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Which is the cleanest World Series winning team in the past 15 years?

Apr 12, 2011, 2:33 PM EDT

Roger Clemens Piazza bat

Lots of back and forth in the comments today about how Manny Ramirez and friends tainted the 2004 and 2007 Red Sox World Series championships. In response, Red Sox fans are citing the Yankees teams for having tons of PED-connected dudes. If it helps, you’re all right!

But enough of the he-said, he-said (women never engage in such silly arguments around here). Time to get empirical about it.  Which The Common Man has done over at The Platoon Advantage today, running down each of the past 15 World Series champs and detailing the members of their roster who have had PED-associations.

One team doesn’t have any, however. One team since 1995 has had no members who have had a PED accusation leveled against them.  I won’t reveal it here — you have to click through for that — but see if you can guess.  I guessed wrong.

  1. billtpa - Apr 12, 2011 at 2:36 PM

    Great thing about it is that in my (biased) opinion, that one team was, in the more traditional baseball sense, the “dirtiest” world champ of that period.

  2. ThatGuy - Apr 12, 2011 at 2:37 PM

    Prior to looking i’m going to guess Florida Marlins…

    • ThatGuy - Apr 12, 2011 at 2:45 PM

      Way off…

  3. halladaysbicepts - Apr 12, 2011 at 2:42 PM

    Craig, how about them 1995 World Series Champion Atlanta Braves?

    • Craig Calcaterra - Apr 12, 2011 at 2:44 PM

      How about them? They’re no different than anyone else.

      • halladaysbicepts - Apr 12, 2011 at 2:46 PM

        I would guess that they never had a PED accuation against them. Am I correct?

      • vikesfansteve - Apr 12, 2011 at 10:46 PM

        That team was guilty of being a benefit of PEU

        Performance Enhancing Umpires

        Pitches easily 3 inches off the plate called strikes

        Don’t believe me try watching the series highlights on the MLB network

        Or just watch the clinching game & how many way outside pitches were called strikes & the look of total disbelief on the faces of the Indians player

        What a total shame

    • nps6724 - Apr 12, 2011 at 2:49 PM

      I didn’t check all the teams’ players, but the two Braves mentioned (David Justice and Kent Mercker) were both implicated in the 00’s. Justice supposedly bought from Kirk Radomski in ’00 or ’01 and Mercker in ’02.

      No one on the ’95 Braves has ever been suspected of using before or during the ’95 season. And really, if you’re going to judge the “cleanliness” of World Series teams, shouldn’t it be based on whether the players were using during that season?

      • halladaysbicepts - Apr 12, 2011 at 2:55 PM

        Ah, that’s right. I forgot about Justice. Never knew about Mercker.

        My second guess would then be the 06 Cardinals, obviously minus McGuire, who was retired by then.

      • b7p19 - Apr 12, 2011 at 3:06 PM

        I think you’re missing the point. There is no way to know who, what, when, where, even why (did it even help?). The point is that there was a steroid era and these are the champions of said era. There is no point in arguing about one team being dirty because chances lean heavily toward “they all were.”

        Only one team truly got robbed by steroids: 1998 San Diego Padres. They were clean as a whistle and the Yankees (especially Tino Martinez), stole the series from them with obvious cheating. (Being a Padres fan had no bearing on this paragraph.)

      • GSheffield - Apr 12, 2011 at 4:35 PM

        The ’98 Padres were made of steroids.

      • The Common Man/ - Apr 12, 2011 at 5:19 PM

        Yeah, you’re not serious, are you @b7p19? That’s Ken Caminiti’s MVP year.

  4. bengrimm - Apr 12, 2011 at 2:44 PM

    “back in forth”

  5. yankeesfanlen - Apr 12, 2011 at 2:48 PM

    White Sox were a “throwback” team- too drunk on Old Style to be bothered.

    • ThatGuy - Apr 12, 2011 at 3:52 PM


      On another note, I thought I had heard/read at one point or another Dye being associated with roids, but a google search failed to bring anything up. Anyone else recall that or is my mind playing tricks because he was a big slugger.

    • fquaye149 - Apr 12, 2011 at 4:06 PM

      Falstaff, len!

      • heyblueyoustink - Apr 12, 2011 at 4:50 PM

        Falstaff? Brilliant King Harry, brilliant….

  6. clydeserra - Apr 12, 2011 at 2:49 PM

    The interesting thing about the team that hasn’t had anyone linked is there was a very big and vocal opponent of steroids in the clubhouse. A person who I would expect to exert a lot of control of the players on the team.

  7. heyblueyoustink - Apr 12, 2011 at 2:52 PM

    Hmmm, I don’t know, that Pierzynski goes all postal from time to time……

    ( I jest )

    And it’s an era……I don’t imagine there’s any team in any year leading up to the apex of this whole thing that could have made the claim that the entire roster was clear……and I wouldn’t believe them if they did.

  8. O.Handwasher - Apr 12, 2011 at 2:59 PM


    • halladaysbicepts - Apr 12, 2011 at 3:02 PM

      I don’t think so. Luis Gonzalez was accused of juicing…

    • clydeserra - Apr 12, 2011 at 3:03 PM

      Schilling may have been vocal, but I don’t think he was ever accused of being listened to.

      • halladaysbicepts - Apr 12, 2011 at 3:09 PM

        When Schilling played in Philly, then GM Ed Wade once said of Schilling: “Curt is a horse for us every fifth day, and a horse’s a** every other day”.

  9. bigxrob - Apr 12, 2011 at 3:07 PM

    I would think you need to exclude any team prior to PED testing being implemented. We just don’t know who did or didn’t, and we never will. This is the exact problem with keeping guys we know used out of the hall of fame. You still may vote in a user who did, but hasn’t been implicated.

  10. mdpickles - Apr 12, 2011 at 3:09 PM

    Your 2008 World ****** Champion Phillies!

    • halladaysbicepts - Apr 12, 2011 at 3:14 PM

      Unfortunately, no. J.C. Romero was suspended 50 games in 09′ for PEDs. He claimed it was some bad supplements that he took. LOL!

    • bigxrob - Apr 12, 2011 at 3:14 PM

      JC Romero

  11. Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Apr 12, 2011 at 3:21 PM

    2005 Sox fa sho. Nothing is cleaner than Ozzie and crew. Am I being facetious? You be the judge.

  12. delawarephilliesfan - Apr 12, 2011 at 3:30 PM

    Ahhhhh, but the quiz has it wrong on Romero. He did not test postiive for Andro, he tested positive for 6-OXO, which admittedly, can be used to mask Andro use. None the less, 6-OXO has never been proven to enhance anything. It is banned, and he took it, so to that extent it is correct to say Romero was suspended under that regimen. But the question was “alleged users of Performance Enhancing Drugs”, and 6-OXO is not a PED.

    Note that every other team (save the 2005 White Sox) had someone who took steroids or HGH. Score another one for the Phillies, America’s team!

    • clydeserra - Apr 12, 2011 at 3:33 PM

      but most of those teams had people accused during periods that were not the championship year.

      Not to say all teams were without users, but the “tainted” player usually was not “tainted” the year of the championship.

      Of course if you ask my opinion, All teams have at least one player doing something he shouldn’t

    • halladaysbicepts - Apr 12, 2011 at 3:35 PM

      Yes. You are very wise and correct, sir. The Philadelphia Phillies, America’s favorite team and international sensation. Proud to be a Philadelphian today!!!!

  13. umrguy42 - Apr 12, 2011 at 4:13 PM

    Alas, it’s been updated – apparently there are NO clean teams. They found somebody.

    • umrguy42 - Apr 12, 2011 at 4:21 PM

      Although I still have to say if all you got on the ’06 Cards was LaRussa and Larry “who?” Bigbie, it’s kinda weaksauce…

  14. thefalcon123 - Apr 12, 2011 at 4:20 PM

    ALMOST the 2006 Cardinals! Larry Bigbie had 28 plate appearances that year entire season spanned from May 9th to June 4th.

    • paperlions - Apr 12, 2011 at 4:25 PM

      Obviously, Bigbie was falsely accused or didn’t use the HGH he bought…because if he had he would have hit like Manny Ramirez or Mark McGuire or Barry Bonds…that’s what steroids and HGH are…wonder drugs that create super stars out of Larry Bigbies….that’s how we know that only about 15 players cheated the last 20 years….because if there had been 100s or 1000s of cheaters then everyone would have 500+ HRs or 3000+ Ks (for pitchers, not hitters)

      • deathmonkey41 - Apr 12, 2011 at 5:42 PM

        If they didn’t help players- players wouldn’t risk getting caught taking them and having to live with the stigma- especially players that are supposedly headed for the Hall of Fame and know they will be left out if caught. This “Steroids don’t help you hit a baseball” argument is the lamest thing I ever heard. They make you stronger and increase your bat speed. They helpled guys like Brady Anderson and Luis Gonzalez hit over 50 HRs even though they never did it before or after.

      • paperlions - Apr 12, 2011 at 7:14 PM

        Feel free to explain the correlation of power numbers with changes in the baseball in mid-1993….or do you think that everyone started taking steroids in the middle of that year?
        Many people have looked for the signal of steroid usage in the offensive numbers and no one can find it….if there was an effect that was measurable, someone would have found it by now.
        Your comfort level of assuming an explanation without bothering to gather any information whatsoever is lame…..and people do all sorts of things that don’t have any benefit because someone said it might.
        Any study of hitting mechanics and power generation will demonstrate to you that muscle mass is not the primary determinant behind creating power in a baseball swing.

    • deathmonkey41 - Apr 13, 2011 at 12:25 PM

      You’re right- without steroids, Brady Anderson probably would have hit 50 HRs even though he never hit more than 24 in one year and was usually in the single digits. Luiz Gonzalez probably would have hit 57 HRs and the fact that he power numbers plummeted every year after that probably was unrelated. David Ortiz probably would have hit 54 HRs. And Barry Bonds definatley would have hit 73. You are absolutely correct- absolutely no connection there.

  15. baseballstars - Apr 12, 2011 at 5:31 PM

    I guessed the 2006 St. Louis Cardinals. I was almost right. I can’t even remember Larry Bigbie.

    Pablo Ozuna got busted for the White Sox.

  16. deathmonkey41 - Apr 12, 2011 at 5:33 PM

    If Craig wasn’t such an unabashed Yankee hater, he probably would have included the caveat that the original steroid investigation was done by Senator Mitchell- who was a Director of the Boston Red Sox at the time of the investigation- a strange coincidence considering how a whole bunch of Yankee player names were named in his report and no prime time Red Sox players were until the NYT found that Manny and Big Pop Up had also tested positive. Bud Selig dropped the ball on this whole thing. How you can have a someone associated with a team doing an investigation like this and expect to take it seriously?

  17. hansgruber - Apr 12, 2011 at 5:49 PM

    This is flawed research.

    1. “Cleanliness” is a relative thing. For any given year, how “clean” was the championship team RELATIVE TO THE OTHER TEAMS THAT YEAR? Steroid use was rampant before the “anonymous” testing began in 2004. It would be reasonable to assume the beginning of testing put some limitations on steroid use starting in 2004, and the subsequent mandatory penalties caused a further reduction. But a straight-up comparison of the 1999 Yankees and 2010 Giants is meaningless.

    2. Do we have comprehensive test data on all of the players? Not really. The Mitchell report identifies some (but certainly not all) steroid users. Does anyone think current testing is foolproof? Manny Ramirez was caught once in 2004, again in 2009, and lastly in 2011. Does anyone think he wasn’t somehow beating the test program in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2010? Who has the list of juicers who are successfully beating the test? Because of the limited data, some of the “cleanest” teams could be the “dirtiest” and nobody would ever know.

    Reading between the lines of the Mitchell report, it seems certain teams were tolerant of steroid use, and others would trade away or refuse to sign suspected users. Although the available data is probably too sparse to form any conclusions, it would be interesting to compute each team’s tolerance for steroid use as a function of the number of its players that were caught — and the teams’ willingness to acquire players who later turned out to be on the juice.

    • The Common Man/ - Apr 12, 2011 at 7:36 PM

      Perhaps you are a flawed reader (or didn’t read my post at all), Hans. The point is simply that steroids were fairly ubiquitous over the last 15 years, and no team was untouched by PEDs. So if it was everywhere, perhaps it’s not worth our time to be constantly analyzing who was using and who wasn’t.

  18. rapmusicmademedoit - Apr 12, 2011 at 7:17 PM

    Bad news Bears …………………..

  19. rapmusicmademedoit - Apr 12, 2011 at 7:19 PM

    Cleveland Indians, with Charlie Sheen……….wining………….

  20. notdumb - Apr 12, 2011 at 8:25 PM

    this is such a loser argument. do you know why the marginal players are rarely talked about in these arguments when they juice just as much if not more than the stars? because nobody is jealous of or feel imasculated by the players who aren’t any good

  21. mrznyc - Apr 13, 2011 at 9:16 AM

    Not enough time yet. Canseco is the only person from that era who has spoken up – But – When asked who’s fault it all was, Ron Darling said that all of baseball – that includes the players, coaches, managers, executives, owners and writers – All of baseball could be divided into two groups, those who took steroids and those who knew who was taking steroids – No one said anything – Eventually people will start to talk and more of the truth will come out – Too soon, right now.

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