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John Harper of the Daily News: Only a sometimes steroids skeptic

May 24, 2011, 12:35 PM EDT

Detroit Tigers v New York Yankees Getty Images

In the wake of this morning’s Daily News column by John Harper, The Common Man takes a look at Harper’s past commentary about players and steroids and finds that, when it comes to New York players, current and former, Harper isn’t nearly so hung up on the issue of whether they were clean or not as he is on Jose Bautista. He either assumed they weren’t or did care.

One other point that several readers have noted: at the moment, Yankees center fielder Curtis Granderson has 16 homer runs and is on pace to hit 56. This despite his career as, basically, a 20-25 home run hitter and peaking at 30. That more or less described Brady Anderson’s career too, and Harper had no compunction about throwing Anderson into the PED-use camp, so why not Granderson too?

  1. bjavie - May 24, 2011 at 12:42 PM

    Because the Daily News is a rag and John Harper is a complte and total homer. He asked the Steinbrenners to adopt him, but the other dogs in the house didn’t want to share their kibble with him.

  2. mjaugelli - May 24, 2011 at 12:49 PM

    I dont think it has anything to do with being a homer. In the example of Granderson, he just doesn’t fit the stereotypical profile of a steroid abuser…

    • Chris Fiorentino - May 24, 2011 at 12:55 PM

      And Bautista does? ‘Splain the difference.

      • CJ - May 24, 2011 at 1:10 PM

        I’ll venture a guess: one plays for the Yankees and the other doesn’t.

        maugelli, is that you John Harper?

      • mjaugelli - May 24, 2011 at 1:25 PM

        Bautista has a really thick beard, Granderson is clean-shaven…

        I’m just kidding. I’m not trying to indite either of them. I think they’re both legit players that happen to be hitting a lot of homeruns in this jaded post-steroid era

        I would guess Granderson will finish somewhere in the 30s and Bautista will approach 50.

      • dirtyharry1971 - May 25, 2011 at 9:22 AM

        thats easy, Bautista went from being not much more than a utility player to Hank Aaron overnite, his career is very simular to big papi who got released by the twins cause he wasnt that good to hitting 45HR’s like it was nothing. Granderson has always had power even when he played in detroit which might be the biggest park in the AL to Yankee Stadium which fits his stroke perfectly. Apples and oranges, your just a silly hater who is incapable of looking at the evidence. Wake up

    • deathmonkey41 - May 24, 2011 at 7:52 PM

      I’ll give Granderson a slight bump in career numbers because he’s playing his home games at Yankees stadium, but if he hits like 50+, yeah, I’m going to be suspicious.

    • fmradioguy - May 28, 2011 at 9:23 PM

      “Don’t be a silly hater who is incapable of looking at the evidence.”

      This is quite funny, given you provided no actual evidence. Actual evidence reveals Bautista’s early scouting reports projecting him as having power potential. Actual evidence shows for his minor league career, he had a HIGHER home run rate than Granderson.

      PED’s do NOT turn you into a home run hitter “overnight.” Correctly a flaw in a swing can make a huge difference, however. Bautista hit 10 homers in the last month of 2009 after Dwayne Murphy and Cito Gaston recognized the flaw in his swing. Combine natural talent, good coaching, full-time AB’s and having professional batters behind him in the line-up (as opposed to Pittsburgh’s pitchers.)

  3. Chris Fiorentino - May 24, 2011 at 1:11 PM

    To the people who say “I’m not saying Bautista is using PEDs, but you can’t say 100% for sure he is not” I ask you this…

    Let’s assume he is using PEDs. Obviously, since he hit 15 more HRs than anybody not named Pujols last year he must have been the only big home run hitter using them, right? Because, if he and Miguel Cabrera or Mark Texiera, both of whom hit about their average # of HRs throughout their careers, were using the same stuff, they would have hit 60+, right?

    Stopp with the Bautista “may be” using steroids nonsense. Dude is clean. He’s doing it because he is just raking and he is taking more walks. His entire approach is better…he is hitting .353 with a .503 OBP for God’s sake!!! I guess the PEDs are helping him get on base every other time he steps into the box? Give me a break.

    • deathmonkey41 - May 24, 2011 at 1:19 PM

      Yeah, i think that’s why Barry Bonds hit 72 also- he was taking more walks that year (:

      • Chris Fiorentino - May 24, 2011 at 1:23 PM

        #1 Bonds hit 73
        #2 You still refuse to answer the very simple question…which means you have no answer.

        It is so much simpler for people to say “I’m not saying he is doing PEDs…but…” than use their common sense and say “Wait a minute…how is HE doing it and NOBODY else is?” Hmm. Maybe he ISN’T doing PEDs because if he were doing them, then wouldn’t more guys be doing them???

      • deathmonkey41 - May 24, 2011 at 1:28 PM

        Who says no one else is doing them? Like I said, until baseball is serious about drug testing and starts testing for things like HGH, then everybody is suspect. Barry Bonds was a great hitter, but he wasn’t 73 HRs great- steroids gave him that. For someone else, they might have only hit 20-25 HRs using the same junk. How many players that are marginal are clinging to the big leagues because of PEDs? We’ll never know until the baseball union and Dud Selig start taking this seriously.

      • Chris Fiorentino - May 24, 2011 at 1:31 PM

        So what you want is your cake and eat it too, right? You want to say that Bautista is using steroids and that is helping him hit home runs…but he may not be the only one doing them. Oh really? So they are only helping him and not the other guys doing them?

        Give me a break. You guys are sounding more and more like frauds every time you post something.

      • seanmk - May 24, 2011 at 1:40 PM

        there is no drug test for HGH deathmonkey, and all leagues are seraching for one. not sure it really matters

      • Justin - May 24, 2011 at 1:55 PM

        I don’t think anyone for the Twins is using steroids because we suck terribly this year. Definitely not HGH as half our team is on the DL. And if we are using steroids I am just embarrassed that we suck this much even when we cheat.

    • trevorb06 - May 24, 2011 at 2:28 PM

      Fiorientino… who hacked your account and started posting intelligent stuff? I kind of like this new found Fiorientino as of late you’ve been… well… intelligent. :-)

      • Chris Fiorentino - May 24, 2011 at 2:53 PM

        nozzle

      • dirtyharry1971 - May 25, 2011 at 9:29 AM

        intelligent stuff? i never read one thing that fiorientino wrote that qualified as intelligent, he’s a wanna be like utley’s wart who knows nothing

  4. deathmonkey41 - May 24, 2011 at 1:17 PM

    Until they start testing for HGH, all these guys are under suspicion anytime their numbers are fluctuating the way they are. I have a feeling that Granderson will finish around 30-35 HRs, while Bautista will put up a number closer to 50, but we’ll see.

    • Chris Fiorentino - May 24, 2011 at 1:20 PM

      And how does HGH help you hit a home run in May again? When you are 30 years old and in the prime of your career? That statement is just stupid beyond comprehension.

      • deathmonkey41 - May 24, 2011 at 1:29 PM

        Really? Seriously?

      • Chris Fiorentino - May 24, 2011 at 1:30 PM

        Yeah, tell me how HGH helps you hit a home run in May. Human Growth Hormone. How does that help you hit a home run in May. Explain that to me.

      • deathmonkey41 - May 24, 2011 at 1:36 PM

        Why in May? I’m a little confused. Does HGH work differently in May? Does it have something to do with the tides? If it doesn’t give atheletes an advantage, why was it banned by the IOC and NCAA? Why has the union fought so hard not to have it tested for?

      • Chris Fiorentino - May 24, 2011 at 1:39 PM

        Because HGH helps you to rejuvanate your body better after playing a long season or a stretch of games or it helps out an injury. It isn’t like steroids, which help you bulk up and get stronger so that your warning track shots now go over the fence…at least that’s what the “steroids help you hit the ball farther” crowd believes. Me, I don’t have an opinion one way or another regarding steroids helping guys hit home runs. What I do know is that a 30 year old healthy guy, in the prime of his career, can not possibly be helped by taking HGH this early in the season. Maybe Big Papi would be helped. I know Chase Utley would be helped. But Bautista? Nah, he’s just raking and you guys who want to accuse the guy of taking PEDs are just being cynical.

      • CJ - May 24, 2011 at 1:41 PM

        Dude do you even know what HGH does? It helps you recover quicker, which is why as Fioentino insinuates, its use would have a greater benefit later in the season.

        IT DOES NOT BUILD MUSCLE! Do you not understand that?

      • heynerdlinger - May 24, 2011 at 1:51 PM

        “Why is it banned by the IOC and the NCAA?”

        You’re begging the question. “It’s bad because it’s banned” so therefore it must be banned because it’s bad. The IOC also bans cold medicine. Does that help someone hit home runs?

      • paperlions - May 24, 2011 at 4:17 PM

        Man…..reading this is like reading Fiorentino arguing with himself (before he magically became reasonable)

      • deathmonkey41 - May 24, 2011 at 6:32 PM

        Because HGH helps you to rejuvanate your body better after playing a long season or a stretch of games or it helps out an injury. It isn’t like steroids, which help you bulk up and get stronger so that your warning track shots now go over the fence…at least that’s what the “steroids help you hit the ball farther” crowd believes. Me, I don’t have an opinion one way or another regarding steroids helping guys hit home runs. What I do know is that a 30 year old healthy guy, in the prime of his career, can not possibly be helped by taking HGH this early in the season. Maybe Big Papi would be helped. I know Chase Utley would be helped. But Bautista? Nah, he’s just raking and you guys who want to accuse the guy of taking PEDs are just being cynical.

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        CJ – May 24, 2011 at 1:41 PM
        Dude do you even know what HGH does? It helps you recover quicker, which is why as Fioentino insinuates, its use would IT DOES NOT BUILD MUSCLE! Do you not understand that?

        CJ, maybe you and some others on here should do some research before making comments for now on…

        http://www.hgh.org/Will-HGH-Make-You-Stronger.html

  5. halladaysbicepts - May 24, 2011 at 1:19 PM

    Lets face it, everyone. We never will be 100% sure about any player. That’s the way it will be until the end of time. There will always be speculation when guys put up extraordinary numbers that normally doesn’t fit the back of their baseball card.

    I, myself, have speculated over the past (2) years that Wilson Valdez might be juicing. But I have no proof.

    • CJ - May 24, 2011 at 1:38 PM

      the way he looks it’s probably more like Juicy-Juice he’s “using”. If he’d have been using the good stuff maybe we wouldn’t have been hurting so bad for Utley to get back.

      • halladaysbicepts - May 24, 2011 at 1:45 PM

        I always wondered if midgets were playing in MLB, would they be allowed to use PED’s to even the playing field, due to their diminutive size?

    • The Common Man/www.platoonadvantage.com - May 24, 2011 at 1:52 PM

      See, now that’s funny.

      • halladaysbicepts - May 24, 2011 at 1:54 PM

        Yeah. Could you imagine a roided up midget hitting 30 hr./year. Keep in mind, 30 homers for a midget is a lot.

  6. thefalcon123 - May 24, 2011 at 1:20 PM

    Here’s my problem with the Brady-only-hit-50-because-of-roids scenario. He would hit about 18 home runs a year, then hit 50, and then went right back to 18. Canseco theorized in his book that Brady tried them for one year. Umm..if I was nothing more than a solid center fielder and steroids turned me into Ken Griffey Jr, why would i stop taking them. I imagine Brady thought, “Wow, being a superstar who hits 50 bombs a year is fun and all, but I really think hitting 18 a year in relative obscurity and earning less money is better”. Come on!

    • jasonc2300 - May 24, 2011 at 1:27 PM

      Obviously after Brady hit 50, pitchers went out and got even better steroids than Brady had, so he went right back to hitting 18. I mean, it’s pretty simple when you think about it.

  7. largebill - May 24, 2011 at 1:31 PM

    PED’s don’t magically turn singles into homers. What they can do is help with quicker recovery from injuries. Some do assist with muscle development, but you still need to hit the gym and do the work. Some (amphetamines) may help maintain energy for games over a long arduous season.

    With Bautista (and Astrubal Cabrera) there have been articles about changing their approach at the plate, coaching suggestions, etc. You can look at tapes of old at bats and compare to recent at bats. The player’s body didn’t change (ala skinny Bonds to Terminator). The swing did.

    The “but you can’t say 100% for sure he is not” challenge is complete nonsense. I can’t say with 100% certainty whether any player is, or has used any banned substance. Thome, Vizquel, Alomar X 2, Baerga, Lofton, Nagy, Sabathia, Lee, Sizemore, and Martinez were some of my favorites from the Indians of the last couple of decades and I don’t think any of them used, but I wouldn’t say with 100% certainty that they didn’t. The fact that I can not prove a negative does not make it all right to make accusations without any evidence.

  8. Justin - May 24, 2011 at 1:58 PM

    Why is it we assume PEDs leads to extreme HR production. This logic, along with A-Rod’s admitted use, should make us believe that he is still on PEDs as his career numbers have not fluctuated too significantly up or down.

    • kopy - May 24, 2011 at 2:18 PM

      Or, it could make us believe that people have gained enough scientific knowledge in the field of athletics over the years to become increasingly better at coming off a steroid cycle without losing the muscle mass that’s gained from it.

  9. pmcenroe - May 24, 2011 at 2:18 PM

    Well I think the thought process is, PEDs = more muscle = more bat speed = greater distance ball will travel. I think everyone will agree they don’t improve hand eye skills etc., but that is why great hitters like Bonds and crew go from very good to great and guys like FP Santangelo dont see much improvement regardless of PED use. Also not to nit pick but A-rod’s homerun rate has declined quite a bit in the last 4 years (but I know injuries are a factor)

  10. tribester - May 24, 2011 at 2:23 PM

    The whole ‘steroids makes for more home runs’ argument doesn’t make much sense to me.

    Asdrubal Cabrera hit 3 home runs last season, and 3 home runs in his last 2 games. He’s changed his swing and is trying to hit home runs for the first time.

    • pmcenroe - May 24, 2011 at 2:27 PM

      but thats a case of small sample size. when debating steriods people are talking whole seasons if not entire careers not just 2 games…

  11. proudlycanadian - May 24, 2011 at 2:33 PM

    As far as Granderson is concerned, his skinny body leads me to conclude that either 1) the Yankees are making sure that the balls thrown to him are juiced or 2) his body has been taken over by a refugee from the planet Krypton or 3) he actually has changed his batting stance for the better. The latter argument is true for Bautista, so it could also be true for Granderson.As far as the New York media is concerned, I have no faith in New York based reporters. Far too many of them are ignorant homers.

    • dirtyharry1971 - May 25, 2011 at 9:27 AM

      Yeah right proudly, Granderson always had a power stroke even playing in pitcher friendly detroit which is probably the hardest park to knock one out in. Bautista was reduced to being a utilty player for crying out loud!! Hand that man a PEE CUP NOW!! oh and JAYS suck and i cant wait until they join the expos!!

  12. drmonkeyarmy - May 24, 2011 at 6:01 PM

    Oh my gosh, not this conversation again. Didn’t you guys drone on for like 100 plus posts about this earlier today?

    • cur68 - May 24, 2011 at 7:14 PM

      Yes and we were largely droning with you doc so don’t come over all judgmental.

      I never got to reply to you about the Rogue Chemist (RC). You explained that it would be like a crystal meth chemist or some such. Well this is the CM chemist that sells to ONE guy; a concept which is ridiculous.
      Even a BALCO type scenario doesn’t hold up. If Bautista was the creation of a lab then that lab is doing this for reasons and in a way that is virtually unprecedented. BALCO sold to hundreds. The RC/lab sells to … one guy, and an obscure one at that? The Rogue Chemist can’t be getting rich. Is it fame he’s after?

      You mentioned chemists trying to modify MDMA as an example; if they’d been successful WE’D ALL KNOW THEM. The RC, if he exists, IS a success and a spectacular one at that. Never heard of him, though.

      Maybe Bautista is the RC? But the MDMA example comes up again; if he has a working knowledge of Organic Chemistry and sufficient funding he could do this to himself but most likely he’d just have killed himself. On the off chance he synthesized the ‘home run juice’ (HRJ) he’s also keeping it all for himself rather than sharing it with his teammates because…he doesn’t want the team to win the division, go to the Series & win a ring? Really?

      No the Rogue Chemist thing simply doesn’t hold up under much scrutiny. At least Dwayne Murphy exists, is perfectly legal, and hasn’t given anyone early onset PD or been the exclusive property of Jose Bautista.

      • drmonkeyarmy - May 24, 2011 at 7:52 PM

        I floated the rogue chemist idea very tongue in cheek. I think I might of even said that at the time. For the record, I don’t think Bautista is or knows a rogue chemist. I am just saying that such people do exist.

      • cur68 - May 25, 2011 at 12:19 AM

        And my point always has been any chemist who’s done this for Bautista is behaving in an unprecedented manner. If you’d synthesized the HRJ you’d be trying to get either rich or famous off it. Giving it to one obscure ball player on an obscure losing club is a really odd move. Thus the likelihood of this chemist or chemist group being real is remote.

    • drmonkeyarmy - May 24, 2011 at 7:39 PM

      I know I was the primary culprit earlier….You can choose to believe me or not, but I am telling you that people have attempted to modify MDMA into a compound that is not on the government controlled substance lists. I only know of the failures, I have no idea if any were successful. I know this because I am a pharmacist. I keep abreast of such things. Periodically news reports are in pharmacy publications I receive.
      Also, I know this guy who has been clean and sober for like 15 years now. Back in his substance abusing days, he was a type of guinea pig for a type of rogue chemist. So whether you believe me or not is up to you, but I am not lying and these people are out there.

  13. deathmonkey41 - May 24, 2011 at 6:48 PM

    heynerdlinger – May 24, 2011 at 1:51 PM
    “Why is it banned by the IOC and the NCAA?”

    You’re begging the question. “It’s bad because it’s banned” so therefore it must be banned because it’s bad. The IOC also bans cold medicine. Does that help someone hit home runs

    Certain medicines contain items which are banned by the IOC. Some atheletes in the past have claimed the reason they tested positive is because of something that medicine they were taking contained and they had not done anything illegal. If a player takes something on the banned list- even though it’s not a PED- and tests positive, he or she will still be suspended. It’s personal liability.

    • jwbiii - May 25, 2011 at 4:18 PM

      Ephedrine and related compounds are mild stimulants. I’ve never felt any kick from a couple of Sudafeds, but they would cause me to fail a WADA drug test.

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