I have a policy of not giving oxygen to people who are a) idiots, b) clearly just looking for clicks, c) both a and b. I’ve never understood folks who share and spread other peoples’ idiocy without realizing you’re only giving said idiot a larger platform.
So I’m not going to specify the nationally known writer and broadcaster, or the drivel he wrote that was circulating yesterday but I do want to throw in my two cents on a tangential aspect of his gibberish.
The topic of PEDs in general is quite tiresome at this point. There are so many bullet points in the discussion that are completely devoid of logic, and filled with hypocrisy that I usually tune out when the topic is raised. But there’s one aspect that gets my attention that I feel doesn’t get enough focus from writers or Joe Fan sitting at home, that the aforementioned “journalist” put on full display in his blather. That is…
You, dear reader, do not know who has used PEDs and who has not.
I can’t possibly be clearer about this. You…do…not…know.
If you think you can tell who has used and who hasn’t, outside of the players who’ve tested positive or the players who have admitted using, let’s play a little game. I’ll describe a player and you tell me if he used PEDs or not.
Ready? This pitcher…
Is a citizen of a country in which PEDs are available over the counter.
Was better in seasons age 38-43 than any five season stretch in his 20’s or early 30s.
Had career bests in WHIP and FIP at age 42.
Had career best adjusted ERA at age 38.
His career best K/BB ratios came at ages 38 and 41 (four of his best seven were post age 38).
Had career best ERA at age 35.
Had career best hits per 9 allowed at age 38.
I would bet a very large sum of money you would say this player was using PEDs. Not only was he effective at a very advanced baseball age, but he actually improved. That’s a pretty big red flag for many writers and fans as is living somewhere with access to PEDs punishment and judgment free.
This player would at the very least, garner some raised eyebrows, whispers, and some suspicions. Hell, some players had doubts cast on their ability for a hell of a lot less.
That is of course, unless that pitcher…
…is Mariano Rivera.
Mariano Rivera, who’s never garnered any suspicion about using PEDs, despite serious circumstantial evidence that would necessitate some questions being asked.
Why? Because he was thin? You mean like Dee Gordon?
Why? Because he relied less on power as he aged? You mean like Steven Wright, the knuckleballer?
Why? Because he’s a nice guy who would never do that? You know, like Andy Pettitte?
To be clear, I’m not saying Rivera used. I’m not saying he didn’t. I don’t give two rats’ pill bottles if he did or did not. I’m saying I don’t know if he used and neither do you.
And to be fair you can replace Rivera’s name with Nolan Ryan’s, Carlton Fisk’s, or Randy Johnson’s above as players whose post age 40 performance is never questioned (despite, in Ryan’s and Fisk’s case, increased muscularity in addition to improved performance).
You don’t know who was or is using and who was or is not. Stop pretending you do. You don’t know if the muscular power hitter is a genetic freak and you don’t know if the 25th guy on the bench used just to make it to the majors. And if you want to help me make the baseball world less dumb, ignore those in the MLB media machine who act like they know something about which they clearly don’t.
Did I miss something? Let me know.
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