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fram40
08-06-2010, 11:47 AM
Iinteresting article by Joe Posnanski about "Steroids, 'Other' Drugs and Baseball". Maybe it was the baseball and not the steroids

http://joeposnanski.si.com/2010/08/06/what-if-we-are-wrong-again-about-steroids/?eref=sihp

Worth a read. Some interesting history as well

Zisk77
08-06-2010, 12:51 PM
Yeah disagree to some extent where power comes from. Sure a lot of power comes from your legs. Almost none comes from your biceps as they are pretty much relaxed through the swing (and coincidentally relaxed threw a pitch as well). However the wrists and forearms provide tremendous force (as well as bat speed which = power...its the speed in which the muscles can fire and propel the bat and not how big they are). Those muscles too are increased in size by steroids but are proportions smaller muscles than biceps, pectorals, quads, etc.

Look at most pwer hitters, they look like pop-eye whith huge forearms.

WhiteSox5187
08-06-2010, 02:30 PM
The article mentioned that Barry Bonds use of steroids might have only added at most seven pounds of muscle to his legs which would have added about four feet to each flyball. At first that doesn't sound too impressive but that changes a lot of flyballs that die on the warning track into homeruns which would show that steroids helped in hitting homeruns. There were a lot of factors as to why homeruns exploded in the 1990s, the ball parks WERE smaller, the strike zone certainly seemed smaller, the pitching was more diluted than it was in 1960s and 1970s and it's not unreasonable to guess that the ball might have been wound tighter, but to suggest that steroids didn't play a big role in the upswing in homeruns is silly. A lot of umpires working in 2001 are still working now and presumably their strike zones haven't changed. Those "small ballparks" that were built are still standing and outside of Kauffman Stadium I can't recall any place pulling their fences BACK. There are still 30 teams in the league which would mean you have the same "diluted" pitching you had back in 1998-2003. There is one thing that has changed since the steroid era and one that might have changed, one is that steroid testing is in place and homeruns HAVE dropped since it has been implemented and the other is the ball MIGHT have been more loosely wound. But we don't know about that. But it is a fact that since steroid testing has been implemented homeruns have gone down. From 1900-1998 sixty homeruns were hit by someone only twice, then from 1998-2001 you had sixty homeruns being hit six times (all be it by three players) and since the implementation of steroid testing no one has hit sixty once. How many guys have hit 50 since steroid testing? Two of them (A-Rod and Ortiz) are known steroid users (so I'm reluctant to give them the benefit of the doubt).

Long story short, were steroids the only thing contributing the homerun boom of the 1990s? No. Were they a major factor? The evidence would certainly seem to suggest that.

Red Barchetta
08-06-2010, 03:01 PM
The article mentioned that Barry Bonds use of steroids might have only added at most seven pounds of muscle to his legs which would have added about four feet to each flyball. At first that doesn't sound too impressive but that changes a lot of flyballs that die on the warning track into homeruns which would show that steroids helped in hitting homeruns. There were a lot of factors as to why homeruns exploded in the 1990s, the ball parks WERE smaller, the strike zone certainly seemed smaller, the pitching was more diluted than it was in 1960s and 1970s and it's not unreasonable to guess that the ball might have been wound tighter, but to suggest that steroids didn't play a big role in the upswing in homeruns is silly. A lot of umpires working in 2001 are still working now and presumably their strike zones haven't changed. Those "small ballparks" that were built are still standing and outside of Kauffman Stadium I can't recall any place pulling their fences BACK. There are still 30 teams in the league which would mean you have the same "diluted" pitching you had back in 1998-2003. There is one thing that has changed since the steroid era and one that might have changed, one is that steroid testing is in place and homeruns HAVE dropped since it has been implemented and the other is the ball MIGHT have been more loosely wound. But we don't know about that. But it is a fact that since steroid testing has been implemented homeruns have gone down. From 1900-1998 sixty homeruns were hit by someone only twice, then from 1998-2001 you had sixty homeruns being hit six times (all be it by three players) and since the implementation of steroid testing no one has hit sixty once. How many guys have hit 50 since steroid testing? Two of them (A-Rod and Ortiz) are known steroid users (so I'm reluctant to give them the benefit of the doubt).

Long story short, were steroids the only thing contributing the homerun boom of the 1990s? No. Were they a major factor? The evidence would certainly seem to suggest that.

Steroids obviously had a large role, at least in Palmeiro, Bonds and Clemens case, by adding longevity to their careers.

I agree that it's a combination of a lot of things. A strike zone the size of a shoe box, players wearing body armor on the legs, forearms, etc., a lively ball and smaller ballparks probably all contributed. Heck, we could probably point to more home runs after the batting helmet after it was introduced years ago...

It's funny because the game has changed so much due to the protection now being used by MLB players. You look back before helmets were required and the majority of batters had somewhat of a closed stance off the plate. Compare that to how the players now crowd the plate with more of an open stance not really concered whether they get hit or not.

I often wonder what Don Drysdale or Bob Gibson would do if a player like Bonds stepped into the batter box, crowding the plate with all his body armor. I think the better question would have been whether it would be one or two pitches before the batter went down. :D:

downstairs
08-06-2010, 03:14 PM
Very interesting article. Though I disagree on one more obscure, maybe "simpler" point. Baseball has rules that have nothing to do with the actual law. Rules allow baseball to be a game that everyone plays on an even field.

You can't use a spitball, even though spit is legal. You must tag up on a flyball, even though there is no moral reason for it. We just decided these rules because they make for an interesting and challenging game.

One of those rules is no steroids. We've decided that we want to see a game where that's not part of the strategy.

johnnyg83
08-06-2010, 03:39 PM
It's interesting that Joe points out the difference that the movement of the fences at Kauffman had such a profound effect on HRs -- despite them only being moved back 10 feet.

I think it shows that even a slight boost in strength (upper or lower body) ... even by 2.5% (400 feet to 410 feet) will skew your results dramatically.

twentywontowin
08-06-2010, 03:46 PM
How many guys have hit 50 since steroid testing? Two of them (A-Rod and Ortiz) are known steroid users (so I'm reluctant to give them the benefit of the doubt).


Ryan Howard hit 58 in 2006. Price Fielder hit 50 in 2007.

fram40
08-06-2010, 03:48 PM
It's interesting that Joe points out the difference that the movement of the fences at Kauffman had such a profound effect on HRs -- despite them only being moved back 10 feet.

I think it shows that even a slight boost in strength (upper or lower body) ... even by 2.5% (400 feet to 410 feet) will skew your results dramatically.

very nice comparision.

WhiteSox5187
08-06-2010, 05:12 PM
Ryan Howard hit 58 in 2006. Price Fielder hit 50 in 2007.

I know, so you have had five guys hit 50 or more home runs since the implementation of steroid testing and two of those guys are known steroid users (A-Rod and Ortiz). But it demonstrates how homeruns have gone down (even among prestigious home run hitters) since the implementation of testing in 2003.

kaufsox
08-09-2010, 03:06 PM
I have a rather unpopular opinion on the whole steroid issue that I won't delve into here, but what I think was missing from JoPo's article was a fact that gets missed with most of the discussions about steroids, more specifically, PEDs. The greatest benefits of PEDs are not so much strength, they do aid that especially steroids, but recovery. The ability to help the body heal at an unnatural rate, therefore allowing a stronger performance over a longer period of time is the great benefit of using these drugs, not necessarily hitting the ball further, but hitting the ball in August and September as if it was May and June. The one sport rocked by PEDs, cycling is the best example. The riders, some estimate over 90% of them, used PEDs, but none of them look huge, however according to one observer the overall ascents up mountains improved by 4 minutes! That just isn't natural. Now, don't you think something like that over the course of 162 games is a huge benefit? More than bigger forearms or stronger biceps? Not saying those things don't help, but recovering at a pace not possible in nature, I think, is a greater benefit.

downstairs
08-09-2010, 03:12 PM
I have a rather unpopular opinion on the whole steroid issue that I won't delve into here, but what I think was missing from JoPo's article was a fact that gets missed with most of the discussions about steroids, more specifically, PEDs. The greatest benefits of PEDs are not so much strength, they do aid that especially steroids, but recovery. The ability to help the body heal at an unnatural rate, therefore allowing a stronger performance over a longer period of time is the great benefit of using these drugs, not necessarily hitting the ball further, but hitting the ball in August and September as if it was May and June. The one sport rocked by PEDs, cycling is the best example. The riders, some estimate over 90% of them, used PEDs, but none of them look huge, however according to one observer the overall ascents up mountains improved by 4 minutes! That just isn't natural. Now, don't you think something like that over the course of 162 games is a huge benefit? More than bigger forearms or stronger biceps? Not saying those things don't help, but recovering at a pace not possible in nature, I think, is a greater benefit.

Mark Cuban actually agrees with you. I can see the point- maybe we should allow for limited amount of steroid use for healing and stamina only. Of course I doubt it would be policed well, if it even could.