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John Rocker thinks people miss the Steroid Era

Jul 10, 2013, 5:24 PM EDT

McGwire 2-thumb-225x225-3714

John Rocker, you’ll be shocked to know, has said something that most of you won’t agree with. He was on a Cleveland radio station today and said that the Steroid Era gave fans “a better game” and that there wasn’t anything more entertaining than McGwire vs. Sosa and all that jazz:

“Honestly, and this may go against what some people think from an ethical standpoint, I think it was the better game … was there anything more entertaining than 1998 – I don’t care how each man got there – was there anything more entertaining than 1998?…watching Sammy Sosa and Mark McGuire chase 61 home runs? That was a mesmerizing time for every baseball fan out there…the people were getting their money’s worth.”

I’m probably the last guy to get on the “steroids are bad, mmkay” train. But Rocker is just wrong. I mean, yes, there are a lot of people who dug the longball, but from an aesthetic point of view the crazy McGwire-Sosa days were bad baseball. Pitching stunk, defense was way worse than it is now and all of those games that were 7-5 by the third inning were as boring as all get-out.

(via CBS

  1. Utley's Hair - Jul 10, 2013 at 5:28 PM

    Well, it seems that John Rocker seems to think people missed hearing him flap his gums, as well.

  2. Detroit Michael - Jul 10, 2013 at 5:37 PM

    I think initially most fans did like the high-offense / steroids era but after a while so many guys were hitting 50+ homers in a year that we crossed a saturation point and the accomplishments ceased to seem very notable. Certainly by 2001 when Bonds was breaking a three-year-old record for most HRs in a season, fans were tiring of the high offense.

  3. 13arod - Jul 10, 2013 at 5:38 PM

    First of all they dont know if sammy sosa toke steriods or not

    • cubb1 - Jul 11, 2013 at 1:27 AM

      You’re either naive or stupid.

      • badintent - Jul 11, 2013 at 1:53 AM

        he’s both.And loves Pee Wee Herman

    • cubb1 - Jul 11, 2013 at 1:32 AM

      Kenny Powers > John Rocker

  4. scouter2012 - Jul 10, 2013 at 5:39 PM

    He’s right that it was more entertaining back then. Ignorance about what was going on behind the scenes was bliss.

  5. gothapotamus90210 - Jul 10, 2013 at 5:42 PM

    John Rocker reality show with him riding the 7 line. Sign him up.

    • stlouis1baseball - Jul 10, 2013 at 5:44 PM

      I assume the “7 line” is a particular line of Subways in NYC. No?

      • dondada10 - Jul 10, 2013 at 7:53 PM

        The 7 starts at Penn Station and runs east across Manhattan and through Queens, stopping at Willets Pt.

        I live off the 2 train, which is a ghetto coffin.

      • Kevin S. - Jul 10, 2013 at 8:26 PM

        Since when does the 7 start at Penn Station?

      • badintent - Jul 11, 2013 at 1:56 AM

        The 7 stops at Citifield which is a coffin too.

  6. El Bravo - Jul 10, 2013 at 5:42 PM

    No pic of Rocker? hmmmmm, is that trolling the Cards nation or you just won’t give Rocker the photo op?

  7. stlouis1baseball - Jul 10, 2013 at 5:43 PM

    Ummm…those turnstiles that were in perpetual motion at the time tells a different story C.C.
    In perpetual motion to the point of almost single handily saving the game from the doldrums the strike shortened season caused.

  8. beefytrout - Jul 10, 2013 at 5:48 PM

    Good Lord I had forgotten how swollen Big Mac was back then.

  9. diditforthelulz1 - Jul 10, 2013 at 5:48 PM

    Nope don’t miss it. I’m not a steroids are bad mmkay either guy, but I much prefer a good pitching duel that ends 1-0 or 1-2 rather than a 11-9 slug fest.

  10. bigharold - Jul 10, 2013 at 5:48 PM

    “John Rocker thinks..”

    The very definition of oxymoron.

  11. mazblast - Jul 10, 2013 at 5:54 PM

    “John rocker thinks”

    That would be a first for him.

    • spudchukar - Jul 10, 2013 at 8:15 PM

      Just got back. And you beat me to it. 3 words that should never be used in the same sentence, “John Rocker thinks”.

      • Francisco (FC) - Jul 10, 2013 at 10:03 PM

        Whatcha talkin’bout? Of course you can, you just need to put the words in the right order. Watch: “Everyone thinks John Rocker is full of baloney”.

  12. cohnjusack - Jul 10, 2013 at 5:55 PM

    Meh…I like the lower scoring game much better.

    On of my favorite things from 2000

    Troy Glaus: 47 Home Runs, 102 RBI, 120 Runs, .284/.404/.604, solid defense at 3rd base…Zero MVP Votes Not one…couldn’t even muster a 10th place vote. Not a single voter looked at his number and thought “Oh yeah, certainly in the top 10!”

    Other favorites factoids from 2000:
    -48 batters who had enough PAs to qualify for the batting title posted an OPS above 900. This year there are 12.
    -David Well’s 4.11 ERA ranked 6th in the league. Roger Clemens 3.70 was second.
    -the 2012 team leader in runs were the Brewers (776) and Rangers (808). Those totals would have ranked 11th in both leagues in 2000

    • yahmule - Jul 11, 2013 at 11:11 AM

      Very well said. I’m glad to have the game I grew up with back.

  13. bmoreravens1012013 - Jul 10, 2013 at 5:57 PM

    He sounds ridiculous. Most people want reality , not fantasy. Especially when its , um illegal and therefore not a leveled playing field. He makes me think maybe he was on roids…..after all, he did possibly have roid rage when he lashed out that time.

    • vivabear - Jul 10, 2013 at 6:28 PM

      He pretty much admitted he did. He claims he failed a test, that Selig knew about in 2000. Also, that the Rangers brought people in to tell players how to effectively and safely use steroids – not advocate it, just if you’re going to do it, do it right and safely.

      • badintent - Jul 11, 2013 at 2:00 AM

        Actually they brought Jose Cancesco in. He claims so in his book that he instructed many Texas players on how to safely inject.You can choose to believe him or not.

      • yahmule - Jul 11, 2013 at 11:12 AM

        Rocker was very disappointed because he stayed up all night studying for his urine test.

    • cohnjusack - Jul 10, 2013 at 8:16 PM

      Most people want reality , not fantasy.

      From a broad philosophical standpoint, this is the most incorrect statement ever uttered.

      Limited to baseball…it’s still a bit silly. Baseball thrives on fantasy. It’s watches embrace ignorance, cling to easily disprovable myths and romanticize it’s past more than probably any other sport. What people want is for their fantasy to be pointed out as false. But believe, they looooove the fantasy.

  14. gwylie1 - Jul 10, 2013 at 6:00 PM

    For once, I actually agree with Rocker.

  15. dontbendorbreak - Jul 10, 2013 at 6:05 PM

    I’d rather listen to a lecture on the reproduction habits of the West African Horned Toad than anything that overgrown mutant hillbilly thinks

  16. a125125125 - Jul 10, 2013 at 6:24 PM

    uh…..I’m a little confused here, Craig. Don’t you spend lots of time beating the “nobody can prove a causal link between steroids and power numbers” drum? Seems like you abandon that line of thinking in your last paragraph.

  17. aceshigh11 - Jul 10, 2013 at 6:40 PM

    Rick Perry / John Rocker 2016

    • American of African Descent - Jul 10, 2013 at 10:34 PM

      Well played, sir.

    • nothanksimdriving123 - Jul 10, 2013 at 10:37 PM

      Do we even need to list Perry’s 3 reasons for picking Rocker? Didn’t think so.

    • stlouis1baseball - Jul 11, 2013 at 9:33 AM

      Let me fix this Aces…

      Joe Biden / John Rocker 2016

      And you absolutely know Joe is phuquing nuts! So don’t even try to disagree.

      • aceshigh11 - Jul 11, 2013 at 9:52 AM

        What the hell is it with you? Do you just read all my posts and pick out anything even remotely political?

      • stlouis1baseball - Jul 11, 2013 at 9:56 AM

        Nothing is necessarily “with me.”
        I just tire of seeing you beat the horse. It’s dead. They are now making glue out of it. Further, you claim (or have claimed) there are numerous things from both sides you have issues with. Yet…all you do is beat the aforementioned horse. It’s why I don’t debate you. You seem to think the sun rises and sets in the asses of the left. They do no wrong…if you will.

    • stlouis1baseball - Jul 11, 2013 at 9:58 AM

      And so we are clear…John Rocker, Joe Biden AND Rick Perry are phuqing idiots.
      Personally…I have no problems admitting it.

      • jimeejohnson - Jul 11, 2013 at 2:44 PM

        Doesn’t take much to admit that. And: you forgot the biggest idiot of all, and the guy you can blame anything on: G.W. Bush.

      • stlouis1baseball - Jul 11, 2013 at 3:34 PM

        I try to remain objective. That was the entire point. I have issues with both sides of the aisle. Whereas…you (and a lot of others)…seem incapable of admitting the same. To the point of the debate (see your G.W. reference) holding zero credence with me. One sided…one sided….and one sided.

  18. chucknorrissinspiration - Jul 10, 2013 at 6:41 PM

    Ill go on record to say that I could care less if guys take roids or not. Bring em on. You’ll need em once the aliens come and want to play in sports you so covet the records of.

    • Sideline Mob - Jul 10, 2013 at 8:13 PM

      Stop watching “Space Jam”.

  19. tjg25 - Jul 10, 2013 at 6:51 PM

    One I don’t disagree with Rocker overall. Two the game pretty much blows now. Fundamentals don’t exist and offense is down. A lot of unwatchable baseball.

  20. 1590t - Jul 10, 2013 at 6:52 PM

    How wrong you are John Rocker.

  21. mgflolox - Jul 10, 2013 at 7:51 PM

    I’m still waiting for ANY kind of actual evidence that links steroids to the explosion of offense from 1993-2006. Steroids/PEDs MIGHT have accounted for MAYBE a couple percent increase in run scoring, but I doubt it’s even that much. Players all across the board were seeing increases in not only in home runs, but in all other types hits. Paul Molitor set a career high of 225 hits and 113 RBI in 1996 at the age 39, Lance Johnson banged out 227 hits for the Mets the same year. Tony Gwynn had by far his best run of excellence from 1993-1997 from ages 33-37. Were they juicing too? Or are the effects of PEDs so pervasive as to actually be contagious?

    • offseasonblues - Jul 10, 2013 at 8:22 PM

      The evidence is circumstantial (which isn’t the same thing as weak), but a scientific study isn’t possible without knowing who’s using how much of what and clearly we’ll never have that kind of study.

      What seems to have changed is that players are tired of having results generated by hard work questioned as possibly being the result of cheating via banned substances.

    • cohnjusack - Jul 10, 2013 at 8:27 PM

      I think steroids pretty obviously helped some players increase their numbers. I think steroids pretty obviously helped some players extend their careers. I think numerous studies have shown that steroids can increase the distance that one hits a baseball, turning 380 fly outs into home runs.

      What nobody can claim is how much of a difference it made on an individual level. How many home runs does Barry Bonds hit in 2001 without steroids? Fuck if I know. It foolish to claim that you can quantify how much of a player’s offense was driven by steroids when obviously people used different steroids, trained different, and had different skill sets to begin with. I’m pretty certain it helped Bonds quite a bit. His rise to the greatest hitter ever coincided directly with what should have been a late career decline and the beginning of his use of steroids. Not proof, but pretty good circumstantial evidence. …but I’m also sure it helped other players not at all and possibly even hurt others. I mean…David Ortiz used steroids, and he still seems to be a pretty good hitter years later while being tested.

      Were Tony Gwynn and Molitor juicing? Who knows. If there was anything that should have been learned from the Mitchell Report, it’s that a wide variety of players used steroids. It wasn’t just the McGwire’s and Bonds’s, it was also Fernando Vina, Gary Bennet, Lenny Dykstra, Brian Roberts….

      The fact, you’re never going to know who all did steroids in the 1990s and you’ll never know what their numbers would have been without them. Get over it, it’s a fact of life. To apply a Jon Krakauer quote about religion to baseball:

      n abundance of mystery is simply part of the bargain — which doesn’t strike me as something to lament. Accepting the essential inscrutability of existence, in any case, is surely preferable to its opposite: capitulating to the tyranny of intransigent belief.”

  22. stlunatik - Jul 10, 2013 at 10:43 PM

    Bring steroids back, puuuulllleeezz!! Way more entertaining.

  23. nmurray6783 - Jul 10, 2013 at 11:15 PM

    I don’t mind baseball using PEDs, as long as they are not messing with the players health. I know some steroids do but haven’t heard that about things like HGH. Baseball is non contact so stronger players doesn’t make the game dangerous like football or hockey.

    • ptfu - Jul 11, 2013 at 12:07 AM

      Players hit by pitches…runners trying to score through the catcher…runners taking out middle infielders on double plays…

      It’s far less contact than in football or hockey, but I wouldn’t quite call it non-contact.

  24. largebill - Jul 11, 2013 at 12:22 AM

    It isn’t just about explosive offenses destroying the record books. Fans want to see players (pitchers and hitters) performing at their best. Most steroids are about helping players be at their physical peak. Relievers struggle with recovery from frequent usage. Other player’s have muscle strains from exertion and exercise. Steroids can enable the body to recover more quickly. With medical supervision steroids can actually make the game better.

  25. garryjercia - Jul 11, 2013 at 12:33 AM

    Why is anyone still interviewing Rocker anyway?

    • yahmule - Jul 11, 2013 at 11:09 AM

      Because he’s liable to say something stupid. They could have interviewed any number of thoughtful and intelligent former players, but where’s the fun in that?

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