Nov 27, 2012, 6:06 PM EDT
There are a lot of differing opinions out there, educated and otherwise, on just how much performance-enhancing drugs actually enhance performance. On the one side, there’s suspected users like Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens pulling off incredible feats at advanced ages. On the other, there’s the long list of proven cheaters littered with names of journeymen long forgotten.
Now, though, that long list has suddenly gotten interesting at the end. The last three veteran major leaguers caught cheating were all exceeding expectations in a pretty big way:
- Melky Cabrera, the 2012 All-Star Game MVP, was leading the NL with a .346 average through 113 games when he was suspended. His OPS went from .671 in 2010 to .809 in 2011 to .906 last season.
- Bartolo Colon had a 3.43 ERA in 24 starts for Oakland prior to his suspension. Two years after his career was presumed over due to shoulder problems, he was on his way to his best season since 2005. Had he maintained the 3.43 ERA, it would have been his second-lowest mark in 15 big-league seasons.
- Carlos Ruiz established new career highs in average (.325), homers (16) and RBI (68) as a 33-year-old last season. The homer total was two more than he had the previous two seasons combined. His .540 slugging percentage was almost 150 points higher than his career mark of .393.
Of course, Ruiz, unlike the other two, wasn’t caught with testosterone. And because he was using an amphetamine, not a steroid, he’s getting just a 25-game suspension (Cabrera and Colon received 50 games apiece).
Whether the Adderall deserves any credit for Ruiz’s performance spike is a matter I’ll let others debate. But it’s more ammunition for those who believe that cheaters get an incredible advantage over those who get their results naturally.
Jul 10, 2014, 10:30 AM EDT
Before you look, guess which year it was. I am somewhat embarrassed to have been a couple of years off.
Jul 10, 2014, 10:15 AM EDT
Cliff Lee’s first minor-league rehab start was cut short by bad weather, but the Phillies left-hander took the mound at Single-A for the second time last night and tossed four innings as planned.
Jul 10, 2014, 9:17 AM EDT
The Cardinals’ most important position player may miss some time.
Jul 10, 2014, 8:57 AM EDT
Papelbon likes Philly just fine. But he thinks anyone who wouldn’t want to play for a winner is nuts.
Jul 10, 2014, 8:10 AM EDT
Death. Taxes. The Red Sox throwing a guy under the bus as he leaves the team.
Jul 10, 2014, 7:09 AM EDT
A handful of injuries went down last night, but so too did strict adherence to the Restoring Pitching Act of 2013.
Jul 9, 2014, 11:21 PM EDT
Rockies outfielder Carlos Gonzalez is 3-for-6 with a double, a homer, and three RBI through two games on his minor league rehab assignment with the Triple-A Colorado Springs Sky Sox and is on track to be activated from the disabled list this Friday according to Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post.
Jul 9, 2014, 10:33 PM EDT
The Reds are one of the hottest teams in baseball and beat the Cubs on Wednesday night by a score of 4-1, but there won’t be much of a celebratory mood in the clubhouse afterward …
Jul 9, 2014, 9:45 PM EDT
Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki hinted to Mark Kizsla of the Denver Post last week that he would like to be traded to a contender. But it doesn’t sound like the Rockies front office will grant him that wish this summer.
Jul 9, 2014, 8:52 PM EDT
Some rough news here for the slumping Blue Jays. MLB.com’s Gregor Chisholm reports Adam Lind has been diagnosed with a non-displaced fracture in his right foot and is expected to miss the next 6-8 weeks.
Jul 9, 2014, 8:05 PM EDT
They say humans can’t fly. Jackie Bradley Jr. begs to differ …
Jul 9, 2014, 7:59 PM EDT
Red Sox closer Koji Uehara has been named to the American League All-Star roster in place of Yankees ace Masahiro Tanaka, who is on the disabled list with a right elbow injury.
Jul 9, 2014, 7:10 PM EDT
Watch as Diamondbacks first baseman Paul Goldschmidt sent his team to a Wednesday afternoon walkoff defeat of the visiting Marlins with this two-run double to left-center field …
Jul 9, 2014, 6:27 PM EDT
As first relayed by MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch, left fielder Brett Gardner is out of the Yankees’ starting lineup on Wednesday night against the Indians due to a lower abdominal strain. Gardner first thought it was a groin strain, but that more-severe injury has already been ruled out by a team physician.
Jul 9, 2014, 5:40 PM EDT
Yankees designated hitter Carlos Beltran has been scratched from tonight’s lineup against the Indians after a ball he hit during batting practice bounced up and struck him near the eye.
Jul 9, 2014, 5:25 PM EDT
I mean, maybe he can act, but it’s probably better that he’s playing baseball.
Jul 9, 2014, 5:22 PM EDT
Seattle has optioned right-hander Taijuan Walker back to Triple-A, but it looks like the move might be more about keeping the 21-year-old rookie on his normal schedule rather than any sort of performance-based demotion.
Jul 9, 2014, 5:03 PM EDT
The Dodgers, however, will only be on the hook for $4.5 million of that. Or less than 2% of their annual payroll.
Jul 9, 2014, 4:52 PM EDT
Before tonight he’d played in 87 of the Royals’ first 89 games after missing a grand total of six games in the previous two seasons.
Jul 9, 2014, 3:40 PM EDT
After a spectacular start to his MLB career Mashiro Tanaka has looked somewhat human of late, allowing nine runs and a .333 opponents’ batting average in his last two starts. And now we may know why.
- And That Happened: Wednesday’s scores and highlights 30
- The Rockies “aren’t looking around very hard” for a trade of star shortstop Troy Tulowitzki 18
- Jury finds the Dodgers partially negligent, awards $18 million to Bryan Stow 44
- Masahiro Tanaka injured: Yankees ace to undergo an MRI exam on his right arm 60
- David Ortiz is not pleased that his name got pulled into the John Lackey-Nelson Cruz thing 99
- And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights 64
- Cardinals “looking for offense” … not Jake Peavy 33
- 2014 Home Run Derby participants … 28
- John Lackey on Nelson Cruz: “Not even going to comment … I’ve got nothing to say about him” (143)
- And That Happened: Wednesday’s scores and highlights (126)
- The 2014 All-Star rosters have been announced (103)
- Giants broadcaster says Angel Hernandez “does not belong in the big leagues” (101)
- David Ortiz is not pleased that his name got pulled into the John Lackey-Nelson Cruz thing (99)