I find something humorous about baseball and it lies in the stats. Baseball players are known for taking steroids and there is nothing more blatantly obvious than reviewing some known juicer’s careers. I’m going to start with some obvious (and proven) ones so you can get the idea and then I’ll throw a few out who haven’t surfaced.
Brady Anderson – In his first 7 years as a pro the most homers he hit in a season was 21. In 1996, he jacked 50 homers and had 101 RBI as a lead off hitter. He followed up 1996 with a respectable 97′ (.288, 18 HR, 73 RBI). His 98′ was mostly injury plagued as he batted .236. You’ll noticed the injury trend after juiced seasons. He never admitted to using steroids during his one epic season.
Greg Vaughn – In 1995 (notice the years), Vaughn played in 108 games and batted .224 with 17 dingers. In 96′, he hit 41 homers, 117 RBI and batted .260. He quit the roids in 97′ when he batted .216 with 18 homers. His most memorable season of 1998, he blasted 50 homers with 119 RBI and batted .272. Another solid year in 1999 with 45 homers and 118 RBI. He sputtered out his last 4 years injury plagued never to return to that level.
Ken Caminiti – Before 95′, Ken’s highest total season of homers was 18. He admits to using steroids around the next few years of his career. In 95′ he belted 26 and in 96′ he hit 40 homers. He batted .302 and .326 respectively and walloped an enormous 130 RBI during 96′. After that breakout year he averaged less than 100 games a year for the rest of his playing days.
The first two guys never admitted to roids (I don’t think) but Caminiti did (he’s dead to a cocaine overdose) but I think the trend and years played should be evidence enough. Now lets take this info and move it to present day with some players who should be suspected.
A fairly easy one to spot and obviously unusual. In 4 seasons prior to 2010 he hit 16,15,15,13 homers per season. In 2010 he smacks 54 and follows up with 43 the next year. No trend upward or anything just straight up hits 40 hr’s more the next season. With all the testing going on prior to the fiasco during the Roid era, it’s hard to give an explanation to this. Whatever he changed is under the radar. When will he get hurt?
No one is safe. In 2007, Jroll was the National League MVP. He batted .296, had 30 homers and had 94 RBI while playing in 162 games. He followed that year backing off with just 11 homers, 59 RBI and .277 average. In 2009 this is taken from Wikipedia “towards the end of June Rollins was batting just .195 with a .237 on-base percentage when hitting leadoff, and through July 1 he had the lowest on base percentage (.250) in the major leagues”. Rollins has never been close to his 2007 season up through the present. What happened? UHHHHHHHH, baseball was cracking down on the juice, Jimmy stopped taking it and became just another above average player.
A-Rod The list just couldn’t be complete without the most obvious. Right back to the heart of time when steroids were rampant (1996) is when A-Rod started his run as baseballs most accomplished hitter. Between 1996 and 2007, A-Rod had 3 30+ HR seasons, 5 40+, and 3 50+ season. From 2008 on his totals have been 35, 30, 30, and 16. Let’s also mention that he played almost every game during that awesome time span. Since then he’s been a different player. What changed? I think that’s obvious.
Do I have any proof in any of this? Only the numbers. Numbers are the truth and as much as people like to believe that a player had an amazing season just one time, history tells a tale. What’s up with Chooch’s 2012?