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What if Clay Matthews Jr. was a baseball player?

Jan 24, 2011, 1:06 PM EDT

NFC Championship Football

If a baseball player had gained nearly 100 pounds of muscle between the ages of 16 and 22, what would be said about such a player? HBT reader and former major leaguer Bob Tufts asks, and I’d really like to know the answer.

Bob also talks about the football and NBA labor situations, which could make baseball the hottest sport next fall and winter. By default!

Be thankful that you’re baseball fans people. Be very, very thankful.


  1. Chris Fiorentino - Jan 24, 2011 at 1:10 PM

    Why do baseball writers have to have such an inferiority complex about football? You are approaching us “Philly Fans” in your blatant insecurity about the #1 sport. Can’t we all just get along?

  2. BC - Jan 24, 2011 at 1:14 PM

    Um… I’d call him a late bloomer?
    His dad and uncle weren’t exactly puny dudes.

    • Chris Fiorentino - Jan 24, 2011 at 1:18 PM

      BC, the baseball writers don’t let the facts about the other sports get in the way of a good zinger or two. Ask a baseball writer and they will assure you that the NFL season for 2011 is already canceled.

      • BC - Jan 24, 2011 at 1:31 PM

        Oh shoot. That’s right. Thank you for the intervention.

      • spudchukar - Jan 24, 2011 at 1:59 PM

        We have a Superiority Complex, not Inferiority Complex.

  3. Rosenthals Speling Instrukter - Jan 24, 2011 at 1:20 PM

    If we lived in a perfect world nobody would use HGH and my Padres would be going for title 28 this year to pass the Yanks.

    • clydeserra - Jan 24, 2011 at 2:03 PM

      Did they win one in 1996 when Caminiti was MVP?

      • Rosenthals Speling Instrukter - Jan 24, 2011 at 2:38 PM

        They cannot win even with the roids.


  4. mrfloydpink - Jan 24, 2011 at 1:28 PM

    I hate to say it, but I basically agree with Fiorentino here. This is the second post today where you’ve basically slammed football/football fans. We get it, you think the NFL sucks and its fans are hypocrites. I am personally a baseball #1 type of guy, but I like football too. I wish you didn’t feel the need to badmouth football so much; it’s kinda beneath you.

    • Craig Calcaterra - Jan 24, 2011 at 1:32 PM

      I think football can handle it.

      • dluxxx - Jan 24, 2011 at 1:46 PM

        I still think it makes you seem petty.

        You normally have very insightful pieces, but this IS getting a little rediculous. I followed Gleeman over here, and am overly impressed with the content, but seriously, get over it.

        As to putting on almost 100 pounds of muscle in 6 years… well, I managed to put on 25 pounds of muscle in a matter of 3 months when I entered basic training. I’m pretty sure that Uncle Sam wasn’t juicing me up, so the only other reasonable alternative to that is that maybe my change in conditioning, workout habits, and diet dramatically changed my physique. I went in at 165 and came out at 190. I was a 3 sport athlete (well, some would argue against the athlete part, but I wasn’t bad at 2 of the 3) so it isn’t like I was a pudgy slacker. I’m pretty sure that if I had professional training, I would have continued to build muscle and bulked up more. At age 16 I wrestled at 145 lbs, so between age 16 and 19 I added 45 lbs of muscle.

      • Craig Calcaterra - Jan 24, 2011 at 1:52 PM

        Fair enough. I know I’m being petty with this. There are a couple of minor topics on which I just can’t help myself, however.

        The 100 pounds of muscle thing, however, is not just a dig at football: it’s a dig at baseball as well. Any slugger in the 90s gets bigger and the refrain is “that can’t be natural.” Well, of course it can.

        I’d much rather people not ask the bulk-up questions about baseball players than actually do so for football players.

      • Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Jan 24, 2011 at 1:57 PM

        Don’t be so sure that the gov didn’t pump you full of HGH to make you a super-soldier. You may also want to make sure you are not a cyborg. Here’s an easy way to check: when you get hungry do you, A, want to eat a burger, B, want to eat a live chicken, C, want to eat a dump truck, or D, all of the above? If you answer A, you are human. If B, you are Ozzie Osbourne. If C, you are a terminator sent from the future to kill John Connor. Finally, If you choose D, then you are Rosie O’Donnell.

        ps. Sorry, Rosie. You were the first fatty that came to mind.

      • bigcatasroma - Jan 24, 2011 at 2:00 PM

        Craig, don’t back down. You’re perturbed for two reasons: 1) football players get a free pass when they have abnormal (i.e. not usual) muscle development (steroids, natural, whatever – but guess what, I *doubt* someone can gain 100 lbs “naturally,” whatever that means) and 2) baseball media (or national media) and many fans in this country *are* hypocrites – it’s a story if it happens in baseball and it’s wrong and it tarnishes baseball’s image, but when it happens in football, it’s all good.

        Anyone who thinks these football players are the size they are and as fast as they are without the same type of enhancements that people like Jeff Bagwell are accused of using is ridiculous. Now, what is natural? Who knows, who cares. Anyone who read the story / knows about the velvet deer antler stuff knows, we are now into the twilight zone – naturally occurring substances can be “enhancers.” Well, duh, that’s why Jack LaLanne and the guy from Beauty and the Beast ate a dozen eggs and rare beef. Protein is good. Similarly, HgH is good.

        It’s just a weird thing that American fans/media talk about football players and baseball players and the stuff they do to help them perform differently.

      • dluxxx - Jan 24, 2011 at 2:12 PM

        Yeah, after re-reading the article, I see you are making a point that some of these people should just shut up in regards to what their eyes tell them. If they haven’t tested positive, then leave them alone. Either they are very good at cheating, or they just happen to be superb specimins (and considering the amount of skill you have to have to make it to the top tier of any sport, you must be superb).

        Just because Joe Blow can’t hold a training regimine and diet required to maximize their body’s growth, doesn’t mean someone else can’t. Look at those P90X commercials. You see guys blow up in 90 days. Sure, results aren’t typical, but you have to admit that with proper training you can get pretty ripped without the juice.

      • dluxxx - Jan 24, 2011 at 2:19 PM

        @ Mr. Heyward, I’m not sure what they pumped me full of, but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t HGH (not that I’d really put it past them). As to the decision, I’ll go with F) a burger and a broasted chicken. Not a big fan of salmoella, but I love me some Ozzy.

  5. baseballstars - Jan 24, 2011 at 1:41 PM

    Be thankful the 1994 World Series never happened? Yes, the NFL looks like it’s going to a lockout, but baseball fans shouldn’t hold our noses up.

  6. Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Jan 24, 2011 at 1:52 PM

    If Clay Matthews was a baseball player, the first time he was beaned he’d charge the mound and eat the pitcher.

    • dluxxx - Jan 24, 2011 at 2:07 PM

      Would that make him Rosie O’Donnell?

    • Rosenthals Speling Instrukter - Jan 24, 2011 at 2:38 PM

      What if the pitcher was Nolan Ryan. I could see Mr. Matthews getting an ass kicking.

    • Panda Claus - Jan 24, 2011 at 2:41 PM

      If Clay Matthews was a baseball player…

      …then the Brewers would be in the Super Bowl?

    • Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Jan 24, 2011 at 3:27 PM

      Clay Matthews would eat and easily digest Nolan Ryan for an mid-afternoon snack. Have you seen that guy or seen his MMA workout regimen? He’s a scary son of a bitch.

      • Rosenthals Speling Instrukter - Jan 25, 2011 at 9:41 AM

        Maybe but once Nolan Ryan goes into Hulk mode all bets are off. I never bet against a pissed off red-ass.

  7. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Jan 24, 2011 at 1:53 PM

    I don’t think it is badmouthing football as much as pointing out the immense double standard about the PED issue. In football it seems be be much closer to an accepted part of the sport’s culture, while in baseball it is the greatest sin of all time, at least according to the most visible members of their respective media.

    Nobody is wringing their hands about who from the 70’s gets into Canton.

  8. hasbeen5 - Jan 24, 2011 at 1:55 PM

    I have to agree with the commenters here. I’m definitely a baseball fan first but I love college football and I don’t hate the NFL. I get that you don’t like football, but why can’t we like both? I mean, college football continues for 2 months after baseball season is over, NFL for 3 months. I personally would rather watch sports than Dancing with the Stars or Everybody Loves Raymond reruns.

    • Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Jan 24, 2011 at 1:58 PM

      Hey ELR was a good show. Although I agree with you that football is awesome and superior to ELR and Dancing with douchebags.

    • sportsdrenched - Jan 24, 2011 at 4:41 PM

      I agree too. Baseball is my favorite sport. But I really enjoy high school, college, and NFL Football. I also like NASCAR, PGA Golf, and the NHL. That’s why my handle is sportsdrenched. That’s the great thing about sports, it’s not a mutually exclusive thing. Baseball isn’t going to get jealous when I go play golf. There will be another game on later.

      If there isn’t a game/race/match on TV to watch. I’m not watching TV.

  9. macjacmccoy - Jan 24, 2011 at 1:59 PM

    Nothing if he had a family worth of major league caliber players who also were monsters in size like Clay Matthews does.

    • aaronmoreno - Jan 24, 2011 at 2:15 PM

      Is it also nothing if he also played in the same unit with a known steroid user the same time he bulked up?

  10. proudlycanadian - Jan 24, 2011 at 1:59 PM

    A bit of a non story. It happens to a lot of young men. Many of us simply “Fill out”. I went from being a 6 ft 2 inch string bean weighing140 when I was 16, to weighing 220 when I was 22. I did not work out. I did not exercise. Eating cafeteria food while at University was a contributing factor.

    • BC - Jan 24, 2011 at 2:01 PM

      I went from 165 at age 25 to weighing 230 at age 29. I suspect that Budweiser and my ex-wife had more to do with that then the PED’s I was taking…..

    • spudchukar - Jan 24, 2011 at 2:03 PM

      I thought John Candy was dead?

    • Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Jan 24, 2011 at 2:06 PM

      That raises a good point: I argue that having an ex-wife may be a PED in a sense. I will begin an investigation immediately.

      • BC - Jan 24, 2011 at 2:44 PM

        All I know is I’ve enjoyed my performance a heck of a lot more since the divorce….

      • Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Jan 24, 2011 at 3:28 PM


    • bigcatasroma - Jan 24, 2011 at 2:07 PM

      proudlycanadian, I doubt that when you “filled out” you were able to pull a dump truck down a street or do 50 pull-ups in a row or something on the cafeteria food. It’s just pointing out the double standards. Heck, look at pictures of young Bret Favre and pictures of him today. He “filled out.” Same with Donovan McNabb. Or anyone in the NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE. So when a football player does it, it’s good weight lifting or training, and when a baseball player does it, it’s steroids.

      The difference between the two sports really is summed up by Carlin’s iconic bit. And it becomes even more pronounced now, 30-40 years later or whatever it is. Football is violent, reckless, powerful – look at what’s happening today to Cutler. Dude tears a knee ligament, and everyone who views it from afar is calling him a wuss. It’s a sport that is only about ignorance and violence, and yet pretends (based on BS playbooks and such) to be cerebral – no, it’s not, it’s a bunch of chemicalled-upped dudes running at each other to injure each other for about 12 minutes over a 4 hour stretch. Everything covered in the media between the two is hypocritical. For example, baseball games are too long, but NFL games are fine? Please. There’s more action in one inning. That’s just the tip of the iceberg. It would be interesting for an entire book or sociological study, to determine this hypocritical stance, where it developed over the last 20-30 years, why, etc.

  11. macjacmccoy - Jan 24, 2011 at 2:08 PM

    Barry Bonds’ Dad looked nothing like Barry Bonds in size or strength after he put on all that weight so fast. On the other Clay Matthews looked nothing like his Dad or Uncle before he put on all that size or strength. Thats the difference Matthews was just growing into what he was suppose to be while a guy like Bonds was dramatically out growing the size hes genes said he should.

    • BC - Jan 24, 2011 at 2:45 PM

      That’s where my head is at. Well put.

    • seattlej - Jan 24, 2011 at 2:48 PM

      I’m not saying it’s right or wrong, but doesn’t that just raise the question of why his dad/uncle looked that way? This reasoning doesn’t really get you anywhere except back a generation.

    • solidzac - Jan 24, 2011 at 2:52 PM

      I’m much, much larger than anyone else in my family. My brother is lucky enough to be as thin as a twig no matter what he does, I’m lucky enough to easily maintain a large frame and athletic build even when I don’t work out. All of my cousins are either average or thin, like my brother. So, the question becomes: What exactly are you accusing me of, Mac?

  12. Jonny 5 - Jan 24, 2011 at 2:11 PM

    I didn’t think this was a slam on football, football players, or the writers. I thought it was a slam on all the people pointing fingers at certain baseball players for doing steroids. Because apparently they’ve been blessed with super powers where they can tell they do, or did steroids by looking at them. And the sad part is many have the power to keep them out of the HOF, and will if they can.

  13. paperlions - Jan 24, 2011 at 2:20 PM

    It is not natural to put on so much muscle mass in your 30s, and almost impossible to do so naturally after 35. In contrast, it is very natural to put on a lot of muscle from ages 16-22, and if you worked out vigorously during that time…100 lbs of muscle is probably not unusually during those 6 years.

  14. heyzeus143 - Jan 24, 2011 at 2:54 PM

    1994 had a super bowl, 2012 will too

  15. Lukehart80 - Jan 24, 2011 at 3:07 PM

    I feel like a lot of people (including Craig, based on his admission to being petty) are missing what I saw at the point of this post:

    There’s a huge double-standard in how muscle growth is perceived by much of the mainstream media and many fans when it happens in baseball vs. football.

    Either ANYONE gaining 100 pounds in a few years should raise your suspicion, or muscle increase shouldn’t ever be enough to raise your suspicion.

    Personally, I don’t find Matthews’ growth that hard to believe. I’m sure he’s eaten a ton, taken a lot of legal supplements, and worked his ass off. There’s no reason the same can’t be true for numbers of baseball players who’ve been tainted by slander.

  16. Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Jan 24, 2011 at 3:29 PM

    Is pie a PED?

  17. sportsdrenched - Jan 24, 2011 at 4:30 PM

    The original thread said 100 pounds “of muscle”. Did he gain 100 lbs from 16 to 22, or 100 lbs “of muscle”. There is a difference in my eyes.

    If he just gained 100 pounds I could see that happening naturually with a good fitness regimine. I wrestled at a flabby 170 when I was 14, and wrestled at a solid 260 when I was 18. To be clear that was not all “muscle”.

    If it was 100 lb of “muscle” most likely he was using “something” But it could have been OTC.

    But, I agree with the general premise that society and the media are wholly un-informed when it comes to these issues.

  18. sportsdrenched - Jan 24, 2011 at 4:31 PM

    …and when did Gunner Nelson sign a contract with the Packers?

  19. theseaward - Jan 24, 2011 at 5:20 PM

    A bigger and more important question would be ‘What if Gary Matthews Jr. was a baseball player?’

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