Before, During, After

1998-2000 SEA 125 HR, 367 RBI, 68.542 PEVA Player Rating
2001-2003 TEX 156 HR, 395 RBI, 76.868 PEVA
1998-2000 NYA 119 HR, 357 RBI, 72.912 PEVA

During these three time frames, the park factors at SEA and NYA had an average of 98, while Texas averaged 107.3. If you take these into account, a cursory study of, for example, the adjusted Home Run totals, would look somethiing like this. SEA 127.55, TEX 145.39, NYA 121.43. If you average the three years before and after, you can deduct, that Alex Rodriguez hit 20.9 more home runs during his admitted steroid years than he would have without them, or 13.4% more. Now, a more detailed look would have to include age and other factors. Rodriguez was 26-28 during those years in Texas, which most people consider the prime years for production. But it's a start, folks.

We'll stop our rant here and won't hold our breath for the Steroid Admittance Plan we've proposed. But I do want to know. I want to know those 103 more names, and the names of all the others. I want to know if I should really consider Greg Maddux for the top of the era's pitcher list, or whether Randy Johnson should jump ahead of Roger Clemens. At least you can't cheat height. Well, I don't think you can yet. And maybe Jeff Bagwell is the best hitter of the era, not McGwire, Sosa, or Bonds. ... Or maybe not. It's time to clear up that question.

No comments:

Post a Comment