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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Comments

Repost:

Good article comparing the 2011 Phillies with the peak aces of the Braves in the 90s. Guess who wins so far?

http://www.beyondtheboxscore.com/2011/5/28/2194941/2011-phillies-vs-1997-braves

"Yup, it's a rotation showdown. As the season goes on, I'm going to compare the Phillies' vaunted rotation to Atlanta's famed group of 1997, which featured Greg Maddux, John Smoltz, Tom Glavine and Denny Neagle at their respective peaks."

I voted Rollins' defense the same as last year. I thought he had slipped last year already.
He is not the base-runner that he once was either. He doesn't realize it yet, which could be why he has made bad base-running decisions. IMHO, of course.

So it sounds like there's definitely going to be some Phils fans in Pittsburgh, no surprise. I'll be there Saturday, and I'm praying Halladay is pitching instead of Kendrick. Look for the guy wearing the blue Jamie Moyer T-shirt.

"MG: Herndon was optioned on May 26th and is not eligible to return except to replace a player put on the disabled list."

CJ just answered why Zagurski was called up instead of Herndon. Zagurski will sit and eat a lot of sunflower seeds in the bullpen.


"If the choice is between Zagurski or Martinez as the last man on the roster? I'm going with Mini Mart."

Granted, this is like choosing between two excruciating forms of torture, but I'm going with Zagurski. Zags has had good minor league numbers & at least possesses a slim possibility of finding the command required to be a passable major league LOOGY. Plus, he plays a position where our incumbent is terrible so, if he can be even the least bit decent, he has a chance of actually improving our team. Mini-Mart, OTOH, is making our team worse by taking a roster spot that could be given to someone better than him.

Rollins' defense has definitely slipped, although he has played much better of late. I don't share Edmundo's view that his base running has slipped. That's the one part of his game that is still top notch.

"Look for the guy wearing the blue Jamie Moyer T-shirt"

You should probably be more specific because the guy wearing the blue Jamie Moyer T-shirt and yelling "Hey Coach, I bet a could throw a baseball over them mountains!" will actually be Jamie Moyer

robbie - High Cheese has a convincing explanation as to the likelihood of Kendrick starting Saturday, Halladay on Sunday. Link over there ====>

Zagurski is basically the identical version of Romero except he throws a bit harder at this point in his career. Both him and Zagurksi have notable issues with their control and neither guy has a particularly good slider either (Romero's has declined and Zagurski often throws sliders that are too flat and don't break enough).

"If the choice is between Zagurski or Martinez as the last man on the roster? I'm going with Mini Mart.

Posted by: CJ | Tuesday, May 31, 2011 at 01:07 PM"


Oh, the scandal, CJ....the scandal.

Romero does have a changeup that Zagurski doesn't. Zagurski basically is just 4-seam fastball/slider guy. So Romero does have that going for him . . .

I would still rather see Romero in a high leverage spot vs a tough lefty bat than Zagurski's 'Hanging Slider'

"Look for the guy wearing the blue Jamie Moyer T-shirt.

Posted by: robbie"


Oh, yeah, we'll find you. You'll be the only one.

I voted same. Whenever I see a ball hit toward SS my mind still says, "that's an out". Jimmy might not have the top end range that he used to but I still would take his defense over almost anybody in the league. The 19 inning game was a great example, Mr. Roll made several really tough plays look routine. It was also nice to see Jimmy turn that first double play with Utz a few games ago. Those two work the double play better than any combo I can remember.

On Bautista: Sure, I understand people being skeptical. But until I see reason to believe otherwise, I'm going to think it's legit. If you choose to believe otherwise, then you've let the steroid era win. I like to still believe that baseball players can make improvements and be great players naturally. Hmm, a part-time player making a big jump at age 29-30? Go look at Raul Ibanez's baseball-reference page sometime.

On Lee and Halladay giving up hits: Well, part of it is that Halladay gave up a bunch of squared up balls yesterday, which is uncharacteristic. Part of it is that Lee lives and dies on the corners, and when he doesn't hit his spots precisely, he's going to give up hard hit balls. And finally, one part of it is almost certainly that the Phillies' defense is not what it used to be when it comes to range and getting to balls.

You guys and gals are all missing the real story about calling up Zagurski, which is that there is no story at all.

He's the 7th man in the pen.

Mad Dog
Truck
Filthy(stuff) Bastard
Stutes (we need a nickname for him)
Baez
Romero
Zagurski


There are at least 5 relievers in front of Zagurski. The likelyhood of him being used is approximately equal to the percentage of times the Phillies have been in a blowout either way. (I'll define blowout as a game decided by 5 runs or more):

Out of 54 games, the Phillies have played in 10 blowouts this season.

10/54 = .185, or 18.5%.

That is the maximum chance that you'll see Zagurski in any game, and if other factors are controlled for, there's probably a lower chance than that.

My reaction to his recall: ZZZZZZZ

Hence my new spelling of his name: ZZZZZZZagurski

"then you've let the steroid era win."

Well, as long as it's not like letting the terrorists win.

Jack: Considering Rauuuul was subject of significant PED speculation, I'm not sure he's the best comparison. And if Bautista maintains this sudden increase for 10 seasons as Rauuuul did, perhaps that will help quell some of the speculation.

Jack: Raul went from .280/.353/.495 in 2001 (age 29) to .294/.346/.537 in 2002 (age 30). Not very comparable to Bautista. With that said, I do agree with you, and will belive his numbers are legit until proven otherwise.

Correction: The Phillies have played in 11 blowouts this season.

11/54 = .204. 20.4% cahnce of a Zzzzzagurski appearance.

BTW, teh Phillies record in 2011 blowouts: 7 - 4, .636 baseball.

*believe

FWIW, I think I have read that MLB's testing is nothing compared to what they do in professional cycling or Track and Field...does anyone think those sports are clean?

Bueller? Bueller?

Interesting conversation from work: Who here thinks Tiger Woods used steriods?

"And if Bautista maintains this sudden increase for 10 seasons as Rauuuul did, perhaps that will help quell some of the speculation."

I'm just curious why you think the attitudes would change? Most of the people skeptical of Bautista now:

1. Believe there are undectable PEDs that don't show up on simple urine tests
2. Believe Bautista's run is PED aided

Therefore, Bautista could easily take the undectable PEDs for the next 10 years and his performance would still (presumably) be stellar.

I'm just not sure why the passage of time would render people much less skeptical...

"Interesting conversation from work: Who here thinks Tiger Woods used steriods?"

Wasn't he "close friends" with that doctor who was convicted of helping world class athletes obtain PEDs? That's certainly suggestive.

The doctor's name, though, is escaping me...Anyone remember? I'd like to google him to refresh my recollection.

the BIG Z?

Are ya kidding me???

just leave Wilson in the pen...

mini mart is the extra pine rider...

case solved...

anyone but Big Z!

Heather, what's suggestive to me is he's suffering from the same kind of joint break-downs which (to my recollection) were typical of the 90's sluggers, and at about the same age as they did.

IIRC, Tiger Woods was using a different kind of "supplement", a type which was very traceable, even leaving behind text messages.

Tiger absolutely used steroids.

BB: Funny stuff!

Headed over to Pittsburgh this weekend. Any suggestions on bars, restaurants, or just things to do in general?

Joints can break down simply from overuse. And we know, for sure, that at least one of Tiger's joints was overused.

Tigah is clean, I sweah.

Overused is a really a matter of your opinion, BAP. I'm sure he didn't feel like it was being overused.

Kyle, I recommend being a football fan out there.

Tiger's driving has been good but he has been hitting his putts too hard (Also spelled putz).

I remember when David Duval was #1 in the world. Then he bulked up and fell off the map. I think too much muscle is detrimental to a good golf swing.

Fat: Given what has happened to him over the last 2 years, he probably thinks it was overused now.

Wow, Jack treating supposed steroid users with kid gloves, never thought I would ever see that.

If the choice is between Zagurski or Martinez as the last man on the roster, I'm going w/ extreme inebriation.

Stutes nickname Bearcat

I'm curious as to how 22% of people voting in the poll believe Rollins' defense is better in 2011 than in 2010. Of course, his play to date in 2011 is significantly better than his play while on the DL during the corresponding time last year.

But to say JRoll's play is better in 2011? Color me a un-believer.

Eats, Stutes and leaves?

BAP, here's an article discussing the effects of steriod use on joints among 80's NFL players: http://psychcentral.com/news/2009/02/23/steroid-use-damages-health-later-in-life/4273.html

"Players who used AAS reported more injuries affecting the joint ligaments and cartilage — almost literally from head to toe. Steroid users had higher rates of neck “stinger” or “burner” injuries; herniated spinal disks; elbow injuries; injuries to the knee ligaments and menisci; and injuries of the ankle, foot, and toes."

Certainly it might be true that Tiger is suffering from joint breakdown totally unrelated to any steriod use, but when I started to read about his knee over and over, it just reminded me too much of similar articles 10-15 years ago about Bonds, McGuire, etc.

Zagurski suspended for 50 games; caught mainlining jelly Krimpets.

Maybe Tiger is a victim of the Verducci Effect. Too many strokes at a young age.

Dan: I have no opinion on whether Tiger used steroids. I was just making an off-color joke at his expense.

Heather: Undetectable steroids become detectable over time. That's all. I suppose he could have the most cutting edge doctors in the world who regularly stay ahead of the curve.

"Headed over to Pittsburgh this weekend. Any suggestions on bars, restaurants, or just things to do in general?"

Pittsburgh is an awful place, but there's a place called Carson Street that has a ton of bars and restaurants. Not all that far from the stadiums. It's a little South Street-like.

Bobby D. - not sure how long it's been since you've been to Pittsburgh, but it is far from an "awful place" these days. A lot of very cool places downtown. The turnaround in that city is nothing short of amazing if you ask me.

"Heather: Undetectable steroids become detectable over time. That's all. I suppose he could have the most cutting edge doctors in the world who regularly stay ahead of the curve"

If I'm reading you correctly, what you are saying is doctors are constantly coming up with new tests for new PEDs or variants thereof?

If so, 2 responses to that:

1. MLB and the Player's Association have strict rules for what they test for. Even if someone comes up with a brilliant new test for a heretofore undetectable PED, MLB can't implement that new test without the consent of the player's association, am I right? So it's not like these new tests are implemented immediately...players, doctors, and trainers are given fair warning they're coming. So yes, it is more than possible to keep one step ahead of the testers.

2. To the best of my knowledge, MLB, unlike, say, professional cycling, doesn't keep samples of blood/urine for years after the fact. There exist samples of Lance Armstrong's blood from 10 years ago, to be tested retroactively for PEDs. The same thing does not exist in professional baseball. Samples are taken, tested, and then dumped forever. (And I doubt the player's association would ever agree to doing something like professional cycling without major concessions. Heck, they don't even do blood testing now.)

So it is more than possible, it is entirely plausible for players determined to stay one step ahead of testing to do so.

JMARR = Mayor of Pittsburgh.
It remains an awful place.

"Wow, Jack treating supposed steroid users with kid gloves, never thought I would ever see that."

If there was any even remotely direct evidence linking Bautista to steroids, then I could credit your comment. But I'm treating him too softly when the only evidence you have is that he's playing good baseball? Yeah, sorry, that doesn't mean anything to me.

I feel bad for you if your response to anyone playing great baseball is "steroids!" You should just relax and enjoy the game.

"I'm curious as to how 22% of people voting in the poll believe Rollins' defense is better in 2011 than in 2010. Of course, his play to date in 2011 is significantly better than his play while on the DL during the corresponding time last year.

But to say JRoll's play is better in 2011? Color me a un-believer."

They're using the same criteria the people who vote for the Gold Glove do. Is he better offensively? Yes? Then he must be better defensively, too!

Heather: Sure it's possible. Anything is possible.

Jack, I'd rather be skeptical than be as naive as you.

No one should be accusing Bautista of steroid use but to act like such a prodigious and unprecendented increase in power numbers ISN'T evidence for PED use is just being purposefully naive. I believe in innocent until proven guilty. I do not believe in people being beyond inquiry before being proven guilty.

I'm voting for Mini-mart over Zags.

signed: Post-game caterer.

"They're using the same criteria the people who vote for the Gold Glove do. Is he better offensively? Yes? Then he must be better defensively, too!"

Heather, ever notice that when ESPN talks up a really good offensive player, they always mention he's a plus defensive player, too (unless it's Adam Dunn)?

Mike Zagurski finally pitching impressively in this, his 842nd MLB opportunity: Not Possible.

Jack: Bautista is kind of like the kid who cashes in a million dollar life insurance policy two days after his parents mysteriously turn up dead. There's not enough evidence to convict him, but there's damn sure enough evidence for the police to be very suspicious. So it is with a guy who has had a radical (possibly even unprecedented) spike in power numbers at a very advanced age.


"Heather: Sure it's possible. Anything is possible."

Read about any of the big doping scandals, most notably in cycling or track and field. Athletes staying one step ahead of the testers is exactly how it's done. The scandal isn't usually revealed until one person gets stupid, s/he gets heavily implicated, and then s/he rolls over on everyone else.

And the testing in track and field and cycling is much more stringent.

Am I to believe that the people in baseball are much more honest, much more stupid, or have less of a drive to succeed than those athletes?

Sure, I guess anything is possible.

Given the public climate of suspicion, I believe Mr. Bautista should make a statement to the press declaring his innocence of these charges, then retain a team of legal, public relations and medical advisers to defend himself against the ad hoc investigation currently underway in every corner of the media and the internet.

Heather, your last comment reminds me of the scene in Good Fellas where Henry Hill is trying to allay his wife's fears that he's going to go to jail by saying:

"Honey, the only people who go to jail are those who want to go to jail, or don't have their affairs in order or the ones who fall asleep in the getaway car"

Or something to that effect.

"Jack: Raul went from .280/.353/.495 in 2001 (age 29) to .294/.346/.537 in 2002 (age 30). Not very comparable to Bautista. With that said, I do agree with you, and will belive his numbers are legit until proven otherwise."

The greater point is available to those less pedantic: from 2000 (age 28) to 2001 (age 29) Ibanez went from .229/.301/329 (OPS + 64) to .280/.353/.495 (OPS +115). Just to prove those two years weren't flukes, Ibanez best OPS+ prior to 2001 was 84; since 2001 his worst OPS+ is 103 with a high of 132. Rather comparable to Bautista.

Jack,
I am not speaking of the person, I am talking about the idea again. Whenever any of us here discuss the very real possibility of there being an ignored PED problem in the sport, you immediately want to be the devil's advocate for juicers. Never a time goes by when somebody discusses Bonds or the Mitchell Report list or anybody who makes this ungodly jump from loser to superstar, that you immediately wave it off and belittle the info or the poster.
Do you have to see a player inject live during the All-Star game to at least allow the possibility that it is happening in baseball?

I think major league minimum is about $2500 a day. I think the average minor league salary is about $300 a day. To get "his work in", Worley will probably be down in AAA for 3 starts or 15 days. Which means he's going to lose about $33,000. Ouch.

Me in 1998: I believe Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa are clean.

Me in 2001: I believe Sammy Sosa is clean.

Me in 2003: I believe Alex Rodriguez is clean.

Jack in 2011: I believe Jose Bautista is clean.

Just sayin'. It's okay to believe something, but kinda dumb to suggest there's no place for speculation.

"Given the public climate of suspicion, I believe Mr. Bautista should make a statement to the press declaring his innocence of these charges, then retain a team of legal, public relations and medical advisers to defend himself against the ad hoc investigation currently underway in every corner of the media and the internet."

For me, he doesn't need all that. All he'd have to say is something to this effect: "In order to clear my good name, I'm willing to give random samples of my blood and urine to an independent lab, to be held in perpetuity, to be tested every year with the most up-to-date PED tests. All of these tests, both now and in the future, will show my body to be completely clear of any form of performance enhancing drugs."

Those who would compare Bautista to Ibanez as a way to show that you can achieve a great leap in numbers without the use of PED use are making a large mistake: assuming that Ibanez is/was completely clean.

Perhaps he's dirty, too. Who knows.

I voted for Rollin's defense being better because I think it is. Below his career peak, of course. But better than last year.

Read into the stats what you will (he's ahead in standard fielding stats compared to last season, behind in the "advanced fielding" on fan graphs), but for me it comes down to an assessment my father and I came to during a game last week.

This season he looks much *smoother* in the field. More than likely the result of being fully healed. That gives me confidence whenever the ball is hit his way, and leads me to project him having a better season defensively than last. How many times this year has he made an old school Jroll play, and how often was it bemoaned last year that he no longer was?

I'm more surprised so many voted he's worse. I suspect it's a simple 'another year older/another year worse' formula for those voters.

Fata: Sorry, but I don't see it as cut and dry as that. We can't simply say "big power jump? must be steroids!". That's way too simplistic.

Are you accusing him of anabolic steroid use? If so, they test for that--and the fact that he hasn't failed a test is a good enough presumption of innocence for me, at least with regards to drugs we know they test for. Are you accusing him of HGH use? If so, not a single shred of evidence exists that HGH helps power numbers, or even would help you hit a baseball better. The only evidence is that it helps recovery from injuries. It doesn't help muscle mass or fast-twitch muscle. So your presumption that numbers = use wouldn't make much sense there. Are you accusing him of using some new designer drugs that we have no idea about? If so, I guess that presumption could be valid, but it seems like it's casting an incredibly wide net by just saying "he must be doing something."

I understand the desire to be skeptical --well, actually I don't. What does it hurt to not be skeptical? I guess underlying this premise is my own moral intuition that drug use for athletic achievement by consenting adults isn't the worst thing in the world, but I just don't see what you gain from being overly skeptical. Does it make you feel better if the truth does come out and he was using? Does it give you some moral high ground in online blog discussions?Otherwise, I just feel like you're purposely not letting yourself enjoy great baseball. That seems silly to me.

I dont have the figures in front of me, nor do I need to search for them but Bautista's numbers increase is nothing compared to what Bartolo Colon is doing in NY.

He is about 5 years removed from baseball, makes Zagurski look like a body builder and is throwing 95 in late inning shut outs. He did some sort of procedure in the Dominican and if it turns out to be legal then I will be headed down there next winter.

"Given the public climate of suspicion, I believe Mr. Bautista should make a statement to the press declaring his innocence of these charges, then retain a team of legal, public relations and medical advisers to defend himself against the ad hoc investigation currently underway in every corner of the media and the internet."

This feels like a bad idea. Right now the environment is fairly positive in Bautista's favor. The media has been very vocal in their belief that Bautista is clean. Not too long ago I heard the "batting stance change" argument on Fox Sports Radio.

The more you act guilty (public statement, legal team, etc), the more people will think you're guilty. And as someone mentioned earlier--doping tends to stay ahead of the curve of the testing. So even if he's got a whole independent medical team saying he's clean, people will just say he's using undetectable stuff.

Kind of like if a person goes around proclaiming that he never picks his nose--people will say "he protests too much" and will start believing he does, in fact, pick his nose. Even if he's never stuck a finger in his nose in his life.

Raul's Grandpa: Oh, I have no doubt steroid/drug use exists and/or existed in baseball. We know that for a fact.

But I think it's a disservice to players to make the jump purely from "he's hitting great" to "he must be on steroids" without ANY other evidence. And finally, I just think it's not that big a deal. Would I prefer the game to be clean? Yeah, I would. Do I understand why it's not? Yeah, I do--there's a lot of money at stake. For the same reason Insider Trading is rampant throughout the financial industry, baseball players will seek an edge. Do I think it's a huge problem? Not nearly as much as something like Insider Trading, that actually affects people. This is just sports, you know? The people who are actually hurt are the other players who get screwed financially. If you think this "hurts" you as a fan, you probably take the game a little too seriously.

Fata,
I think it is their way of saying "If you want to believe (opposing hotshot) is dirty than you have to believe every single member of the 1993 team and all the current players on the Phillies are dirty too and you are being a hypocrit."
I make no bones about accepting the fact that Dutch or Nails are not beyond reproach, Ibanez either. I wonder if people can look at Beltran's crazy numbers and then think "MMM, Beltran and Ibanez both went through KC around the same time, then put up big contract years and then started getting falling off severally and had some of those stereotypical nagging injuries? Maybe I should reconsider declaring all players saints?"

Jack, I have no idea. I'm not a pharmacologist, but I see that Bautista is doing something unprecendented in baseball, going from a 15 homeruns/year player to being on pace for 75 this year. Since I've already seen this story unfold before (Bonds), I'm inclined to be skeptical.

My skepticism does nothing to detract from my pleasure in watching baseball. In fact, in the case of a player on a team that I care very little about, it actually serves to further pique my interest in the sport.

"assuming that Ibanez is/was completely clean."

But he's a "good guy"! I've been told that only "bad guys" like A-Rod, or Barry Bonds, or Mark McGwire are cheaters.

Certainly not good guys like Ibanez. Or Bautista. Or Big Papi.

Jack: "What does it hurt to not be skeptical?"

Really? Were you asking that same question back in 1998 when the baseball media decided to turn a blind eye to performance enhancing drugs?

Too bad we can't go back to those days free of skepticism when 70 home runs were realistic.

The Theory: I was being sarcastic.

I'm skeptical, too, and I don't think it will help. He should just do what Heather suggests because, that's apparently the price of sudden success in baseball circa 2011.

I agree with Jack on this. More to the point, I think it's interesting how easily people seem to actively want to dismiss the changes to Bautista's swing as insignificant.

What's Worley's nickname--

i was thinking about 'Goggles'

You guys are right, R included.
I think Ben Francisco should change his swing and all of a sudden in the midst of a weak career he will lead all professional baseball players in homeruns over the past year. It's possible!

the farmers are voting for Zagurski...

helps with their seasonal crop production

CJ: You haven't answered the question. What harm did you suffer by not being skeptical in 1998?

Anyway, I agree the media is one of the worst culprits in all of this. They turned a blind eye to this entire thing back then, and now to make up for it, they've gone on a witch-hunt. They, the people who missed the entire story and completely failed at their jobs, now get to exclude players from the Hall of Fame just because they "think" he did PEDs, with no evidence whatsoever (see Jeff Bagwell). It's absurd.

Also Jack, I agree. I don't think players using steroids is that big a deal. I'm just curious, and skeptical that he's producing these numbers cleanly. If it were to come out that he has been using PEDs, I wouldn't villify him. I would just take the information in stride and move on with my life.

Of course, when the Phillies fix your swing, you get worse.

heather said:

For me, he doesn't need all that. All he'd have to say is something to this effect: "In order to clear my good name, I'm willing to give random samples of my blood and urine to an independent lab, to be held in perpetuity, to be tested every year with the most up-to-date PED tests. All of these tests, both now and in the future, will show my body to be completely clear of any form of performance enhancing drugs."

well, that's reasonable. perhaps he should have his DNA analyzed while he's at it to make sure he's not from another planet.

and i'm sure the players association would be thrilled with that idea. it sets a ridiculous precedent.

is it wrong of me to be unsurprised by what a woman feels is reasonable?

I concur with Fatalotti on this too. In the best of worlds, everybody would be clean and they would boot the offenders. In a logical experiment, they could just label the players like horses on lasix.

I agree with Jack on this. More to the point, I think it's interesting how easily people seem to actively want to dismiss the changes to Bautista's swing as insignificant.

Posted by: R | Tuesday, May 31, 2011 at 03:35 PM

Who said his swing is inadmissable evidence. It's certainly strong evidence, especially as conshy puts it, if it really did change his entire approach. You know what else is good evidence that he's not using PEDs? The fact that he took a very team friendly contract this past offseason with Toronto when he could have waited until the end of this year and cashed in on the open market. If he were truly cheating, I'd have expected him to hold out until the end of his walk year and really make his payday.

I'm willing to look at both sides of the story and both lines of evidence. It's those who aren't who are being naive.

Of course, when the Phillies fix your swing, you get worse.

Hitting. Guru.

"I think it's interesting how easily people seem to actively want to dismiss the changes to Bautista's swing as insignificant."

You do realize if Bautista's swing adjustment was the SOLE reason for his power surge, that would be the best swing adjustment of all time, right?

I mean, baseball players are constantly tinkering with their swing. Is Matt Rizzotti a swing adjustment away from 75 HRs? Is Benny Frank a swing adjustment away from a 1.2 OPS?

I'm not dismissing it. I think a swing adjustment can definitely lead to better numbers. But power numbers 3-5 times (or more) greater than what he's ever produced before? Something that no player in recent memory has accomplished?

For me, that is not the likeliest explanation, although perhaps the story does begin and end there. It's possible.

heather - players "tweak" their swings all the time. looking at bautista then vs. now he is a completely different player. a significant change in mechanics can have a significant change in results. too much common sense for you?

Matt, why is it unreasonable? Bautista pees, has some blood drawn, and goes about his business. It's not like I'm asking him to sign up for SERE school.

Besides, that was my threshold for having the preponderance of the evidence show that his power number run is entirely natural. Obviously he doesn't have to do that, and more than likely won't. But I'm not entirely sure on what grounds it's totally unreasonable since the tests will not inconvenience him much, if at all.

It was hard not to love the 1993 team. Take a look at the team picture now, 18 years later, and tell me you don't think most if not all were on something. The sooner MLB acknowledges it was wide spread, the better off the game will be. Hard not to wonder about Bautista though.

"You do realize if Bautista's swing adjustment was the SOLE reason for his power surge, that would be the best swing adjustment of all time, right?"

yes, that's why people are talking about this as a historic change. jeez!

PED or not, its amusing to watch him destroy any mistake on the inner half of the plate. A straight pull hitter like Bautista is the counterpoint to all the announcers who like to see a guy "go the other way."

raul's grandpa: have you even looked at the footage? have you compared his swing rates? have you done anything other than look at his HR totals?

also, frankly, 1998 was an incredibly fun year; it hasn't become any less so in retrospect

Matt: Of course players tweak their swings all the time. That's not the point.

So, to put it more plainly:

% of players who tweak their swing during their MLB career: ~100

% of players who tweak their swing and being hitting with unprecedented power numbers that are 3-5 x higher than anything they've done before and put them on pace to break the all time HR record for a single season: .00000001%

If you can't see the difference between those two numbers, and the reason it might give one cause for skepticism, you are being willfully naive.

heather, in a perfect world it is not unreasonable at all. i would love for that to be common practice. but the players association would prevent something like that from happening in a nanosecond. it sets a ridiculously bad precedent.

i know this is a WHOLE diffent side of the story, but would you want your blood (and all DNA therein) to be held by any outside agency? what are the potential ramifications of that? maybe i've read too many michael crichton books...

"The Theory: I was being sarcastic."
Urp. I guess my internet sarcasm-ometer is a touch off today.

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