Palmeiro Suspended

Two weeks ago, I congratulated Rafael Palmeiro for joining an elite club of hitters who have hit 500 home runs and 3000 hits, stating:

Congrats to Rafael Palmeiro, someone I generally consider to be one of the genuine good guys in baseball (this is where all fo you tell me how he isn’t shattering yet another illusion), for joining one of the most elite clubs in baseball.

Breaking news on USA Today:

Baltimore Orioles first baseman Rafael Palmeiro, who testified before Congress on March 17 that he’d never used steroids, was suspended by Commissioner Bud Selig on Monday for 10 games for violating baseball’s steroids policy.

Ugh.






46 replies
  1. 1
    Don Surber says:

    LOL
    And here all along I thought it was the Little Blue Pill

  2. 2
    rilkefan says:

    Any chance that’s a false positive?

  3. 3
    Mark says:

    Anyone here think he wasn’t perjuring himself before Congress earlier this year when he said he had never done steroids?

    The DOJ should prosecute him.

  4. 4
    Brad R. says:

    Memo to Jason Giambi: your days are numbered, bitch.

  5. 5
    Brad R. says:

    I knew Raffy was on the juice the minute I saw him doing Viagra commercials. “A 30-something year-old athlete who needs Viagra? It’s possible, but hmmmmmm…”

  6. 6
    rilkefan says:

    He claims he didn’t intentionally take steroids.

    I assume Giambi’s getting daily monitoring.

  7. 7
    Brad R. says:

    I assume Giambi’s getting daily monitoring.

    I’m not buyin’ it. The guy’s a .220 hitter for the first three months of the season. Suddenly, he’s swatting 14 homeruns in a month and his average is way up. If you look at his career stats, he was a good-but-not great hitter until 2000, when he went on steroids and won the MVP.

    Now, I could see Giambi, after withdrawing from the juice, putting up numbers comparable to those at the beginning of his career: .290-25-90. But I can’t see him suddenly reverting to MVP form after three months of completely sucking it, especially when you factor in that he’s 34 and his body’s been through hell for the last couple of years.

  8. 8

    To think I actually respected the guy.

  9. 9
    rilkefan says:

    Brad, a simple explanatory hypothesis is that steroids aren’t much responsible for performance, beyond perhaps a confidence boost. Giambi testified he was using from 2001-2003, but _not_ 2000. And note that sluggers normally have an arc in development. And you’re wrong about “completely sucking” and the arc of the season. Giambi may just have replaced the steroids with a dedication to fitness and a maturer confidence or at least determination.

  10. 10
    PSoTD says:

    To End with a Question Mark Instead of an Exclamation Point…

    Rafael Palmeiro was suspended 10 days for violating Major League Baseball’s steroids policy Monday, nearly five months after the Baltimore Ori…

  11. 11
    Geek, Esq. says:

    So, how big of a “I told you so” does Jose Canseco get to rub in folks’ faces?

  12. 12
    M. Scott Eiland says:

    I suspect that Leno, Letterman and company will be erecting a statue to Raffy by the end of the week: he just wrote ten thousand jokes for them–all variations on “yep–*all* his wood is juiced.”

    Is anyone else nauseated over the fact that Jose Canseco was just proven right?

  13. 13
    Mark says:

    “Dedication to fitness”, my ass. Giambi’s on the juice. He probably realized that he was headed to the minors if he didn’t start producing soon. I mean, come on! His turn around is just too good to be true. I certainly hope he’s next on the list to be tested…

    Be gone, Yankee fans!

  14. 14
    Steve says:

    He should either be prosecuted, or given a recess appointment.

  15. 15
    Brad R. says:

    You’re right that Giambi testified that he only started using the juice in 2001. But if you believe Jose Canseco (something I’d normally be loathe to do, but after today he just got more credible), Giambi had been using them earlier. than that

    But to say that steroids don’t affect performance? No way. Barry Bonds went from a Hall of Fame-caliber player to THE greatest player of all time at age 35. There’s no way he does that without steroids.

  16. 16
    Brad R. says:

    And as Mark points out, no one who looks like (in the words of one Daily News writer) “a water buffalo” should be praised for his “dedication to fitness.”

  17. 17
    ppGaz says:

    Barry Bonds went from a Hall of Fame-caliber player to THE greatest player of all time at age 35.

    Yeah, but remember, he didn’t know what he was taking.

    He just started hitting anything in his zone right into the bay every day, and thinking, “Shit, I am really good!”

  18. 18
    rilkefan says:

    Giambi’s interest in fitness was reportedly lax until this winter, when he set out to prove he could play clean. That it took until recently for him to get his body in full working order isn’t surprising. That a major part of his game is inhuman eyesight and plate discipline aids my argument – he needed that, a reasonably strong working body, and enough at-bats to get his timing down – he’s not a guy like Sheffield who is going to kill a fan in the last row one of these days. Until I hear MLB has a hands-off approach to him or see his face bloat up, I’m going to continue to think he’s just returning to his natural level of ability, which drugs didn’t help (except for confidence).

    As far as Bonds is concerned: a) his workout regime is supposed to be by far the hardest in the sport, b) surely drugs made it possible for him to sustain that fitness level without injury, c) I don’t see how steroids helped him get the sweet spot on the ball so often. Maybe (hopefully) we’ll see more late-career cases like Clemens among the peak-fitness atheletes, assuming that level can be sustained without drugs.

  19. 19

    Rilkfan, steroids sharpen cognitive function.

  20. 20
    Geek, Esq. says:

    suspect that Leno, Letterman and company will be erecting a statue to Raffy by the end of the week:

    Unintentional metaphor alert!

  21. 21
    gratefulcub says:

    Why does clemens get a free pass? He has legs like a ‘water buffalo.’ If we are going to convict everyone without evidence, why not Roger. How else has he stayed healthy? There is no way a man can do that at 42. Shouldn’t we have to know a little bit of something before we convict?

    As far as Giambi…..I am a Yankee hater. BUT, if I follow the thread above, the story goes like this: He was off the juice, he hit .210. Decided to get back on the juice, and instantly turned into a machine; the best first baseman in the AL. Instantly. It had nothing to do with his front hip flying into the dugout before his bat had moved when he was hitting .210. His swing looked like a 7 year old trying to hit a ball 400 feet. Steroids don’t work THAT quickly. He found his swing. Regardless of everything else that you want to say about him, and he deserves all of it, his resurgence this year looks legit.

  22. 22
    rilkefan says:

    Nathan, on what time-scale? For 30-something people with normal hormone levels?

  23. 23
    Brad R. says:

    Bonds and Giambi have always had good batting eyes, but the added muscle from steroids allowed them to swing larger bats quicker. And as elementary physics will show, if you hit a baseball with greater quickness and force, it will go farther.

  24. 24
    ppGaz says:

    I don’t see how steroids helped him get the sweet spot on the ball so often.

    It’s the fly balls that are not hit on the sweet spot but which are muscled that extra few feet that turn into home runs.

    If a 350 foot fly is an out, and a 360 foot fly is worth $100,000 on your paycheck, then you only have to hit it 3 percent farther to get paid. It’s what you might call “an incentive.” Anybody who doesn’t think that Bonds’ sudden explosion of home runs was not partly, if not mostly, due to the juice is just ….. thinking that we are still looking for the killer of OJ’s ex-wife.

  25. 25
    Earl says:

    Rilkefan —
    There’s no question these guys are all immensely talented at seeing pitches and reacting to them and “getting the sweet spot on the ball”. Indeed, Giambi was drafted over the objection of scouts who considered him a “one-tool player” — he could hit for average, and that’s it. What steroids (and related supplements, like HGH — which isn’t tested for by mlb) give is a little extra power, converting pop flies to long flies, and long flies in HR. That matters.

  26. 26

    Rilkefan,

    I’m not sure – I just know that as a general rule of thumb, short of massive abuse, steroids improve cognition in otherwise healthy individuals. I can’t see why that would be any different for Barry Bonds.

  27. 27
    ppGaz says:

    steroids improve cognition

    We desperately need to get DougJ on steroids, then.

  28. 28

    Fine, but you’ve got needle duty.

  29. 29
    ppGaz says:

    Fine, but you’ve got needle duty.

    Where’s Rick when you need him?

  30. 30
    rilkefan says:

    ppGaz, good point, but my memory of watching Bonds in the recent playoffs was not that he was hitting balls 103% out of the stadium – he was murdering every strike. (That he has maintained the fitness and bat speed to go with his experience is certainly likely in part ascribable to drugs.) Giambi is taking some advantage of the short porch in right in the Bronx, but again he’s had a high OBP all season and has adjusted his swing to make good contact. Steroids didn’t make him stop flailing at the plate.

    Anyway, it’s dumb to argue when there’s a simple way to learn the truth – test him. Now that he’s leading the league in OPS I have no doubt he’ll get plenty of questions about his testing regime, and hopefully he’ll answer one.

  31. 31
    pleasewakeupy'all says:

    Bonds summary:

    five years Pre-Balco (ages 31-35)
    AB-2462
    HR-186
    BA-.294
    Slg.Pct.-.599
    AB/HR-13.24

    five years Post-Balco(ages 36-40)
    AB-2122
    HR-258
    BA-.339
    Slg.Pct.-.781
    AB/HR-8.22

    The numbers speak for themselves. Also, STATS,Inc. has been keeping track of home run distances for years–for Bonds, 450 ft.+ home runs before 2000–zero, since, 21. Anyone that argues that performance enhancing drugs don’t enhance performane has their head in the sand or up their….

  32. 32
    ppGaz says:

    Oh, I agree, you can give steroids to some people and get bupkis, and then give them to Barry, who is up there with the greatest natural players of all time (run, hit and throw until his body started failing him) and get 70 home runs in a year. He is beyond talented, he is in that Willie Mays category, that Clemente category of Superplayers.

    But he still profited from the juice, I think.

  33. 33
    Geek, Esq. says:

    Why does clemens get a free pass? He has legs like a ‘water buffalo.’ If we are going to convict everyone without evidence, why not Roger. How else has he stayed healthy? There is no way a man can do that at 42. Shouldn’t we have to know a little bit of something before we convict?

    1. Nolan Ryan.

    2. He hasn’t added MPH to his fastball–he’s just held on to what he’s always had.

  34. 34
    rilkefan says:

    Better bats, better technique, better training, more experience, tighter-wound baseball cores, smaller stadiums, drug-supported fitness but worsened organ function, changed strike zone, frightened pitchers – it’s a complicated landscape.

  35. 35
    ppGaz says:

    Better bats

    Well, I’m a cynic. I think it might have more to do with “better business management” in baseball. The fans want fireworks. In the same way that a player might see another ten feet on his fly balls as big dollar signs, owners might see them as season ticket sales. How else to explain baseball’s See No Evil attitude about this for 20 years?

  36. 36

    Yeah, enough is enough already. Lets freeze the stat book and open up MLB (and all other major sports) to whatever enhancements, legal or illegal, they can find. I want surrealist sports; guys running the forty in three seconds, eighty yard touchdown passes, 400 yard drives, 700 ft homeruns, 200 mph serves (in ping pong, of course), and most of all, I want hockey to stop sucking.

    (ducks)

  37. 37
    rilkefan says:

    “How else to explain baseball’s See No Evil attitude about this for 20 years?”

    Stupidity plus cupidity plus a mistaken estimate of the importance of steroids?

  38. 38
    Mr Furious says:

    From the ESPN.com report:

    White House spokesman Scott McClellan said President Bush considers Palmeiro “a friend and he believes him” when he says he never intentionally took steroids.

    Well that seals it for me. Palmiero’s obviously guilty!

  39. 39
    Mr Furious says:

    From the ESPN.com report:

    White House spokesman Scott McClellan said President Bush considers Palmeiro “a friend and he believes him” when he says he never intentionally took steroids.

    Well that seals it for me. Palmiero’s obviously guilty!

  40. 40
    Mr Furious says:

    DON’T PANIC FOLKS! I’m not sure how that double-posted, but it doesn’t mark the return of the rampant epidemic of double posting errors. I am forced to use my left hand to “mouse” with my righthand in a cast. I think my hand kind of stuttered when I pressed “sumbit.”

    Either that or my steroid use has a few feet to my typing.

  41. 41
    Brad R. says:

    White House spokesman Scott McClellan said President Bush considers Palmeiro “a friend and he believes him” when he says he never intentionally took steroids.

    Yep. Kiss-o-death right there.

  42. 42
    Mark says:

    Hey, Bush can relate to Raffy! He never intentionally took coke either, I bet.

    Then again, Clinton didn’t inhale.

    Why can’t people just admit they did drugs?! Don’t they realize that most people don’t really care?

  43. 43
    StupidityRules says:

    10 days suspension… That’s a harsh punishment isn’t it? OK you could argue that he is now tainted forever.. but 10 days… come on….

  44. 44
    pleasewakeupy'all says:

    Better bats, better technique, better training, more experience, tighter-wound baseball cores, smaller stadiums, drug-supported fitness but worsened organ function, changed strike zone, frightened pitchers – it’s a complicated landscape.

    Huh?

    Stupidity plus cupidity plus a mistaken estimate of the importance of steroids?

    What the f***?

    Did you even look at his numbers? Did you factor in that this paradigm shift essentially occurred OVERNIGHT and coincided with 30+ pounds of muscle, between the ages of 35 and 40? Did all these other “factors” occur at once?

    Truly baffling.

  45. 45
    Darone L says:

    C’mon Yankee slurpers,

    Do you think that its just coincidence that he didn’t start hitting until the Yankees threatened to send him down to AAA. Maybe he just decided to change his eating regimin with an added helping of spinach. The guys is juicing right now. And to those who know a little science, “the placebo effect” has shown that people just by believing that there is some kind of added variable to whatever regimin that they are doing almost always improve their performance based on nothing more than the confidence in what they are taking. Without steriods Giambi is Jeremy Giambi.

  46. 46
    DougJ says:

    Does innocent until proven guilty mean nothing?

    Here are the president’s comments on this

    “He’s testified in public, and I believe him. He’s the kind of person that’s going to stand up in front of the klieg lights and say he didn’t use steroids, and I believe him. Still do.”

    Let’s give Palmeiro a chance.

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. PSoTD says:

    To End with a Question Mark Instead of an Exclamation Point…

    Rafael Palmeiro was suspended 10 days for violating Major League Baseball’s steroids policy Monday, nearly five months after the Baltimore Ori…

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