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The Jose Bautista smear campaign continues

May 24, 2011, 8:25 AM EDT

Tampa Bay Rays v Toronto Blue Jays Getty Images

Jose Bautista hit his 19th home run last night, helping power the Blue Jays past the Yankees. The game and its aftermath is making me want to take a walk down memory lane.

For instance, remember back in 2009 when speculating that an unusual spike in a player’s performance could be steroids-related would get you torn a new one by virtually every credentialed writer in baseball and featured in a public pillorying on ESPN for your lack of journalistic ethics?

Wait, maybe I dreamed that, because there is no way that could have happened and this article in the Daily News could still appear without a similar outrage. That would be crazy!

Bautista is the power-hitting sensation the sport desperately needs these days.

Let’s hope he’s clean.

Sorry, but even in this drug-testing era, it’s impossible not to be suspicious when someone suddenly starts hitting the ball to the moon in his late 20s. Unfortunately, steroids forever hardened us to the romance of a late-bloomer like Bautista, especially when baseball still has no test for human growth hormone … Bautista is a great story. Let’s just hope he’s legit.

One more walk down memory lane: remember when, back in 2003 or so, baseball writers used to say that unless and until there is steroid testing in baseball, everyone will be under suspicion?  How then, is it possible, seven years after the imposition of steroid testing, for them to still be under the same suspicion?  Is there absolutely no basic, prima facie presumption of innocence? Is there not anything apart from the mere hitting of some home runs, that is required before this kind of skepticism and innuendo is warranted?

127 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. rhandome - May 24, 2011 at 1:53 PM

    Reminder: there is not one scrap of proof that steroids help batters hit baseballs better or farther. It’s all assumptions and “common sense” that breaks down when you get into the biology of it. Steroids build upper-body mass. Bat speed is generated by the lower body. No study, etc., has ever shown a correlation between roids and offensive production.

    • drmonkeyarmy - May 24, 2011 at 2:08 PM

      Judging by your comment it can be inferred that you believe the unprecedented home run explosion by admitted or obvious juicers like Bonds, Sosa, Big Mark, etc. is just a coincidence?

      • rhandome - May 24, 2011 at 2:43 PM

        Three guys, 2 of whom are all-time great power hitters, does not make a statistically significant sample. You might as well cite Babe Ruth to make a point about the 1920′s.

        There have been several power spikes in baseball history. The main cause has been changes to the baseball and how it’s manufactured. New hitter-friendly parks may have contrinuted to the mid-1990′s power spike, as well. Check out http://steroids-and-baseball.com for more details.

    • bluejaystiltheend - May 24, 2011 at 4:37 PM

      Update: Steroids produce muscle mass in both the upper and lower body, so make sure you know what you’re talking about. Therefore if it can increase lower body strength, then yes it does help you hit the ball farther, case in point Barry Bonds, a great career hitter, and strength from whatever, then he hits the ball farther.

    • bluejaystiltheend - May 24, 2011 at 4:37 PM

      Update: Steroids produce muscle mass in both the upper and lower body, so make sure you know what you’re talking about. Therefore if it can increase lower body strength, then yes it does help you hit the ball farther, case in point Barry Bonds, a great career hitter, and strength from whatever, then he hits the ball farther.

  2. macjacmccoy - May 24, 2011 at 1:59 PM

    Ok the guys numbers exploded last year out of no where and everyone started whispering hes on the juice. MLB obviously heard the gossip and bc of that you can be sure that he got randomly tested not so randomly. The fact that we heard nothing about it means he was clean. Now you can say well he could have been off it by the time he was tested. Which ok is possible.

    But then its 2011 and hes hit 18 hrs already. If he did use steriods last year and had it out of his system then how do you account for this years performance? I very much doubt that he used last year, stopped just in time to get away with it then started up again this year in the midst of all the steroid talk about him. No one would do that it would be career sucide .

    The simpliest answer is usaully the right one and in this case the answer is hes clean. You would think that would be obvious to everyone.

  3. coltonseavers - May 24, 2011 at 1:59 PM

    More smearing / hatchet work from some clown at Boston’s WEEI:

    http://www.weei.com/sports/boston/baseball/red-sox/kirk-minihane/2011/05/24/adrian-gonzalez-best-hitter-baseball

  4. dirtyharry1971 - May 24, 2011 at 2:26 PM

    some better get this guy a pee cup FAST!! Im not buying it for one second, look at his career for crying out loud. That stuff doesnt lie

    • rhandome - May 24, 2011 at 2:54 PM

      There are late bloomers in baseball, guys who finally figure out their swing or delivery or get over a mental block or whatever. Doesn’t happen often, but it’s really cool when it does. As a Giants fan I have to mention Andres Torres as my example, but I’m sure there are a few others around the league.

  5. vikesfansteve - May 24, 2011 at 6:55 PM

    papi was caught doing roids you stupid fuck

    • dirtyharry1971 - May 24, 2011 at 10:37 PM

      papi was another one, look at his numbers with the twins, they released this guy! And then all of the sudden he starts hitting 45 Hr’s like its water and he failed a drug test, i have no doubt this guy is doing the samething,

    • sasquash20 - May 29, 2011 at 10:26 AM

      Stupid fuck, was that nice?

  6. sasquash20 - May 29, 2011 at 10:24 AM

    Sadly the players from the steroid era have me questioning every player that does good. And going by these post clearly I’m not the only one. There are several reasons to think hes clean, and several to think hes not. This all started last season or at the end of the year before in 09, and then carried into this season. I want to believe in great numbers, I just can’t. Bonds, Big Mac, Sosa, and the other juice heads have made a skeptic of me. Bautista knew he could make way more money if his numbers were insane. I’m not saying he did anything, but in todays world of greed it would make sense. 2 monster seasons in a row will get you insane money.Steroids, HGH whatever drug is out there helps and if you don’t think so your a moron. Maybe hes taking something we never heard of. Only he knows. I just have a hard time believing that because he changed his approach at the plate and made an adjustment suddenly hes the best power hitter in the game. Maybe if he was a better player before I could buy it, but he was average at best before. The steroid era players stole the history and the integrity of baseball and we may never have it back, sorry folks thats just the truth.

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