Analysis. History. Perspective.

Sports Then and Now



Alex Rodriguez Disaster Takes Focus Off The Field 9

Posted on August 10, 2013 by Dean Hybl
Alex Rodriguez has struggled in his return to the field.

Alex Rodriguez has struggled in his return to the field.

For all who simply want to talk more sports, the Alex Rodriguez debacle has not been good. Since the one-time sure Hall of Famer has become the latest poster child for the PED era in baseball, performance on the field of play has been overshadowed by the growing circus off the diamond.

It is hard to believe that just five years ago Rodriguez was seen as the savior who would save the baseball world from the “tainted” star who “stole” the home run record from Hank Aaron.

Now, Rodriguez is quickly replacing Barry Bonds and former pitcher Roger Clemens as the face of the steroids era.

Where once he was pointed out as the prototype for the 21st Century baseball star, there now seems to be enough doubt to wonder if Rodriguez was instead the 21st Century version of a test tube star. In recent weeks some have wondered if even the young Alex Rodriguez who emerged as a star at the age of 20 with the Seattle Mariners could have been enhanced through artificial means.

In hindsight, it could be considered a little fishy that Rodriguez hit .232 with five home runs and 19 RBI in 149 at bats in 1995 and then the following year won the AL batting title with a .358 average, 36 home runs and 125 RBI.

The following season he hit .300 with 23 home runs and 84 RBI, but starting in 1998 Rodriguez hit at least 30 home runs and drove in at least 100 runs every year for the next 13 seasons. During that time, he blasted at least 40 home runs eight times with three seasons of more than 50 homers. He also hit .300 or better seven times and never had a season with an average below .285. Read the rest of this entry →

Clemens’ Mistrial is Perfect Ending to Baseball’s Steroid Era 9

Posted on July 16, 2011 by Dean Hybl

Roger Clemens was on trial for lying during a 2008 Congressional hearing.

Given that the “Steroid Era” in baseball has been built on a series of lies, accusations and uncertainties, it seems almost normal for baseball’s darkest era to come to an end with a mistrial in a federal courtroom that accomplished nothing and left as many questions as answers.

Ever since baseballs started flying out of stadiums at uncanny rates beginning in the early 1990s, the game of baseball has been in a civil war between those who believe in preserving the history and sanctity of the sport and those who saw the opportunity for greater success through artificial means.

This battle has left baseball with nearly two decades of inflated statistics and history that no one really knows what to do with.

Baseball purists have always pointed to the purity of statistics as being one of the components that make baseball special. For generations they contended that you could directly compare the statistics of players like Joe DiMaggio, Tris Speaker and Lou Gehrig with Hank Aaron, Willie Mays and Sandy Koufax to legitimately determine the greatest players of all-time.

Now in reality that argument is unsupportable as each era has its own nuances that make it difficult to compare with other generations.

Frank “Home Run” Baker earned his nickname by leading the American League in home runs four consecutive years between 1911 and 1914. During those four seasons, he blasted a combined total of 42 home runs, including 9 to lead the league in 1914. Yes, NINE! He finished his 13-year career with 96 home runs and 103 triples.

Just a few years later, a giant lefthander pitcher named George Herman “Babe” Ruth switched from being one of the American League’s most dominant pitchers to being its greatest slugger. He led the AL with 11 home runs in just 95 games in 1918 and in his first full season playing in the field in 1919 set a new single season record with 29 home runs. He hit 54 home runs in 1920 and 59 the following year and in 1921 became MLB’s career a home run leader, a distinction he would hold until 1974. Read the rest of this entry →

Jason Grilli Shares Thoughts on Crying In Baseball Following McGwire Admission 0

Posted on January 13, 2010 by Todd Civin

52431735MW018_BASEBALL_STARAlthough Jimmy Dugan told me, “There’s no crying in baseball” I didn’t listen the other day. I cried a lot. So did Mark McGwire. Only the difference between me and Mark McGwire is that we cried for two different reasons.

McGwire cried because he had painted himself into the proverbial corner. Caught with his hand in the cookie jar. His lie had taken on a life of it’s own and gnawed into his belly each and every day since…well, since Tony LaRussa offered him a job as hitting coach.

His tears were contrived. His tears were the creation of some Spin City PR guy who told him that in this case, you can cry in baseball.

My tears were spontaneous tears. Real tears. Tears that I have no shame in showing the baseball world. Read the rest of this entry →

Dominican Web Site Has Complete “Steroid List”; Is It Real or a Hoax? 10

Posted on September 03, 2009 by Mike Brangwynne

syringeTo be honest, I’m not very sure how legit this is or who this person’s source is, but the Spanish language web site DominicanosHOY.com has had on its site since late June an article that  includes a list of 103 major league baseball players that are supposedly names on the infamous “Steroid List”

Personally I hope it is the list and we can finally know the players in the “steroid era” that have tested positive in the past. This would end all the stupid steroid speculation on the list and end all of the he said/she said rumors of who is on the list and who isn’t.

Read the rest of this entry →

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