Originally Posted by ComiskeyBrewer
Only one of the three named who sticks out to me is Bagwell.
Bagwell's HR totals from age 23-29(his "peak" years)
Bagwell's HR totals from age 30 on:
To me, that's really
high for someone in his 30s, who didn't have much power in his 20s. Tradionally, most power hitters have their peak from ages 26-30/31. Bagwell was just the opposite, having his peak years occur basically from age 29-35. That's not natural. Now, the first defense is "well, he had a short porch at Minute Maid Park at the end of his career, that had to help him." Well, if it did, it helped him for away games too, because his splits were almost identical home v away(with the exception of the 2004 season). To me, that's enough proof.
Piazza might have used(i doubt it), but his numbers were highest in his 20s(and consistently high), and started a gradual decline around age 31-32.
I doubt Biggio used, but it is odd that his career high for HRs happened when he was 39, and the only back to back to back 20+ Hr seasons occurred in his age 38/39/40 years. That being said, the guy NEVER hit for more than 26 Hrs, and his OPS had a pretty normal arch as far as his career went. Main point: If Biggio used, he should have gotten his money back.
That's conjecture, and other than playing with Caminiti who's a known roider, there's no evidence that Bagwell juiced.
Don't forget Bagwell played half his career in Houston when they had the Astrodome, which is where homers went to die. His 43 homers in the '97 season (not excessively high like other juicers - McGwire had 58 that year) is the lone aberration from a string of similar full-season homer numbers, and that could have been just a career year.
Naturally, Bagwell's power numbers went up after the Astros moved out of the Astrodome and into Minute Maid Park (won't use that original name, yecch) starting in 2000, with the short porch in left field.
IMO, Biggio should be a first ballot HOF inductee, and it would be very cool if Bagwell got in the same year. May have to wait till next year, though - given the usual BBWA bias towards players who played on the East coast.
While there may be some juicing conjecture put on Bagwell (he was a power hitter and he bulked up during his career), there's zero such conjecture on Biggio, and as an Astros fan of 35+ years, I'm a bit offended at even the mention of it.