Thursday, July 20, 2006

Baseless Speculation

As a follow up to an earlier comment relating to Buster Olney's assertion that ""I believe, but can't prove, that 75 to 80 percent of the major awards won since 1988 have been won with the help of performance-enhancing drugs." Now, I believe the steroid story is almost entirely a media creation and I wish it would go away and stop being treated like it is this huge emotional scar on the game, like the 1919 WS. So I shouldn't fuel the fires. But any time we can all speculate and point fingers at players we don't like, well then let's fire away.

And one thing I found fascinating as I looked at the list - award winners are jerks. So it is even more fun to speculate that they cheaters. Seriously. While we will look at he PE question in a minute, I would like to go on record as saying - "I believe, but can not prove, that 75 to 80 percent of the major awards since 1988 have been won by players that are jerks."

So the ground rules. Buster would know more than an average Joe, so we need to try hard to get close to the 75 %. Multiple winners do count for each award. so with bonds, we will have to decide if we count 4 for the post 1998 awards, or all 7 (I'm inclined to say just the 4). By major awards, I am assuming Olney means MVP and CY.

I'll start with NL MVP here and over the next few weekdays, cause hell, what better way to waste time at work that to debate this stuff.

So without further ado......


  1. First the winners:

    2005 - Pujols
    2004 - Bonds
    2003 - Bonds
    2002 - Bonds
    2001 - Bonds
    2000 - Jeff Kent
    1999 - Larry "Chipper" Jones
    1998 - Sosa
    1997 - Larry Walker
    1996 - Ken Caminiti
    1995 - Barry Larkin
    1994 - Bagwell
    1993 - BLB
    1992 - BLB
    1991 - Terry Pendleton
    1990 - BLB
    1989 - Kevin Mitchell
    1988 - Kirk Gibson

  2. So, I'm sure we will all have our own "scoring" methods, but I have one that will use (feel free to join along at home) and will rate them as follows:

    P - Proven. A fairly short list. These are players that unequivocally are users of PE. As previously tabulated at steroid scoreboard!

    H - High - players with a high likelihood of having been users
    M - Medium - players you can not rule out as having been users
    L - Players that you would be really surprised to learn were users

    Not perfect. But we should be able to get a clear picture by adding up the P, H and M's. I'm already on record as saying 1995 (Barry Larkin) is the first NL MVP that I would (with my new scoring system) categorize as Low.

  3. Start with our proven cheats:

    2004 - Bonds
    2003 - Bonds
    2002 - Bonds
    2001 - Bonds
    1996 - Caminiti

    Not a bad start. As previously debated, I don't have Sammy as proven, because nothing has been proven.

  4. Which leads me to the rest of the list:

    2005 - H - Pujols - 3 months ago I would have been inclined to say Low, but with his name being, linked to Grimsley's distributor I feel there is no choice but label as high. If you don't like this, you and I are probably off to a bad start. And I suggest you either read the title of this post again. Or stop playing. Immediately.

    2000 - H - Jeff Kent. I don't care if they hated each other. His home run rate basically doubled after age 30 - with career highs at 34, during the peak of Bonds' surge.
    1999 - Medium - Larry "Chipper" Jones - I wanted to give him a High, but he might be a bit to dumd to learn how to do it.
    1998 - High - Sosa
    1997 - Medium - Larry Walker - really hard to tell between Colorado and injuries.
    1995 - Low - Barry Larkin - I just don't see it
    1994 - Medium - Bagwell. At least.
    1993 - Low - BLB - I'm going to believe GOS and that he only had taken protein shakes until 1998
    1992 - Low - BLB
    1991 - Low - Terry Pendleton
    1990 - Low -BLB
    1989 - Medium - Kevin Mitchell. I wanted to give this one Low.
    1988 - Low - Kirk Gibson. I can't bad mouth the guy. Olney must have picked 1988 as the year because that is when Canseco won his MVP. the last few years in that period look pretty clean to me.

    Interesting side note - Kirk Gibson. MVP. World Series Hero. Never made an All Star team.

  5. So the tally:

    Proven - 5
    High - 3
    Medium - 4
    Low - 6

    Not even close to 75% even if I include the P, H and M's. Maybe it will be made up in other awards/leagues, but I'm either terribly naive or Olney may have been off......

  6. It's possible Olney was referring to awards from every season AFTER 1988? Not like that changes things much, but it takes Gibson off the list.

  7. well, after would also take Canseco off the list. And Hershiser and Frank Viola. two Mediums in my book since I will always assume any thing or one ever linked to a NY team would cheat.

  8. But seriously, the biggest problem I have with his statement is the referenct to the year 1988. we'll get through them all. But I think if head said 1998 or even 1995 I would say, hell yeah. but we are going to look at Greg Maddux, Glavine, Herhiser, Pedro, ripken, Eck, Cone. We've only just begun, I'm starting to doubt 75%.

  9. Yeah, I'm in total agreement with you, and I agree with all your scores.

    Two things we have to conclude about Olney's feelings on the matter: (1) he thinks pitchers (even the skinny ones) are serious users, and (2) he thinks Bonds was using prior to 1998.

    Might be worth an email to him.

  10. was a typo, and he meant 1998.

  11. I was think the same things on both counts. I figured I would tally the full results before an email AND based on my real quick voting on 1998 and beyond (32 man/season/awards), I really don't think there are more than a handful of names that would come out on the Low vote - perhaps (in rough order Ichiro, Glavine, Halladay, Johan, Zito, Carpenter, Pedro. Hell, after Glavine on that list and I'm not very confident. The rest of list is litterd with Highs - BLB, I-Rod, Juan Gone, Giambi, B-12 man, Pujols, Gagne.

  12. Off topic, but this is hilarious. So is the followup.

  13. Pretty funny stuff. I would like to thank al gore for inventing the internet.