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Great Moments in Smearing Ballplayers for Imagined PED Use

Jun 17, 2014, 2:00 PM EDT

You’ve seen those listicles on your Facebook feed, I’m sure. They’re everywhere. And I’m not gonna hate on them too much because (a) everyone’s gotta eat, and it’s not like most of us are paying Facebook anything out of pocket; and (b) some of those lists can be guilty pleasures.

I mean, no, I don’t care about the Ten Things I Didn’t Know About “Forrest Gump,” but I was sort of intrigued by the list of Actors who Refuse to Work With Each Other. And like a lot of you, I’m a sucker for anything to do with Child Stars Gone Bad. Everyone likes to waste time and everyone’s mileage varies, so live and let live in the vast, ridiculous Internet Content Factories in which we all either toil, partake from time to time or [gasp] even sorta like.

Here’s one, however, that doesn’t exactly fit my tastes:


While I’m certainly not above clickbait, I’m not giving those guys the satisfaction of your clicks given that they’re trafficking in libelesque nonsense. They’re probably legally safe — heck, Rick Reilly and a lot of others played in this sandbox for years and never got sued somehow — but it’s certainly low rent. Even for spammy clickbait.

(thanks to Dave Merrell for the heads up)

  1. Old Gator - Jun 17, 2014 at 2:09 PM

    And a lot of these are guys who never took their shirts orf so we could check their backs for acne. Some bloggers don’t even want to do baseline research. Shameful.

    • historiophiliac - Jun 17, 2014 at 2:13 PM

      And with the horrible wait times under the Canadian health system, baseball will die before any Jay’s get their hands on any steroids or meds for their ADD “treatment.” Not even realistic.

      • nbjays - Jun 17, 2014 at 4:50 PM

        Stop trolling on my free socialized medicine, lady.

        No unrealistic wait times here, so you must be listening to the anti-ACA crowd on the evils of free healthcare. :-)

      • historiophiliac - Jun 17, 2014 at 5:07 PM

        Don’t you try to communize me, you socialist anti-freedom America-hater!

      • nbjays - Jun 17, 2014 at 9:38 PM

        Don’t call me an anti-freedom America-hater… I’m an anti-American freedom-hater… geez, get it right!

      • cur'68 - Jun 17, 2014 at 5:16 PM

        I have a friend waiting right now for cancer surgery to remove a good portion of his pancreas. But at least he’s on the list and it will happen this week sometime. In the Sates? He’d just die of pancreatic cancer: he has no health insurance and couldn’t afford it if he had to have it.

        As for My Boy Bautista? Well, if anyone can show me a positive result then we can talk. Until then, these “” wankers can kiss my hairy black ass.

      • historiophiliac - Jun 17, 2014 at 5:21 PM

        Oooh, best wishes to your friend there. My brother developed pancreatitis last year. You don’t mess with the pancreas. Sending positive freedom thoughts your way.

        PS I think fishing makes you kinda crabby. Isn’t it supposed to relax you? :)

      • cur'68 - Jun 17, 2014 at 5:31 PM

        I’ll let him know he’s receiving positive freedom thoughts from women on the internet. It’ll make him very happy.

        I wasn’t fishing today, but I was golfing. Just got back. Got beat by 2 strokes. Considering that the competition takes lessons and spend tens of thousands of dollars per year on golf related aids and I don’t do, nor have ever done, either of those things, I’m claiming victory.

      • historiophiliac - Jun 17, 2014 at 5:33 PM

        Uh, hot American women, thank you. And you should definitely claim victory.

      • cur'68 - Jun 17, 2014 at 5:38 PM

        But of course the “hot American” part. Goes without saying that’s how it would be explained to him.

      • koufaxmitzvah - Jun 17, 2014 at 6:29 PM

        No, Cur. In the States, your friend gets to keep his pancreas.

        In this case, you can take it with you.

      • raysfan1 - Jun 17, 2014 at 7:29 PM

        Our motto in my internship (when I foolishly thought I wanted to be a surgeon) was “eat when you can, sleep when you can, and don’t ‘mess’ with the pancreas.” It was a wise motto.

    • madnova - Jun 17, 2014 at 8:34 PM

      In their defense, they did pull out old and current baseball cards and measure the heads pictured with a ruler.

  2. doctorofsmuganomics - Jun 17, 2014 at 2:16 PM

    see, now I have to know who the ten are

    • doctorofsmuganomics - Jun 17, 2014 at 2:23 PM

      Albert Pujols, Nolan Ryan, Mike Sweeney, Rickey Henderson, Adrian Beltre, Jose Bautista, Edwin Encarnacion, Juan Gonzalez, Cliff Lee and Jacoby Ellsbury

      and my soul only died a little

      • El Bravo - Jun 17, 2014 at 2:44 PM

        Cliff Lee? That’s just weird. Nolan Ryan is a cyborg, so unless biotech is considered a PED, I don’t believe he fits either. Mike Sweeney? That guy cannibalized other PED users, so he is damned, albeit indirectly….

      • SocraticGadfly - Jun 17, 2014 at 3:24 PM

        As a long-time Cards fan, I don’t believe it about Pujols, and never have. Now, if you mentioned the other rumor, that, coming from the Dominican, he’s a year or two older than he currently claims? I’d find that one more credible. Not necessarily credible, but more credible than roiding.

      • yahmule - Jun 17, 2014 at 3:36 PM

        What? Nobody is going to bat for Juan Gone?


      • deepstblu - Jun 17, 2014 at 3:57 PM

        Nolan Ryan was a known juicer early in this career.

        Pickle juice, that is. Some fan told the Mets’ trainer that soaking in it would be good for Ryan’s finger blisters. He tried it, and either it worked or it was a decent placebo.

      • jwbiii - Jun 17, 2014 at 6:00 PM

        Juan Gonzalez never failed a test, but was implicated in a complex affair involving clenbuterol, himself, one of his entourage, his personal trainer Nao Presinal (doesn’t presinal just sound like a steroid?), and the Canadian Border Service. Mitchell Report, p 95.

      • yahmule - Jun 17, 2014 at 7:27 PM

        And also, you needed about one look at Juan Gonzalez to know he was juicing harder than a Tropicana factory.

      • stex52 - Jun 18, 2014 at 12:29 PM

        We go through this constantly, but let’s try again and hope it sticks this time. (Hah!)

        Albert Pujols moved to the U.S. (New York City) at age 16. He was not scouted, he was not known as a baseball phenom, he was not brought over by some team.

        He was drafted 402nd in the amateur draft after a year of college. He went to High School and college in Missouri. No one could read a birth certificate?

        It is amazing the legs that rumor has, with absolutely no support.

    • SocraticGadfly - Jun 17, 2014 at 2:32 PM

      Well, we know that Jeter’s not on the 10, right?

    • 18thstreet - Jun 17, 2014 at 3:20 PM

      That’s the worst part about clickbait. I now work for an organization who is regularly cited on HuffPost. And I swear, I can’t leave that site without clicking on SOMETHING. It makes me so mad.

      Incidentally, for the twitter-ers among us, let me recommend Really funny stuff.

      • jtorrey13 - Jun 17, 2014 at 3:35 PM

        I wholeheartedly agree 18th. I started following that account recently and I love seeing it pop up in my feed. I get a smug feeling knowing that I know what they know with nary an interna curiosity fight or a finger tap.

        #smuglevelred #smuglevelup #smugsuperpowerrevealed

      • SocraticGadfly - Jun 17, 2014 at 4:00 PM

        I do my best to not click on anything that talks about a numerated list in the header. I know it’s going to be clickbait, and if it’s a slideshow, multiple pages of clickbait.

  3. karlkolchak - Jun 17, 2014 at 2:18 PM

    What exactly looks artificially enhanced in that photo?

    • Bryz - Jun 17, 2014 at 2:42 PM

      His cyborg eyes.

  4. braddavery - Jun 17, 2014 at 2:28 PM

    Being a lawyer, you would think that Craigt would understand the difference between speculation and accusation, especially when dealing with public figures.

    • Craig Calcaterra - Jun 17, 2014 at 2:44 PM

      Thus the word “libelesque.”

    • hk62 - Jun 17, 2014 at 2:49 PM

      So if you have a pulpit, you can speculate on something for which you have no proof (even if you say this) and because you are speculating you have no accountability? Seems to me that those who listen to the “information” are speeding towards full on lemming status. I think though that speculation can cause harm, quantifiable harm in some cases, which should allow those harmed to some form of recourse. Courts take forever though, so its unlikely to happen, plus you always get the “if there was nothing there why did they react to it” retorts, which is completely ridiculous. Just keep in mind that when the consult blazes through your work place and speculates that your function really isn’t needed based on the over all results, you then have no defense – since they didn’t actually accuse you of anything. In this case the writers really are trying to question the integrity of other individuals, should that be ok without proof?
      Wonder all you want – but put it in print?, yea that’s the spirit of freedom of the press right?

  5. Rich Stowe - Jun 17, 2014 at 2:37 PM

    sadly, all of MLB – the teams, the owners, the MLB leadership and the players themselves brought this upon themselves by fighting against testing for so many years and leaving nothing but speculation out there.

    even today, we all know the “scientists” are able to create “supplements” that can pass any approved test so every player is under suspicion especially if they jump in number of home runs hit or return quicker than normal from an injury or have a career year in their late-30s.

    • 18thstreet - Jun 17, 2014 at 3:21 PM

      Also, the scientists are to blame. Why did they even invent PEDs to begin with?

      This problem will be solved as soon as the world’s best athletes are no longer interested in getting a competitive advantage.

      • historiophiliac - Jun 17, 2014 at 3:26 PM

        DEATH TO SCIENCE!!!!!

      • SocraticGadfly - Jun 17, 2014 at 5:43 PM

        And, of course, back in the days of Old Hoss Radbourn, players were injecting goat testimacles into themselves and such. They’ll cheat, or if it’s not yet illegal, “gain competitive advantage.”

        Seriously, PEDs probably only were responsible for about 30 percent of 1990s power uptick. Maple bats, bandbox retro ballparks, a bit of baseball enlivening and expansion were also all involved.

      • jwbiii - Jun 17, 2014 at 6:18 PM

        It was for rejuvenation and prolonging life. Charles-Edouard Brown-Sequard presented the first paper on this in 1885. Within a few years, at least one baseball was using Brown-Sequard Elixir. Pud Galvin was very open about it and was an outstanding pitcher, so I would think it odd if no other players followed him.

      • yahmule - Jun 17, 2014 at 7:31 PM

        Yeah, because 10 of the 15 times a guy has hit 57 or more homers happened between 1998 and 2002, but maple bats and small ballparks. Why don’t you take a good whiff of what you’re shoveling?

      • SocraticGadfly - Jun 18, 2014 at 9:54 AM

        Yahmule, why don’t YOU take a good whiff of some analytics?

        Testing has documented a livelier baseball.

        Baseball Prospectus has done pieces on the expansion effect.

        We all know about bandbox new parks like Philly.

        Maple bats may be tougher to prove a direct connection, but the evidence is there for everything else.

  6. tfbuckfutter - Jun 17, 2014 at 2:37 PM

    It’d be funny if David Eckstein was on the list.

    Although that dude definitely used PEDs….he ate sandpaper regularly. 80 Grit. Because he wanted to be so damn gritty.

    (I know, technically 400 grit sandpaper would have more instances of grit, however the size of the grit in 80 grit is what matters. Which….actually makes LESS sense in the case of David Eckstein….arguing PEDs always ends up being confusing.)

    • El Bravo - Jun 17, 2014 at 2:46 PM

      Yeah, I agree. Rougher sandpaper (i.e. lower number) is what Eckstein would be no doubt.

    • historiophiliac - Jun 17, 2014 at 3:28 PM

      Now I have a mental image of him sucking on emery boards in the dugout.

      • tfbuckfutter - Jun 17, 2014 at 3:30 PM

        It’s funny because he’s a tiny little man with big ears and a baby face….wearing a baseball uniform…..sucking on the gritty equivalent of a wahwypop.

  7. umrguy42 - Jun 17, 2014 at 2:50 PM

    …I now kinda want to read “Actors Who Refuse to Work with Each Other”

    • historiophiliac - Jun 17, 2014 at 3:05 PM

      I’d kinda like to see “Umpires Who Hate Each Other.”

      • tfbuckfutter - Jun 17, 2014 at 3:20 PM

        #10 – All of them and Joe West
        #9 – All of them and C.B. Bucknor
        #1-8 – All of them and Angel Hernandez

      • historiophiliac - Jun 17, 2014 at 3:22 PM

        Don’t you want to know if Angel puts IcyHot on Country Joe’s mask?

      • tfbuckfutter - Jun 17, 2014 at 3:23 PM

        My initial read of that comment was that it was sexual in nature.

        I’m pretty sure that’s not the case, but I’m not rereading it because I like my impression better than any other potential intent.

      • [citation needed] fka COPO - Jun 17, 2014 at 5:10 PM

        Don’t you want to know if Angel puts IcyHot on Country Joe’s mask?

        If you want a guy to cry, put it in his cup. And i’m not talking about coffee…

      • historiophiliac - Jun 17, 2014 at 5:12 PM

        Wow, you have a way lower opinion of Angel than I did there. Thanks for the tip though.

        /rubs IcyHot on ball and winds into HBPiD

  8. randygnyc - Jun 17, 2014 at 3:12 PM

    Technically, Clemens was never caught either. You could easily put chase utley, Mike trout and Dustin pedroia on the list of “not caught……yet”

    • tfbuckfutter - Jun 17, 2014 at 3:22 PM

      I think the fact that he won’t even take Propecia is evidence enough that Dustin is pretty discriminating about the effects of what he puts into his body.

      • mikhelb - Jun 17, 2014 at 4:21 PM

        might be one of the few ones that discriminates against what goes in his body… unlike certain lifetime DH cheater who is his teammate and still trains with a known steroid dealer who got banned by MLB

      • tfbuckfutter - Jun 17, 2014 at 4:24 PM

        That’s really cute.

        But Jonny Gomes rarely if ever DHes.

    • 18thstreet - Jun 17, 2014 at 3:23 PM

      And Warren Spahn.

      • 18thstreet - Jun 17, 2014 at 3:27 PM

        Dammit, I clicked reply too fast.

        Warren Spahn pitched well into his 40s. And look at his hitting numbers. Suddenly, at age 37, he had a .333 batting average. This from a guy whose career batting average to that point was .185.

        I think it’s obvious that he was using steroids. Open your eyes, people. Every great player, ever, is guilty. ESPECIALLY people who played for [not my team]!

      • sportsfan18 - Jun 17, 2014 at 5:45 PM

        It goes beyond the players too…

        I mean, look at how old Bud finally freaked out and went AFTER Arod…

        Old Bud was possessed…

        Old Bud was experiencing Roid Rage when he was going after Arod…

        They put roids in the cracker jack at the ball fields now…

        The eye black that players put on for glare? It’s the “cream”.

        Players don’t even know their ingesting the stuff anymore…

  9. proudlycanadian - Jun 17, 2014 at 3:28 PM

    Personally, I suspect that the person who compiled the list just may be on acid.

  10. Detroit Michael - Jun 17, 2014 at 3:34 PM

    The last slide really does state that Brady Anderson cheated, not just express suspicions.

    The Mike Sweeney steroids suspicion is weird. For someone who was good enough to make his major league debut at age 21, who hit 8 homers in 282 AB the prior season, who was entering his age 25 season, who was moving out from behind the plate to a position where he wouldn’t get banged up, was his 1999 breakout really that surprising? I don’t remember anyone slinging mud at him before.

  11. pete2112 - Jun 17, 2014 at 3:39 PM

    While it’s not fair to the players who play clean and put up great individual stats, you can’t expect fans not to question a certain players performance after what’s happened in the last two decades. It makes me mad when I look back at some of the biggest names from the last twenty years knowing that a lot of their stats, if not all of them were tainted in way or another by PED’s. I think when it comes to baseball today, at least for me, I’m just more cynical about a players performance when I see numbers are just far better than anyone else around them. Instead of being upset at critics and the media, you should be upset at the past players who have created this stigma attached to the game and perhaps if players like Bonds and Clemens came out and admitted to their PED use some of this stigma would begin to lift.

  12. yahmule - Jun 17, 2014 at 3:41 PM

    I like the ones that say stuff like “The Ten Stars With The Most Disgusting Personal Hygiene” and the entire list is people who everybody would have sex with in a nanosecond.

  13. cohnjusack - Jun 17, 2014 at 3:57 PM

    My list:

    1. Al Newman – Obviously took PEDs in 1986. Had more home runs that year than the rest of his career combined.
    2. Ozzie Smith – Suddenly hit double his career high in 1985
    3. Kirby Puckett – 4 home runs in his first 1,300 PAs, then hits 31
    4. Rogers Hornsby – Single digit homer middle infielder, suddenly bashes 40!
    5. Hank Aaron – Most obvious juicer in the history of the game. Had career high in HR at age 37
    6. Babe Ruth – For god’s sake, the guy was a pitcher and he starts leading the league in homers? Whatta cheater.

    • 18thstreet - Jun 17, 2014 at 4:59 PM

      Roger Maris’s homeruns by year



      • 18thstreet - Jun 17, 2014 at 4:59 PM

        I meant #sheeple. But I like #speeple, too.

  14. mikhelb - Jun 17, 2014 at 4:19 PM

    thanks for the heads up,i googled it and linked to it on multiple blogs, tweeted it to my 6,000+ followers anddd… i dont know hahaha i can not even use google correctly on this damn phone 😛

  15. thomas844 - Jun 17, 2014 at 4:48 PM

    I remember reading this. The basic summary for all ten players was, “Well, there’s no proof they took PEDs. But look at how good their stats were! They have to be juicing!”

  16. musketmaniac - Jun 17, 2014 at 4:51 PM

    Pujols. is a little bit of stretch. The guy is a beast, has always been a beast. He got those bi-ceps before he got chin hair. If we can’t believe that very large men hit home runs, than are we to believe home runs actually exist. Maybe this should be a baseball gremlin story. That should be the next top ten. Gremlins in the outfield, top ten baseball gremlin stories nobody’s ever told.

    • jrob23 - Jun 17, 2014 at 8:12 PM

      right, the balding, massive broad shoulders, back, forearms, acne and HOF numbers from the day he started but suddenly dropped drastically as soon as league wide testing came about isn’t evidence enough. We actually need to draw his blood in our homes and test it in front of multiple witnesses before we’d ever believe these players…your heroes…cheat. Yup. The sheep in this country I tell ya

      • [citation needed] fka COPO - Jun 17, 2014 at 8:47 PM

        but suddenly dropped drastically as soon as league wide testing came about isn’t evidence enough

        His numbers got better post testing:

        ’01-’05 average: .332/.416/.621, 167 OPS+; ~166 wRC+
        ’06-’10 average; .330/.435/.628, 177 OPS+; ~171 wRC+

      • stex52 - Jun 18, 2014 at 12:38 PM

        but don’t let data get in your way, Huh?

  17. mazblast - Jun 18, 2014 at 1:57 PM

    If he doesn’t play for my team and his stats improve–He’s juicing
    If he plays for my team and his stats improve–He’s getting better
    If he doesn’t play for my team and his stats get worse–He was juicing before
    if he plays for my team and his stats get worse–The juicers won this battle

  18. 4cornersfan - Jun 18, 2014 at 4:55 PM

    Holy Cow! Captain Kirk and Sulu hate each other?! And Sly Stallone started the rumors about Richard Gere? Thank You, Craig, Thank You. This is life changing information that I never knew was on Facebook.

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