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Quote of the Day: Ken Rosenthal on the steroid speculators

May 26, 2011, 1:30 PM EDT


Ken Rosenthal knocks it out of the park in his column about Jose Bautista and steroid speculation. It’s a must read and conforms with my thinking on the subject exactly.  Money quote:

If Bautista tests positive, it’s a story. If Bautista is linked to PEDs through a government investigation, it’s a story. But if Bautista keeps hitting home runs without a hint of wrongdoing, it’s a baseball story, nothing more.


In other PEDs coverage, go check out Wil Carroll’s neat idea about how to deal with the presumption of guilt/presumption of innocence problem that surrounds drug testing.  I don’t think his proposal would ever fly — I think the players and the union value the anonymity aspect of drug testing far too much to cede some of it in the interests of public perception — but it does neatly pinpoint the problem we have in which people — some people anyway — aren’t satisfied that the current testing regime is working.

  1. Chris Fiorentino - May 26, 2011 at 1:33 PM

    I agree 100%. Perfect way of putting it. Not the biggest Rosenthal fan, but he definitely hits the mail on the head here.

  2. deathmonkey41 - May 26, 2011 at 1:46 PM

    Sportswriter’s speculate on stuff all the time- I’m not sure why speculating on someone’s Brandy Anderson-esque numbers is rubbing so many people the wrong way all of a sudden. If you want to blame someone- blame the players, the organizations, and Dud Selig for making the steroid problem so huge in the first place by embracing the power numbers it brought and the player’s refusal to still give blood for testing HGH levels. All the great stuff we thought we were watching during the 90s turned out to be nothing more than numbers bloated by unprecedented cheating and it’s made a lot of fans jaded and suspicious. Besides, if I want to speculate that Kevin Millar came from the planet Neptune to rape donkeys and eat children, that’s my right as a guy who occasionally chimes in on a baseball blog.

    • bjavie - May 26, 2011 at 3:01 PM

      “rape donkeys and eat children”

      Really? Dude, you need to talk to someone.

      • halladaysbicepts - May 26, 2011 at 3:17 PM


        I didn’t read his whole comment until I saw your response.


  3. danteswitness - May 26, 2011 at 1:48 PM

    That’s a fantastic bit of hypocrisy for a guy who refuses to vote for first-year eligible players on the Hall of Fame ballot, even if they are thought to be clean, because the steroid era is just too dirty to reward them for it. So, players without any real suspicion of using aren’t a story unless Rosenthal wants to make it a story in order to shine the spotlight on himself.

    • paperlions - May 26, 2011 at 2:40 PM

      Yeah, that falls under the “reasons many are not a fan of Rosenthal” category. The funny thing is that by virtue of his hypocrisy, now I finally agree with something he says.

    • jnvh - May 31, 2011 at 12:29 PM

      This is also the same Rosenthal that excoriated Jerod Morris of the Midwest Sports Fans blog over his attempt to clear Raul Ibanez of steroid suspicion from his fast start to the 2009 season. By posting this, isn’t Rosenthal implying Bautista is taking steroids? Or does he get a pass because he is a journalist?

      Rosenthal may be a good locker room reporter, but as a commentator he seems to jump the any bandwagon he thinks will get him involved in the national debate on the “cool” and/or “winning” side. Ugh.

  4. bleedgreen - May 26, 2011 at 1:54 PM

    What actually makes someone a home run hitter vs just a good hitter? It can’t just be strength. You’re not going to convince me that Chase Utley is ‘stronger’ than Polanco or Ruiz or even Victorino. So why does Chase hit home runs and Polly, Chooch and Shaneo NOT hit home runs? If any of those 3 guys were so inclined, could they not be ‘re-trained’ to hit home runs instead of just hitting for average? Maybe Bautista changed his plate approach.

    • halladaysbicepts - May 26, 2011 at 2:10 PM

      Speaking of power, Rauuuuuuullllll just hit a 3 run bomb. 4-0 Phils.

      To answer your question, a home run hitter not only has strength, but can generate much greater bat speed that a normal player such as a Polanco or Ruiz. A power hitter normally has stronger wrists than a normal player. Hand-eye coordination is also greater. There are many factors that make a singles hitter different than a home run hitter, some that you can’t quantify.

      Make no mistake about it. Roids increase all of these things.

      • cur68 - May 26, 2011 at 2:45 PM

        ‘bicepts; You are making some sense here today. Roids do increase your size and strength. JB, though is the same size he was when he joined the Blue Jays; 6 foot, 195 lbs. No change in size.

        He’s always hit homers just about 420 feet. That’s nearly the same distance he’s hitting them now. No change in power.

        Are you aware of a drug that makes you crowd the plate (check him out; right on the edge of the box), makes you selective of what you swing at, makes you patient enough to take a walk, and improves your batting average?

      • curr68 - May 26, 2011 at 3:48 PM

        I have a life-sized cardboard cut out of Jose that I keep tied to my bed. The ankles are broken because I hit them with a sledge hammer, and now I pretend that I’m holding him hostage in my snow-covered mountain home until he finishes his novel…

      • cur68 - May 26, 2011 at 4:05 PM

        Afternoon lil buddy. Got up a bit late today, dintcha? No Red Sox news for you to comment on? Good thing, though ’cause damn you’re a boring commenter, you know that?

        Anyways, go easy with the onanism, now. Remember you gotta save yourself for AGon.

      • curr68 - May 26, 2011 at 4:26 PM

        I guess I’d rather be boring than florid, belittling and painfully verbose, but hey, that’s just me. Curr68 that is…

      • cur68 - May 26, 2011 at 4:56 PM

        Woooo! Hey there now mini-curr, I meant that with love, you know. I don’t judge, I just comment.

        BTW, If you find my comments so, what is it now? … “florid, belittling and painfully verbose” is it? Why the hell do you post on stuff with the eponymous handle? No one made you do that you know. Too bad for you if its so ‘painful’. You started messing with me, not me with you so cry me a river you douche (There. That non florid enough for you?).

        At any rate, my degenerate little donkey-punching, but sniffing, malletsuckedon little Red Sox divisional opponent, I look forward to future exchanges with you. I’m enjoying being in a battle of wits with the poorly armed.

        Stay classy little mini-curr; you complete me…

      • curr68 - May 26, 2011 at 5:01 PM

        Case in point.

      • deathmonkey41 - May 26, 2011 at 6:51 PM

        Cleveland? Is Cleveland full of trees, ocean, dope, traffic, good looking women, dogs, dope, expensive real estate, orca, Canucks, and did I mention the dope?

        I haven’t been to Cleveland in years, but from what I remember, it’s sounds pretty much the same except for the trees, ocean, good-looking women, expensive real estate, orca, and Canucks. I’ve heard that several times on ESPN in reference to the Canucks going to the Stanley Cup. They made it sound like the rest of Canada looks down upon Vancouver.

    • Jonny 5 - May 26, 2011 at 2:47 PM

      Even a-holes smell good after a shower.

      • Jonny 5 - May 26, 2011 at 2:48 PM

        That was meant as a post, and not a reply. I’m not smart today. Not enough sleep….

    • deathmonkey41 - May 26, 2011 at 3:13 PM

      Cur68- I see what you’re saying, but if you go back 2 yrs ago to when he hit 15 HRs.

      In 336 AB’s, he had 85 SO’s. That’s about a 25% strike out rate

      Last season when hitting 54 HRs,

      In 569 AB’s, he had 116 SO’s. That’s about a 20% strike out rate

      This season so far in hitting 19 HRs,

      In 146 AB’s, he has 24 SO’s. That’s about 16% strike out rate

      Definately an improvement- but how much of that is due to teams fearing the power numbers and giving him those intentionally non-intentional walks? I think he can sit there and wait for a strike because most people will not throw anything close unless they have to. Does an improvement of 5% in strike out rate from two years ago to last year jib with the dramatic rise in HR’s? Anyone who has a jump in numbers- espeically power numbers- is going to fall under suspicion. It’s the nature of the beast.

      • halladaysbicepts - May 26, 2011 at 3:21 PM

        I agree with you a 1000%.

        I saw your Kevin Millar reference involving Donkeys. LMAO!!!! Some funny sh*t!

      • deathmonkey41 - May 26, 2011 at 3:34 PM

        Just trying to lighten things up. Not sure why people take stuff so seriously on here. This stuff is not life and death- it just feels that way when your team is losing.

      • cur68 - May 26, 2011 at 4:06 PM

        ’41; I think we fundamentally agree, even if we get there applying logic that may not agree. If that dude’s on PEDS its some unique sh!t.

      • deathmonkey41 - May 26, 2011 at 5:27 PM

        Fair enough- now for a completed unrelated topic- is Vancouver really the Cleveland of Canada? I’ve heard it referred to as that several times in the past week.

      • cur68 - May 26, 2011 at 6:28 PM

        Cleveland? Is Cleveland full of trees, ocean, dope, traffic, good looking women, dogs, dope, expensive real estate, orca, Canucks, and did I mention the dope?

        I’ve never heard that expression before, death’. What’s Celevland like?

      • deathmonkey41 - May 26, 2011 at 11:20 PM

        Cleveland? Is Cleveland full of trees, ocean, dope, traffic, good looking women, dogs, dope, expensive real estate, orca, Canucks, and did I mention the dope?

        I haven’t been to Cleveland in years, but from what I remember, it’s sounds pretty much the same except for the trees, ocean, good-looking women, expensive real estate, orca, and Canucks. I’ve heard that several times on ESPN in reference to the Canucks going to the Stanley Cup. They made it sound like the rest of Canada looks down upon Vancouver.

      • cur68 - May 27, 2011 at 1:40 AM

        death; know what I think it is? Jealousy from the rest of hockey nation. For the past few seasons the ‘nucks have been good and now they’ve made it to the finals. Other team’s homers are laying it on now and belittling Van CIty. Lotta that of that in the NHL. Why I like baseball better.

  5. cerowb - May 26, 2011 at 2:39 PM

    It’s ALWAYS fun to be dictated to by a member of the media on the “proper” way to handle possible steroid allegations and suspicions…it’s like Frank McCourt deciding to become a marriage counselor. After you screw up so many times on one particular issue, you start looking like an idiot when you start bellowing about how it SHOULD be done. Like the Miggy mugshot, it just never gets old!

  6. Justin - May 26, 2011 at 2:46 PM

    and out comes deathmonkey41 and halladaysbicepts to douche up the blog. Stay classy my friends

    • halladaysbicepts - May 26, 2011 at 2:53 PM

      “douche up the blog”

      Hmmm… you added a great amount of thought with that comment. I suppose your comment clenses the blog somehow.

      You show your class with that comment.

      • cerowb - May 26, 2011 at 2:55 PM

        Welp…this debate seems to have gone off the rails, as it so often does…

      • deathmonkey41 - May 26, 2011 at 3:00 PM

        He’s just cranky and whiny from watching the Twins lose again.

      • Justin - May 26, 2011 at 3:20 PM

        You hit it on the head deathmonkey. Absolutely I am cranky at how much we suck. And to be judged by Halladaysbicepts is laughable because like 4 days ago he was commenting on everyones post swearing at them, calling them different obscenities that would gave David Stern a heart attack.

        I just think people need to step back and realize that if they think steroids is a serious issue in baseball it isn’t just one player and judging him will soon reveal your hypocrisy. If anyone should hate Bautista it is me as he has hit like 7 of his HRs against the Twins.

      • cur68 - May 26, 2011 at 3:57 PM

        I recall, Justin, I recall. Trouble with our friend ‘bicepts is that he he drinks while watching baseball. I can always tell where he is in his consumption of hops & barely. Starts out all happy and semi lucid and spirals slowly down to testy a-hole as he hits around 10 or so.

        He’s not bad early in the day, even if he usually says stuff that makes you wonder about his grasp of reality. By around dinner time though…just be glad its the interwebs.

  7. thehypercritic - May 26, 2011 at 4:03 PM

    WaIt, a sentence so blindingly obvious that you’d have to be braindead to ponder a contrary opinion is the quote of the day? Really??

  8. bobdira - May 26, 2011 at 4:37 PM

    I would expect any sports writer or commentator to talk aobut the “no positive test” aspect of Bautista’s unrealistic performance. It’s their livelihood and it’s fodder for their next article about the game. The problem is it ignores the facts and history. The same arguements were made for Bonds, McGuire, Clemens, A-Rod, Palmiero, Sosa, and on and on. The fact is, we’ve seen the pattern, it’s being repeated and it’s being ignored. Jose Bautista is using it’s obvious to those of us with our eyes open. I don’t have to see the needle going in to see the reality of it. It’s playing itself out every night.

    To ignore the obvious is to pat down a grandma at the airport and allow any muslim man 18 to 42 to board the plane without checking his person. I can learn from my experiences, apparently the esteemed Mr. Rosenthal can not.

    • Craig Calcaterra - May 26, 2011 at 4:39 PM

      Please tell me the number of home runs someone must hit for their power to “obviously” be the product of steroids.

      Unless you have any other basis for your assumption, that is. Which I seriously doubt.

      • bobdira - May 27, 2011 at 6:40 AM

        Look Craig, it’s not the simple number, it’s the number and the history. Bautista couldn’t muster 20 in 5 previous years and showed none of the skill necessary to put together a season like last and this season. Then poof, or should I say, stick, 50 plus home runs.

        Open your lazy eye and see it for what it is. I’ll check back with the “I told you so” in a year or two and we can have a good laugh over the next DR prduct juicing. Oh, wait, you will be defending him too.

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