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SouthSideHitman
05-03-2005, 12:03 AM
Frank Thomas came out yesterday as strongly supporting Bud Selig's proposed changes to the steroid policy which would be first violation, 50 day suspension, second violation, 100 suspension, third violation, lifetime ban. I just love how the Sox have been so anti-steriod for a while now, especially Thomas. I believe that in 2003 the Sox threatened to boycott the testing, which would have all counted as positive tests and forced the league to implement a bigger testing program until the union talked them out ot it.

This is especially interesting considering that our inspiring, hardworking, underdog division rivals just had one of their ace relievers, Juan Rincon suspended for violating the drug policy. Could you just imagine if LA or Boston or those-in-blue-who-shall-remain-nameless had done what the Sox did? They would be national icons, reminding the nation that even in corrupt times there is still a team playing for love of the game, etc, etc.

This is something that we as fans should really hang our hats on and be proud of for our team. If the national or even local media won't pat the Sox' back, then we should because this is something that's bad for baseball, bad for athletics, bad for honesty and something that the Sox have been fighting even when it wasn't popular and, in fact, likely to make you enemies.

I dunno, this was just a thought that I've been kicking around for a while and the Ricon thing made me wanna write about it. Thoughts?

seanpmurphy
05-03-2005, 12:10 AM
I agree with you completely, but to think the media cares about what the Sox have done/are doing is approaching ridiculous. It really is sad though.

I'm not going to miss Rincon though. I think it'd be nice if one player on the team tests positive, then the entire team is immediately tested. That'd really make things interesting.

elrod
05-03-2005, 01:27 AM
Tim Kirkjian basically said that steroids were the entire reason for Rincon's success last year and this year. And the big reason was strikeouts per nine innings. But hey, if him, why not Nathan too?

Rincon: 2001-2003, averages 6.5 K/9 innings
2004-2005, averages 11.4 K/9 innings.

That's obviously ridiculous, considering he pitched quite a bit, and was healthy in 2001-2003 (and pitched the same number of innings in 2003 as 2004).


Nathan:
1999-2000: averages 5.5 K/9 innings
Injured 2001-2002
2003: averages 9.46 K/9 innings
2004: averages 11.07 K/9 innings
2005: averages 10.32 K/9 innings

That doesn't necessarily mean Nathan is juicing, off course. Maybe he was actually injured before he got to the bigs, and his long recovery got him back to the man he was before he started in 1999. Possibly. But the very statistic that all the experts are saying is indicative of pitchers (especially relief pitchers) juicing - K/9 innings - that shows a bizarre jump for Rincon, also shows a big jump for Nathan.

By contrast, Jon Garland, who has obviously turned his career around in a hurry, has seen his K/9 innings go DOWN from the last few years. For the record, Johan Santana has ALWAYS had a K/9 innings rate around 10 . But if roids explains Rincon's big jump, might it also explain Nathan's?

MUsoxfan
05-03-2005, 01:30 AM
LOVE the sig SouthSideHitman!

hawkjt
05-03-2005, 02:14 PM
This Rincon story should infuriate every sox fan when you think about the last two years and how our bullpen and starters faded down the stretch after we were in the lead into Sept and Aug the last two years. Contrast that with the stretch drives by the twins in those two years which won them the title. Relievers are the players who would benefit tremendously because of the recovery aid for guys that go out to the mound so much. The Twins bullpen has been the best in the division and probably in the AL the last few years. They fricking cheated the sox out of division titles. Bring on the harsher penalties.

mrfourni
05-03-2005, 02:19 PM
I agree with you southside. but the media will always point out that jose canseco was a member of the white sox in an effort to discredit any positive press sent the white sox way

elrod
05-03-2005, 02:25 PM
I agree with you southside. but the media will always point out that jose canseco was a member of the white sox in an effort to discredit any positive press sent the white sox way

Canseco was a meaningless part of a lost season.
Rincon was one of the essential components of the Twins' success last year. It would be like Marte juicing for us. How many other Twins relievers were juicing too? This is infuriating.

Flight #24
05-03-2005, 02:37 PM
Expanding on Rincon's history, here's his minor league k/9 stats

1997: 7.1
1998: 7.9
1999: 8
2000: 7.3
2001: 7.8
2002: 6.7
2003: 6.8
2004: 11.6
2005: 11.25

So after a fairly consistent K/9 in the 7s pretty much throughout his career, he suddenly doubles it? If it were HRs and a guy hitting 20 in the minors suddenly started hitting 35-40, what would we think? Why is it any different with pitchers? Yes, I'd expect some improvement as he's hitting his prime age-wise (26), but a 50-100% increase? Seems suspicious.

elrod
05-03-2005, 02:41 PM
How exactly do steroids help you with strikeouts, though? The experts all agree that steroids helps your muscles rebound day in and day out (good for relievers) and they help boost strikeout totals. But why the latter? Steroids just make your muscles bigger, right? Well, in the case of a Rincon, is he really that much bigger? And aren't there tons of pitchers will smallish physiques who get tons of strikeouts - like Santana and Pedro? Also, wouldn't a sudden increase in muscle size make your whole motion different, potentially harming as much as helping? Just curious.

Ol' No. 2
05-03-2005, 02:41 PM
Expanding on Rincon's history, here's his minor league k/9 stats

1997: 7.1
1998: 7.9
1999: 8
2000: 7.3
2001: 7.8
2002: 6.7
2003: 6.8
2004: 11.6
2005: 11.25

So after a fairly consistent K/9 in the 7s pretty much throughout his career, he suddenly doubles it? If it were HRs and a guy hitting 20 in the minors suddenly started hitting 35-40, what would we think? Why is it any different with pitchers? Yes, I'd expect some improvement as he's hitting his prime age-wise (26), but a 50-100% increase? Seems suspicious.http://pics.drugstore.com/prodimg/77508/200.jpg

He shoulda read the label.

Nate_in_Kansas
05-03-2005, 02:54 PM
This Rincon story should infuriate every sox fan when you think about the last two years and how our bullpen and starters faded down the stretch after we were in the lead into Sept and Aug the last two years. Contrast that with the stretch drives by the twins in those two years which won them the title. Relievers are the players who would benefit tremendously because of the recovery aid for guys that go out to the mound so much. The Twins bullpen has been the best in the division and probably in the AL the last few years. They fricking cheated the sox out of division titles. Bring on the harsher penalties.

Just to play devil's advocate....At the most, the Sox were cheated one year, and that was last year. Rincon wasn't much until then. And even then it's possible this is all being overblown. Word is that Rincon's positive came from a test in Spring Training. You have to think he hasn't been taking since then. Sure, the effects of performance enhancers can linger, but we don't even know yet if this is roids or not. And the fact that his K's are still up, after having been tested and, presumably, off the stuff, may mean that he just has finally learned to pitch.

And I also think it's really sad and silly to pin the whole Twins relief corps with the "user" label based on one guy. This one guy even comes as a shock to most baseball fans, and I'd be willing to think that there are a few more "shockers" out there, on MOST teams (probably even the White Sox). I admire the Sox players who have come out vocally against Steroids. But the Twins have had some very vocal voices in the same department...Especially the Twin everyone loves to hate, Mr. Hunter (which makes me wonder...why don't we sox fans love him for that? because we're twins-haters in general....It's the same reason we'll so easily jump to conclusions about the Twins being dirty and we'll deny that anything like that could be goin on with our team). In the end, having strong voices of dissent does not mean any team is immune...

Flight #24
05-03-2005, 03:00 PM
Just to play devil's advocate....At the most, the Sox were cheated one year, and that was last year. Rincon wasn't much until then. And even then it's possible this is all being overblown. Word is that Rincon's positive came from a test in Spring Training. You have to think he hasn't been taking since then. Sure, the effects of performance enhancers can linger, but we don't even know yet if this is roids or not. And the fact that his K's are still up, after having been tested and, presumably, off the stuff, may mean that he just has finally learned to pitch.



Why eactly do we have to think he hasn't been taking since then? It's not like he's passed subsequent tests but failed the ST one. For all we know, he shot himself up just yesterday.

What we know is that he cheated. There's a chance that he did so unknowingly, but he did it all the same. Assuming it was a 1-time thing is like assuming Bonds only juiced that time his trainer gave him flaxseed oil, or that Sosa only corked that one time.

Nate_in_Kansas
05-03-2005, 03:07 PM
Why eactly do we have to think he hasn't been taking since then? It's not like he's passed subsequent tests but failed the ST one. For all we know, he shot himself up just yesterday.

What we know is that he cheated. There's a chance that he did so unknowingly, but he did it all the same. Assuming it was a 1-time thing is like assuming Bonds only juiced that time his trainer gave him flaxseed oil, or that Sosa only corked that one time.

I'm not saying I know for sure, but if you got caught doing something, wouldn't you stop? Especially when you knew that you'd then be facing the scrutiny of everyone? Of course it's possible he did it again. But he'd REALLY be a complete idiot to do it again right after being caught for it and knowing he'd be facing the second, more sizeable penalty the next time around.

elrod
05-03-2005, 03:17 PM
I'm not saying I know for sure, but if you got caught doing something, wouldn't you stop? Especially when you knew that you'd then be facing the scrutiny of everyone? Of course it's possible he did it again. But he'd REALLY be a complete idiot to do it again right after being caught for it and knowing he'd be facing the second, more sizeable penalty the next time around.

Are you saying that he was tested in the Spring, and they're only releasing it now? That doesn't make any sense. The excuse I heard was that he was using it over the winter, but hadn't been using since the Spring. And the juice lingered in his system until the recent test.

Of course the fact that he was using at all puts his entire career in doubt. And why shouldn't it? The reason we need a harsh testing regimen is to clear up any doubts like this. I find it interesting that some relative no-names have been caught so far. That leads me to believe steroid use is much more widespread than anybody thinks.

I don't think Rincon is stupid enough to ever use steroids again. But I also wouldn't be surprised if his performance on the hill suffers - especially over the course of the season. He shows up in almost every single Twins game. There aren't many relievers more vital for their team than Juan Rincon has been last year and this year.

AJPosguchi
05-03-2005, 03:20 PM
How about this added punishment:

Take away any team win where the positively tested player was involved/played in.

Who's to say that the inning of work Rincon put in against the only Sox loss to the Twinks this year wasn't due to steroids?

Flight #24
05-03-2005, 03:23 PM
I'm not saying I know for sure, but if you got caught doing something, wouldn't you stop? Especially when you knew that you'd then be facing the scrutiny of everyone? Of course it's possible he did it again. But he'd REALLY be a complete idiot to do it again right after being caught for it and knowing he'd be facing the second, more sizeable penalty the next time around.

Are we sure he knew he was caught prior to yesterday? I don't know that that's the case. I can 100% see where he might have thought he got away with it and continued. Now that he knows he's been caught, we'll have to watch his performance over the rest of the season to see if he can keep up his #s.

Nate_in_Kansas
05-03-2005, 03:41 PM
Are you saying that he was tested in the Spring, and they're only releasing it now? That doesn't make any sense. The excuse I heard was that he was using it over the winter, but hadn't been using since the Spring. And the juice lingered in his system until the recent test.

Of course the fact that he was using at all puts his entire career in doubt. And why shouldn't it? The reason we need a harsh testing regimen is to clear up any doubts like this. I find it interesting that some relative no-names have been caught so far. That leads me to believe steroid use is much more widespread than anybody thinks.

I don't think Rincon is stupid enough to ever use steroids again. But I also wouldn't be surprised if his performance on the hill suffers - especially over the course of the season. He shows up in almost every single Twins game. There aren't many relievers more vital for their team than Juan Rincon has been last year and this year.

When I went to Minneapolis Star Tribune site, I read that it had been a test administered during spring training. Of course, it's possible that this report is flawed.

I agree on everything else. All doubts need to be eliminated. In fact, if anyone on the Sox were tested positive, even once, I'd want them booted from the team. I don't care who the player is.

And Rincon will suffer...even if just because he has all of this hanging over his head now and the pressure will have to affect him. Every time he goes out there, people will question him. And the Twins will be negatively affected, then, as well.

Nate_in_Kansas
05-03-2005, 03:45 PM
Are we sure he knew he was caught prior to yesterday? I don't know that that's the case. I can 100% see where he might have thought he got away with it and continued. Now that he knows he's been caught, we'll have to watch his performance over the rest of the season to see if he can keep up his #s.

I also read that he knew about it all at least last week...that at least he knew the suspension would be announced on Monday. Some speculation on Twins blogs that this was why he sucked so bad in KC on Thursday: 2 WP and at least 1 run allowed, I think.

Again, all speculation at this point...But you're right: It's possible he was tested, and then figured he got away with it until recently. If it were me, just being tested would make me poop my pants and stop taking!

MIgrenade
05-03-2005, 03:58 PM
BBTN analysts kept saying that the Twins were in big trouble for the next 10 days but really they are screwed for the year. Rincon will come back not using, I assume, and he should revert to past forms on top of the pressure he will now face. The Twins just lost one of their best relievers and with the injuries they already have to their starters this can be great for the Sox. Here hoping they don't pull another miracle out of the minors.

hawkjt
05-03-2005, 03:59 PM
Nate: look, Rincon appeared in 58 games in 03 with a 3.68 ERA and won five games. There is no way of knowing if he was juicing then and in his great year in 04. I assume he was since the minor leagues and it has made him a much better reliever for the twins over the last 2+ years. He made a difference in a division winning team that edged the sox both years. Remeber our 2 game lead on Sept 10,2003 with two more home games that series with the twins. Rincon appeared in that series. They won the last two and the rest was history. Fricking proven cheaters.

elrod
05-03-2005, 04:16 PM
The reason Rincon is so effective for the Twins is that he is so consistent, overpowering and durable. At least he was last year. For a team that kept coming from behind late in ballgames, Rincon was always the man ready to take the W. His reliability has helped the Twins starters too because they can go fewer innings. Every game was a 6 inning affair, with Romero in the 7th, Rincon the 8th, and Nathan the 9th. Now Rincon is out of the picture, so Jesse Crain has to step in. But is he as reliable? Nobody knows. Scott Baker is a solid pitcher, but will he be as reliable over the course of the season? The real question is whether this ricochets to the rest of the staff. They caught a break with Silva's injury, but Lohse is pretty banged up now. Radke hasn't been lights out but at least he gives you a lot of innings. So after Santana, the other Twins starters are used to no more than 6 innings per game. Radke and Silva will go 7 now and again but not consistently. Will they need to go deeper? I know Gardenhire likes to use his bullpen a lot. How long will that hold up?

NorthlakeTom
05-03-2005, 05:01 PM
How exactly do steroids help you with strikeouts, though? The experts all agree that steroids helps your muscles rebound day in and day out (good for relievers) and they help boost strikeout totals. But why the latter? Steroids just make your muscles bigger, right? Well, in the case of a Rincon, is he really that much bigger? And aren't there tons of pitchers will smallish physiques who get tons of strikeouts - like Santana and Pedro? Also, wouldn't a sudden increase in muscle size make your whole motion different, potentially harming as much as helping? Just curious.

Your premise is incorrect, i.e., that steroids make muscles bigger.

The only benefit to steroids is the shortening of recovery time between workouts.

Bodybuilders can lift more frequently, thus their muscles and strength grow. This is the reason a football player would juice.

It's pretty much the same with sprinters as sprinting is a fast-twitch fiber, anaerobic activity. Build up leg strength (and upper body), and you run faster.


A relief pitcher is mainly concerned with recovery time rather than building muscular strength. Pitching an inning or two, three times a week, is his workout. The strikeout total is more indicative of recuperation than strength. Regardless of a pitcher's particular technique, it would be expected that he'd strike out more batters when fully recovered from the previous outing. A workout - be it relief pitching or lifting weights - does more than drain the muscles. The stress put on the central nervous system is significant, and steroids aid in this area as well.

SouthSideHitman
05-03-2005, 05:34 PM
LOVE the sig SouthSideHitman!

Haha, thanks. I try. Big props to Cubsfansaredrunk on the assist with the pic, I'm a fotoshop illiterate.

Nate_in_Kansas
05-04-2005, 01:02 AM
Nate: look, Rincon appeared in 58 games in 03 with a 3.68 ERA and won five games. There is no way of knowing if he was juicing then and in his great year in 04. I assume he was since the minor leagues and it has made him a much better reliever for the twins over the last 2+ years. He made a difference in a division winning team that edged the sox both years. Remeber our 2 game lead on Sept 10,2003 with two more home games that series with the twins. Rincon appeared in that series. They won the last two and the rest was history. Fricking proven cheaters.

But all the evidence people have been using here is that his strikeout rate skyrocketed in 2004. It was virtually the same as in every other year, though, in 2003. So are you trying to have it both ways? The truth is, there's NO WAY you can use the strikeout excuse and then so blatantly speculate he was juicing in 2003, when the strikeout increase wasn't there. Sure it's POSSIBLE. But still flawed in its reasoning. Which comes back to my earlier point: What the difference between Rincon in '03 and '04? No drugs, then drugs. Or, he learned how to pitch. Or even a little of both. But to say that he and the Twins are "proven cheaters" and tie that to 2003 is a huge stretch. NOTHING about that has been proven. And the strikeout rate argument flatly argues AGAINST IT.

elrod
05-04-2005, 01:33 AM
Your premise is incorrect, i.e., that steroids make muscles bigger.

The only benefit to steroids is the shortening of recovery time between workouts.

Bodybuilders can lift more frequently, thus their muscles and strength grow. This is the reason a football player would juice.

It's pretty much the same with sprinters as sprinting is a fast-twitch fiber, anaerobic activity. Build up leg strength (and upper body), and you run faster.


A relief pitcher is mainly concerned with recovery time rather than building muscular strength. Pitching an inning or two, three times a week, is his workout. The strikeout total is more indicative of recuperation than strength. Regardless of a pitcher's particular technique, it would be expected that he'd strike out more batters when fully recovered from the previous outing. A workout - be it relief pitching or lifting weights - does more than drain the muscles. The stress put on the central nervous system is significant, and steroids aid in this area as well.


Thanks for clearing that up. I can see, now, why relievers like to juice.

IowaSox1971
05-04-2005, 02:02 AM
While it is disappointing to learn that Rincon cheated, we should proceed with caution until all the facts are in. We do not know if all the White Sox have been tested yet. What if one of our players ends up getting caught? Let's not go back and say we were cheated out of a division title just yet.