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Jack McDowell says “everyone knows” there are Hall of Famers who used PEDs

Feb 14, 2014, 9:00 AM EDT

Jack McDowell

Former White Sox ace Jack McDowell is in the news, as he was just hired by the Dodgers to manage their rookie league team, the Ogden Raptors. It’s the first managing job for Black Jack, a guy who never really struck you as managing material back in his heyday, but I suppose everyone matures.

And based on this interview by Scot Gregor of the Daily Herald, he sounds pretty interesting today.

McDowell wants to teach baseball and is excited about working with rookie leaguers. He is realistic about how analysis of the game has changed and admits that, had he posted his 1993 season in 2013, he wouldn’t have won the Cy Young Award given that wins and innings are no longer considered everything (though he still thinks wins are the most important pitcher stat).

Oh, and he has something to say about PEDs and the Hall of Fame too:

Q: You’ve been outspoken about suspected PED users and the Hall of Fame. Why?

A: I just think it’s too bad that only the handful of guys take the brunt of it from everybody. Meanwhile, a ton of other guys were into it. You can’t fix the other part, the players who (Hall of Fame voters) say are clean.

All of us who were around kind of smirk at each other. There are guys in there (HOF) already that everyone knows (weren’t clean). It’s part of the deal.

Unless you’re going to use a lie detector on everybody, you’re never going to know who did and who didn’t.

Don’t tell that to the Hall of Fame voters. They think they know.

  1. chill1184 - Feb 14, 2014 at 9:08 AM

    He does know that lie detectors can produce false readings right?

    • dan1111 - Feb 14, 2014 at 9:10 AM

      I don’t think he meant that as a literal suggestion–he was just pointing out that, without reading people’s minds, we don’t have the evidence to know who did steroids.

    • stex52 - Feb 14, 2014 at 9:13 AM

      His point was not about the means of getting the evidence. His point is that we don’t presently have a good way to know what was going on back then, unless players decide they want to confess to it.

      • yahmule - Feb 14, 2014 at 9:56 AM

        Sodium pentothal and a solid length of rubber hose always does the trick.

      • dan1111 - Feb 14, 2014 at 10:11 AM

        @yahmule, are you really saying we should use chemical means to artificially enhance their…oh, never mind.

      • bigharold - Feb 14, 2014 at 10:27 AM

        Cut to the chase, … Starting in 2021, the final part of being inducted into the HoF will be a month of water boarding.

  2. thebadguyswon - Feb 14, 2014 at 9:09 AM

    Murray Chass would like a word with Black Jack.

  3. alang3131982 - Feb 14, 2014 at 9:10 AM

    Clearly there are players that took PEDs in the HoF. I mean amphetamines are PEDs and many many many ball players took them.

    It’d be great to know if any HoFers took capital P (According to writers, because who cares about speed /sarcasm), PEDs (HGH, steroids), because then the hall would have to boot them or writers would be in tough ground withholding enshrinement from suspected steroid users, given they already voted for some unwittingly.

    • alang3131982 - Feb 14, 2014 at 9:20 AM

      Or maybe not, I guess the writers could easily say “if we had known, we voted have voted for players X.” I guess a better precedent is writers knowingly voting for pitchers who scuffed balls or corked bats or took amphetamines.

      Before you start, cheating is cheating. If you can prove that steroids or HGH help someone play baseball more than scuffing a ball, by all means. I also am aware that there appears to be no evidence that corking a bat helps.

      • alang3131982 - Feb 14, 2014 at 9:27 AM

        terrible sentencing there. “if we had known, we would not have voted….

      • paperlions - Feb 14, 2014 at 9:35 AM

        The BBWAA members can say that, but we know they’d be lying. Again, there have been investigative stories about extensive steroid and amphetamine use in MLB since the 1960s, and if the report came out in the 60s, it is likely that those things were going on long before that. The fact is that attitudes about PED use have dramatically changed. Even in the early 90s players joked WITH the media about taking steroids….no, they didn’t use the word steroids in print, but they referred to “special vitamins” and “Canseco milkshakes” they used to add 20-30 lbs of muscle over a single winter….and EVERYONE knew what it meant and NO ONE cared.

        Players didn’t change what they were doing with drug use (except that working out all year long became more common) so much as attitudes about what they were doing changed…and when did those attitudes change? When records were broken…and not one minute before…in fact, not until a few years later…when an unlikable player started breaking records.

        Any BBWAA member that says they wouldn’t have voted in guys from the 50s-80s that used PEDs if they had known are simply lying…because back then…no one cared.

      • Marty McKee - Feb 14, 2014 at 10:08 AM

        I’m gonna say hitting 73 HRs at age 36 is proof that steroids or HGH help someone play baseball better.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Feb 14, 2014 at 11:17 AM

        Stealing paperlion’s comment, so how come Bonds never hit more than 49 in any other season? Was he only on PEDs for that one year?

      • tysonpunchinguterus - Feb 14, 2014 at 12:24 PM

        I’m going to guess that the 120 intentional walks in 1 season cut down on Barry’s HR total. Not to mention the fact that he played in fewer games every season after 2001. If you look at his stats, his OPS and OPS+ were higher in 2 of the 3 seasons that followed his 73-HR season. Also, he AB/HR rates were still way better from 2002-2004 than they were prior to 2001. From 2002 to 2004, he wasn’t getting good pitches to hit, but he made the most of it when he did get one. In 2004, he drew a walk 37.6% of the time he came to the plate. It’s hard to hit 70 HRs when nobody wants to throw the ball over the plate.

      • alang3131982 - Feb 14, 2014 at 12:29 PM

        Alex Sanchez didnt hit many HRs. What if, as some analysis has shown, more pitchers took steroids? Do steroids only help people hit HRs? Do steroids make pitchers worse? There’s no way you can say that one person’s HR total is only the result of steroids. that’s preposterous and ignorant.

      • tysonpunchinguterus - Feb 14, 2014 at 1:15 PM

        Steroids don’t only help a player hit HRs but that doesn’t mean they don’t help a player who isn’t a home run hitter. Increased strength leads to increased bat speed, which means a guy can make better contact or hit a ball he otherwise would have been too slow to hit. Some guys use steroids to train for better speed. That can help SB totals and batting average if he can beat out a few extra infield hits. In the case of guys like Bonds and McGwire, they trained to hit HRs and the steroids helped them do just that.

      • clemente2 - Feb 14, 2014 at 2:59 PM

        Marty–you are being very civil and so I think you might do alittle more work on this—check out Bonds’ post-2004 numbers, all the way until his 2007 season. Look at his PA rate stats.

        I have no doubt the PEDs helped. I just think the cause/effect and what was helped are murkier than you seem to be expressing. The biggest thing to me is it kept him on the field, feeling basically OK, and allowed him to continue refining what he started doing in 1999–hitting HRs rather than worrying about batting average. This caused him to get more selective, leading to walks. As pitchers noticed his HRs, they decided to pitch carefully, and he had the discipline to lay off (unlike alot of power hitters like Hamilton). Adding the body armour (which should not have been allowed for Bonds or Bagwell) helped alot too.

      • mpzz - Feb 14, 2014 at 11:48 PM

        Only a moron would not understand that using steroids is many levels above scuffing a ball!

      • raysfan1 - Feb 15, 2014 at 9:48 AM

        Instead of insulting people, mpzz, you should try to use some actual evidence to form a cogent arguement that supports your own view. It’s easy, and I’ll even do the first one for you:
        Granted, the baseball rule book does not have a section defining what’s major cheating versus minor cheating. Both steroids cheats and ball scuffed/spitballers get suspended when they get caught. However, a first time steroid cheat is suspended 50 games under the JDA, but the average ball scuffing suspension is 7-10 games. Obviously, therefore, the MLB front office considers steroids the worse offense.

        There, was that so hard?

        By the way, people can still reasonably disagree with your viewpoint, so statements that only a moron would disagree with you just makes you look like a tool.

  4. elvin2014 - Feb 14, 2014 at 9:11 AM

    Jack McDowell is Correct….Some Hall of Famers are Hall of Shamers….

    • happytwinsfan - Feb 14, 2014 at 9:25 AM

      why are PED users considered to be the lowest of the low?

      the drugs that players are allowed to use to enhance their abilities must be limited because if they aren’t those young guys will use stuff that ruins their bodies and the rest of their lives for a few short years of glory before they’re old enough to know better. it would be a sin for the rest of us to let that happen.

      when a player is caught using a banned substance he should be disciplined in a way that deters the use of that substance, but PED’s aren’t magical pills that suddenly increase muscle mass, they primarily enable a player to work longer and harder to develop his abilities. is doing that so despicable?

      • tysonpunchinguterus - Feb 14, 2014 at 11:20 AM

        Here’s where I have a problem with it: clean players are penalized.

        Player A is a minor-league infielder with a decent glove and an ok bat at best. He’s competing for a major league backup/utility role with Player B in Spring Training. Player B knows this and spends the offseason using whatever PED he can get his hands on and that helps him go from a AAA-level player to a major league backup. Player A is now penalized for not cheating and not inflicting potential health problems on himself. For most minor-leaguers, the pay increase to the major league minimum is substantial.

        Or look at your upper-level players. Many, if not most, top-level players have bonuses in their contracts based of making the All-Star team or receiving MVP/Cy Young votes. Player A is clean and puts up numbers that would have been sure-fire All-Star numbers worthy of MVP votes, if not the award itself. But because there were other guys at his position, he’s shut out of the All-Star game and doesn’t get enough MVP votes to get his bonus. The average person might not care about a millionaire’s bonus, but he sure does. And down the line, those All-Star appearances and MVP votes are used to judge his career. Would a player like Fred McGriff be sitting around 10-15% of the Hall of Fame vote were he not compared to his 1B contemporaries like McGwire and Palmiero? He led the league with 35 HRs in 1992. In 1999, his 32 HRs were still 5 back of 10th place and a minimum of 4 of the guys ahead of him were guys we now know were cheating (A-Rod, Manny, Palmiero, Juan Gonzalez). And since 3 of those guys (plus McGwire, Sosa, and Sheffield) got to 500 HRS, many people don’t view his 493 HRs the way they otherwise would. Now, a lot of that is because the writers are incredibly inconsistent (Those guys only got to 500 HRs because of steroids. That guy was clean but 7 HRs short of 500? He’s out! After all, look how many guys hit 500!). If the financial aspect doesn’t matter to a player at that level, you know it bothers most of them from a legacy standpoint. Being able to call yourself a Hall of Famer is a huge honor and to have it taken away because other guys used needles to outshine you ins’t right.

      • happytwinsfan - Feb 14, 2014 at 12:08 PM

        tysonpunchinguterus :

        i agree that the penalties need to be pretty substantial and the chances of being caught high to change player’s cost benefit analysis. if i’m a triple A guy and improving my performance by 10% is the difference between making at least hundreds of thousands of dollars if not a few million for a year or three and never moving beyond making dishwasher money, there would have to be a pretty big boom waiting to come down on me to keep me from using that needle. i do think we need to lower the boom professionally when we catch a kid using a banned substance, but we don’t need to do so morally.

        your points about legacy and hof voting are excellent, but by the same reasoning that applies to the marginal triple A prospect, i don’t think of the arods, bonds etc as being spawns of the devil, although maybe they are arrogant self centered jerks. you and i might differ in that i would consider an apparent likelihood of extensive PED use to be a significant negative hof consideration rather then an exclusionary one.

      • raysfan1 - Feb 14, 2014 at 12:16 PM

        Okay, without debating the efficacy of steroids or whether ubiquitous presence of amphetamines affected anything…
        How many players not named Frank Thomas were outspoken against steroid use in the 1990s? If more had, maybe that would have changed attitudes earlier. Paperlions commented earlier that nobody cared about steroids until an unpopular player broke a beloved record. It was actually more than that. The reporter who mentioned seeing andro in Mark McGwire’s locker in 1998 was heavily criticized for doing so at the time, including by the commissioner. Frankly, everybody in baseball–the players, the teams and league, and the media–all contributed to the rampant use of steroids in the 1990s. That includes clean players who did not speak up.

      • tysonpunchinguterus - Feb 14, 2014 at 12:42 PM


        I actually agree with you to some extent. PED use isn’t an automatic no-Hall vote in my mind. A-Rod, McGwire, Sosa, Palmiero are all out if I had a vote. Bonds would get in because his career prior to 2001 was amazing on its own. Had he retired after the 1999 season, he would have been a sure thing to get in. Clemens is a tougher case. I’d say no based on how he magically rebounded when he got to Toronto. His last few years in Boston ranged from mediocre to slightly above average. He definitely appeared to be in decline. His health played a role in that, but those are the breaks (and he did stay healthy enough in 1996 to make 34 starts, but a 1.327 WHIP isn’t all that great). He probably didn’t do enough through 1996 to get the 75% needed, but maybe his 3 Cy Young Awards would have been enough for voters to look past not reaching 200 wins (let alone 300) or 3,000 Ks (since strikeouts were a huge part of his legacy).

  5. largebill - Feb 14, 2014 at 9:17 AM

    This creates a conundrum. Is he a thoughtful guy since he said something I agree with him about or is he an idiot because he also said something with which I disagree?

    • paperlions - Feb 14, 2014 at 9:38 AM

      It really doesn’t matter if you agree or disagree with facts….they are still facts.

      Is your conundrum that you don’t know if you want to have a fact-based opinion or an entrenched fact-ignoring belief?

      • happytwinsfan - Feb 14, 2014 at 9:48 AM

        i think you misunderstand his conundrum, which i share. if someone agrees with me that person is obviously a thoughtful and serious person. if they disagree with me that may only be so because they are a fundamentally mindless person. if they both agree and disagree with me i have no idea where to put them, very distressing, and near unbearable when i both agree and disagree with myself

      • stex52 - Feb 14, 2014 at 10:11 AM

        Twins’ point is that he is human. As humans we don’t want facts that conflict with our belief structures. It makes everything so hard.

      • paperlions - Feb 14, 2014 at 12:42 PM

        Are you saying I’m not human? Because, you know, thanks!

      • happytwinsfan - Feb 14, 2014 at 1:26 PM

        when i disagree with myself, i’m not sure i’m human. very confusing.

  6. stex52 - Feb 14, 2014 at 9:20 AM

    What’s really scarier? PED’s or Black Jack is managing rookies?

  7. chesschum - Feb 14, 2014 at 9:25 AM

    One of the frustrating aspects of being a baseball fan these days is that we have to guess about who illegally used PEDs (assuming we care, which I do), while others don’t have to guess because they know. I suspect that there are a few Hall of Fame candidates out there who most or all baseball insiders know did “stuff”, but they’re never going to tell the rest of us for a number of reasons — loyalty, not wanting to get sued, etc. Whenever typical fans like us get pissed that guys like Bagwell and Piazza aren’t getting enough votes for the HOF, I wonder if the writers are thinking, “If only you knew what I know…”

    • alang3131982 - Feb 14, 2014 at 9:28 AM

      If writers know, they should write about it. Their job isnt to hold onto the truth, their job is to spread the truth. If they cant because they dont have enough proof, then they dont actually know anything, they’re just guessing or have heard rumors. That isnt proof and they shouldnt be making decisions based on rumors.

      • chesschum - Feb 14, 2014 at 2:07 PM

        alang, you’re naïve. Any beat reporter knows stuff he’s not going to tell. They’ll even soft-pedal their story if a guy plays terribly, because they don’t want to get on his bad side or his teammates’ bad side. If that happens, he might be out of a job. It’s a lot worse with drug usage. If he starts naming names, he’s a pariah to the players (and maybe even the fans) and he might get sued. Thirty years ago, when a bunch of players (Dale Berra, Jerry Martin, John Mayberry – can’t remember them all) got nailed for drug usage, tons of players and writers knew about it years beforehand. I don’t like it either, but that’s the way it is, and it’s not going to change because people like us would like those guys to tell the whole truth.

      • chesschum - Feb 14, 2014 at 3:27 PM

        I’m aware of that, paper. I’m not sure what your point is.

    • paperlions - Feb 14, 2014 at 9:40 AM

      Do you know why you care? If you care because you think PEDs had an huge effect on performance, you should probably read some of the studies on the topic. If you care because you think using steroids is dangerous to your health, you should probably read up on how much more dangerous amphetamines and commonly used prescription drugs are. If you care on moral grounds (cheating), they do you view all cheating the same or are you reserving feelings only for PED use?

      • gibbyfan - Feb 14, 2014 at 10:07 AM

        So what are you saying Paper ? Are you saying that you have all the indisputable facts and the whole PED thing is really much ado about nothing?

      • paperlions - Feb 14, 2014 at 12:41 PM

        I am saying that I require facts before concluding that PEDs, in particular, steroids, had a big effect on performance. To date, NO SUCH FACTS EXIST!. The facts that do exist suggest strongly that it was the change in ball composition that inflated HR rates.

        Again, players were taking steroids and getting bigger slowly over a 15 year period. Suddenly, HR rates jumped 33% over one year and that jump occurred at the same time as the new ball being introduced (mid 1993). After that, HR rates did NOT increase or change appreciable until around 2007, when they started to decline. Despite players continuing to get bigger over the 90s, HR rates did not change during that time.

        So, I require some evidence that they were as important as people think they are….because the current data suggests that steroids had a minimal effect on HR rates compared to changes in the ball, the tiny strike zone of the 1990s, and the tendency to build smaller parks in the 1990s….all of those things have gone away (parks are bigger now, the strike zone is MUCH bigger than it was thanks to Pitch FX data being used by the league and umpires to improve ball-strike calls, no one knows yet if changes were made to the ball…haven’t seen an updated study).

      • gibbyfan - Feb 14, 2014 at 1:14 PM

        Well that would be one helluva travesty if in fact PEDs had little or no effect………and a tragedy in terms of what happened to BIg Mac for using something that actually wasn’t even bannned in the first place. Can’t say that I have looked closely at it, but one would think with all the resources MLB has and the huge effect this has had on the game their experts must know something. And, you really have to wonder how Barry Bonds became such a monster—was it really just a tough workout routine? and, people like Canesco and Lyle Alzedo (a football player) have publicly said roids really enhanced their strength and performance.

      • chesschum - Feb 14, 2014 at 2:15 PM

        You know, paper, everyone seems to think the issues you listed are the important ones. I don’t see it that way. I don’t have any idea whether PEDs have much effect on performance, and I don’t particularly care about them on moral grounds. So those aren’t the issues, at least for me.

        The issue for me is that taking banned substances is against the rules. I believe that rules are meant to be complied with. Sometimes those rules aren’t perfect; sometimes they’re misguided. But without rules, sports become incoherent; you can’t have a sport without rules. And if you say, as many PED defenders in effect do, that it’s OK to break a rule when you don’t have proof that it’s a good rule, before long you won’t have any rules, and you won’t have any sports either.

        This isn’t an abstract argument. The history of baseball is littered with cases of men who thought they didn’t need to follow one rule or another. Some of them weren’t bad people; heck, some of them were better people than some of those in the Hall of Fame. Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, and many others did lots of regrettable things in their personal lives, but the rules of baseball don’t cover people’s personal lives. But those who broke the rules mostly paid for it. If that hadn’t happened, baseball wouldn’t be the great game it is today. Sure, there are exceptions (Gaylord Perry, for example), but that’s no reason to throw the baby out with the bathwater.

      • paperlions - Feb 14, 2014 at 2:28 PM

        Well, if you think following the rules is important, then you should know that starting in 1970 (or 1971, can never remember) that amphetamines were expressly against the rules in MLB. At that point, use of any scheduled drug was against MLB rules regardless of the fact that MLB couldn’t test for it and there was no CBA (or union) or set of rules to penalize players for doing it. Nonetheless, MLB had a rule stating it was not allowed. At that date, amphetamines were already a controlled substance and therefore against the rules. Even so, they were freely available in every locker room. Steroids did not become a controlled substance requiring a prescription until around 1990, and became expressly against the rules at that time.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Feb 14, 2014 at 5:01 PM

        The issue for me is that taking banned substances is against the rules. I believe that rules are meant to be complied with. Sometimes those rules aren’t perfect; sometimes they’re misguided. But without rules, sports become incoherent; you can’t have a sport without rules.

        Which is fine, as long as you agree about the actual rules, such as steroids weren’t banned until the latest CBA, and not ’91 like many think. So for instance, Bonds, Clemens, and McGwire shouldn’t be penalized for taking substances that weren’t against the rules.

        And if you say, as many PED defenders in effect do, that it’s OK to break a rule when you don’t have proof that it’s a good rule, before long you won’t have any rules, and you won’t have any sports either.

        No one is making that argument. Many of us are arguing that the vitriol these players are receiving is not proportional to the damage they caused. That taking PEDs didn’t/won’t destroy baseball. That these aren’t evil men, and even if you think they cheated, so did many others who didn’t get 1/100th the flack that the listed men above did.

      • mpzz - Feb 15, 2014 at 12:04 AM

        Only a fool would think steroids are less dangerous than amphetamines or prescription drugs.

      • paperlions - Feb 15, 2014 at 3:45 AM

        A fool….or you know, someone that is actually informed. Stop getting your information about PEDs from sports writers…the next time you see one of them quote an actual expert on PEDs about the effects, side-effects, and dangers of steroids or amphetamines will be the first.

      • raysfan1 - Feb 15, 2014 at 12:52 AM

        Then you think physicians are fools, mpzz. Amphetamines have been schedule II controlled substances since 1971 under the Controlled Substances Act. Steroids, including anabolic steroids, were added as schedule II and schedule III drugs in 1991–over the objections of physicians groups including the AMA. Amphetamines are potentially addicting, and can cause cardiac arrhythmias and heart attacks. All drugs have side effects, including potentially serious ones. Amphetamines’side effects are more immediately serious and more frequent. It’s actually not even debatable that amphetamines use is much more risky than steroid use.

      • paperlions - Feb 15, 2014 at 8:42 AM

        You know, it is pretty embarrassing how baseball fans and media have now had 15 years to learn SOMETHING about steroids and amphetamines and remain as ignorant as they were 15 years ago….or worse, have it MORE wrong now than they did before.

  8. Charles Gates - Feb 14, 2014 at 9:30 AM

    Later in the article, Jack goes on to say that the sun will rise again tomorrow and that he found bear poop in the woods.

    • dan1111 - Feb 14, 2014 at 9:52 AM

      How often do you find bear poop in the woods? Actually, that is a pretty rare event.

      • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Feb 14, 2014 at 10:00 AM

        More often than you find Pope poop in the woods.

      • Charles Gates - Feb 14, 2014 at 10:24 AM

        I’ve never found poop that was wearing clothing. It’s always bear.

      • dan1111 - Feb 14, 2014 at 10:34 AM

        @Charles, bear with me, because I can barely understand, but are you saying that bears poop bare bear poop in the woods?

  9. cohnjusack - Feb 14, 2014 at 9:37 AM

    All of us who were around kind of smirk at each other. There are guys in there (HOF) already that everyone knows (weren’t clean). It’s part of the deal.

    I think we all know he’s referring to Lloyd Waner here.

  10. Professor Fate - Feb 14, 2014 at 9:46 AM

    I realized I was sick and tired of the PED issue when I found myself focusing on McDowell’s quote where he still thinks wins is the most important stat for pitchers.

  11. raysfan1 - Feb 14, 2014 at 9:52 AM

    My wish is that, somehow, the emotion could be removed from all this. The offensive explosion happened. Steroids and other PEDs were rampant. Other changes occurred too, such as hitters wearing body armor, ball changes, and expansion. Probably all contributed in some degree to that explosion.

    Not only was there no real rule with consequences in place until 2004, MLB team and league front offices were complicit in the use of PEDs. One example is that while Selig may want to be seen as the commissioner who enacted the current testing system, he also join in the ostracism if the writer who mentioned seeing androstenedione in Mark McGwire’s locker.

    For myself, I’d prefer we all just judged players within the context of their time. I don’t think you can truly compare players from separate eras without the context of their era anyway.

    • yahmule - Feb 14, 2014 at 10:04 AM

      I know this much, the game looks like the game I watched when I was a kid now. Not the joke the league it was back in 2007 when exactly one pitcher in all of MLB finished the year with an ERA under 3.00. Anybody who preferred that garbage is not a real baseball fan.

      • Alex K - Feb 14, 2014 at 11:35 AM

        You just hit one of my big pet peeves.

        No one can tell anyone if they are a real fan of baseball. Only the person knows that.

      • sandwiches4ever - Feb 14, 2014 at 11:56 AM

        Next, you’ll be telling me about this great band you like that I’ve never heard of.

        This is really the baseball fan equivalent of hipsterdom–you’re only a real baseball fan if you dislike high scoring games, home runs, DHs, etc.

      • paperlions - Feb 14, 2014 at 12:57 PM

        Do you know how much of that you can attribute to steroid use? Probably none.

        In addition, if you are under 50 years old, you grew up watching a league that had a lot of PED users in it, nearly everyone used amphetamines and steroid use was very common.

        When steroid testing began, guess how much HR rates decreased. If you answered, they didn’t, you win.

      • yahmule - Feb 15, 2014 at 3:45 AM

        How much did run scoring decrease, Paper?

        The top two run scoring teams last year Boston (853) and Detroit (796) would have placed 6th and 12th in 2007.

        The lowest scoring team in baseball in 2007 Washington (673) would have finished 15th in runs scored last year.

        Pretty obvious scoring went way down after more stringent testing was put into place. No amount of dissembling can obscure that fact.

      • raysfan1 - Feb 15, 2014 at 9:36 AM

        Interesting that you picked 2007, Yahmule, since steroids suspensions started in 2004 and amphetamine suspensions started in 2007. (No, I’m not saying that means the run decrease is due to decreasing the prevalence of amphetamines more than the decrease of steroids. However, the data points you used are not evidence that runs went down as the result of the steroids testing.). Also. the trend line for league average scoring actually resets downward starting in 2010; the average runs scored per game from 2007-2009 is not significantly different than 2001-2003.

        As has been stated many times, there are more factors in play for the decline in offense than just steroids.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Feb 15, 2014 at 12:48 PM

        Pretty obvious scoring went way down after more stringent testing was put into place. No amount of dissembling can obscure that fact.

        Post hoc ergo propter hoc

        It’s been linked numerous times and yet people still ignore it. Strike outs have risen significantly the last few years. Fewer balls in play = fewer run scoring opportunities. But yeah, definitely because of PEDs and testing:

    • raysfan1 - Feb 14, 2014 at 10:33 AM

      I was not happy with the offensive explosion that occurred either. I didn’t like players wearing body armor and crowding the plate with impunity. I was concerned even then about all the “supplements” being used and took note when the McGwire/andro report was published in 1998. I was as sickened as anyone else by the labor strife and the cocaine epidemic that preceded the offensive explosion commonly called “the steroid era” as though that was the only problem. However, I’m also able to admit what happened did happen without getting wrapped around the axel over it. I don’t want it repeated and do want all reasonable efforts made to curtail and prevent such abuses. The players of the time were largely a product of the time and not a generation of evil doers; they were neither more or less perfect than anyone else in the long run, which is why I still say judge them within the context of their era and move on.

      • braddavery - Feb 14, 2014 at 2:52 PM

        They ARE being judged under the context of their era. PED use is
        is PED use regardless of era and known PED users are judged alongside their known PED using peers. Why on earth would anyone judge a player with no known ties to PEDs the same as a player with ties. That would not be fair to the player/players with no known ties.

      • raysfan1 - Feb 14, 2014 at 5:10 PM

        I respectfully disagree with the notion that “PED use is PED use regardless of era.” Before 2004 there were zero consequences of use in MLB. MLB actively turned a blind eye to the issue and at times helped cover it up too. Thus there is a big difference between those who have been caught and suspended under the JDA and those who used previously. I am all for eliminating PEDs and any punishment schedule the league and players’ association negotiate. I am not for retroactively applying standards that did not previously exist.

        Further if PED use is PED use, then amphetamine users do need to be condemned as vigorously as steroid and HGH users. Indeed, amphetamine use without a prescription has been illegal since 1971, and steroids only since 1991. Some players, like Pud Galvin, even used testosterone back in the 1890s and early 20th century. Synthetic anabolic steroids have been an issue in all sports including baseball since the late 1950s. Most now also consider cocaine as just a drug of abuse, but it has in fact also been used as a PED.

        Now, if you feel that the type of PED is important, then I suggest you not use the catch-all term PED. Regardless, historical context is important.

  12. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Feb 14, 2014 at 10:01 AM

    Smaller point: starting pitchers should think that Wins are the most important stat. That is the whole point of what they are doing; that is their goal. It is up to other people to look at the more advanced stats, but all of the other stuff is a means to an end.

    • dan1111 - Feb 14, 2014 at 10:28 AM

      Yeah. Wins are not a good measure of talent, but they still are a measure of success.

      • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Feb 14, 2014 at 10:32 AM

        “Sure we lost, but I got 8 Ks in 7 innings along with 10 ground balls. I did my part; this loss is on my teammates.”

        Said no pitcher ever.

      • largebill - Feb 14, 2014 at 10:46 AM

        Correct. Wins/losses are a way to measure success – for teams.

        However, wins/losses are a silly metric to measure an individual’s success in a team sport.

  13. elvin2014 - Feb 14, 2014 at 10:14 AM

    is Jack McDowell referring to Frank Thomas?

    • billybawl - Feb 14, 2014 at 12:05 PM

      Not to his face, he isn’t.

  14. zzalapski - Feb 14, 2014 at 10:19 AM

    The main takeaway I got from this was I’d forgotten how great Appier was in 1993: 18-8, league-leading 2.56 ERA (179 ERA+), 9.2 WAR (again, tops in the league). He “only” finished 3rd in the Cy Young vote, behind McDowell and Randy Johnson.

  15. Youknowimright - Feb 14, 2014 at 11:29 AM

    I want names. You make a statement like that. You should have the guts to back it up with names. I agree with him, but who is he talking about. Just Frank Thomas or are there more?

    Speculate people. Throw some names out there for me

    • billybawl - Feb 14, 2014 at 12:03 PM

      He should probably talk to Jack Clark before throwing out names.

  16. randomdigits - Feb 14, 2014 at 11:45 AM

    Of course there is. Pud Galvin admitted to using a steroid precursor and that was in the 1880’s.

    It is hopelessly naive to think that other in the Hall didn’t use, particularly if you are of the mindset that Greenies are PEDs (which I am).

    • jwbiii - Feb 14, 2014 at 12:10 PM

      Right. And up to that point in time, Pud Galvin was the most successful pitcher in the history of the game (Cy Young would soon pass his career marks for wins, strikeouts, innings pitched, etc). He openly used used Brown-Sequard elixir. It was a legal, over the counter supplement made of animal testosterone extracts. A player using it today would fail the same T/eT and exogenous testosterone tests as the Biogenesis players who failed tests (Melky Cabrera, Bartolo Colon, Yasmani Grandal) failed. If the best pitcher in baseball history touted a product as a contributor to his success, don’t you think other players would use that product as well? What we now call steroids have been around baseball as long as the four balls is a walk rule.

  17. jonmarkbarre - Feb 14, 2014 at 12:11 PM

    Rickey Henderson say Rickey Henderson did not eat up a steroid but I don’t think I believe Rickey Henderson. Eric Byrnes mystery speak remind me of Mike Schmidt eating up a steroid. There was also the magical 1996 and 97 seasons when Steve Finley, Ken Caminiti, Kevin Brown and Greg Vaughn forced Tony Gwynn to try eating up a steroid.

  18. kevjones75 - Feb 14, 2014 at 2:16 PM

    The way I see it, everyone was on something at some point. PED hitter v. PED pitcher. Wash. You still gotta hit the ball and throw strikes. I could care less about PED use

  19. braddavery - Feb 14, 2014 at 2:42 PM

    I think paperlions is Craig posting under an anonymous ID. lol

    • clemente2 - Feb 14, 2014 at 3:06 PM

      paperlions is much angrier than Craig

      • braddavery - Feb 14, 2014 at 3:14 PM

        That’s why paperlions is a perfect front for Craig to vent without disgracing his professional, public persona. No one knows it’s him so he can do or say what the hell he wants.

  20. notsofast10 - Feb 14, 2014 at 5:24 PM

    Someday this whole issue will explode! Baseball will be exposed as the dirtiest sport in history. Yep way dirtier than Cycling!!!!

  21. musketmaniac - Feb 14, 2014 at 5:26 PM

    my money is cal ripken, I know he had to be eating more than his wheaties

  22. stercuilus65 - Feb 20, 2014 at 8:19 PM

    Poor Craig….

  23. campcouch - Feb 21, 2014 at 11:58 AM

    Ultimately PEDs got everyone paid. This is why so few players gripe about the guys that got caught or are accused of. If juiced up Player A is the best SS in the game and gets X dollars,non-juiced up Player B can go to a team and say hey,you paid A this amount because he hit this and drove in that. My numbers are slightly below his so I deserve money near his amount. And so the market is set. Everyone gets paid,fans get to see their “hero” play,the owners make more money and MLB makes more cash. I bet if Canseco never opened his mouth,the incredible Hulk Machine would still be going.

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