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2019-2020 OFFSEASON DISCUSSION THREAD

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1 minute ago, tiger337 said:

Some might have worried about health risks, but young people tend to think they are invincible and bad things won't happen to them.  If the superstars that players look up to are taking them, they couldn't be that bad? Right? With the highly competitive nature of pro athletes and all the money at stake, I absolutely believe the majority were taking regularly or semi-regularly.     

Yeah that makes sense. It's interesting that we haven't had more players come out with more info since then. I'd assume because they've never gone away? 

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8 minutes ago, socaltiger said:

Empirical data shows steroids helped quite a bit. 60 HR/year record stood for a very long time and then suddenly multiple players hit 60 and even 70 was obtained while others hit career highs. After the "crack down" on steroids these HR totals went back to closer to pre steroid levels while the small ballparks, better lighting and livelier ball remained. Its steroids as the lone/main variable. 

I believe they deadened the ball after the crack down to make it looked like they had solved the problem.  

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10 minutes ago, Yoda said:

Yeah that makes sense. It's interesting that we haven't had more players come out with more info since then. I'd assume because they've never gone away? 

I would bet a lot are still taking them, but being a lot more careful about it.  There is a lot of stuff that can't be detected by tests.  

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14 minutes ago, Yoda said:

Yeah that makes sense. It's interesting that we haven't had more players come out with more info since then. I'd assume because they've never gone away? 

The UCLA football team was using steroids in the late 1960's.  Their kicker, Zenon Andrusyshyn, later wrote that he stopped taking them after 2 years because he "thought his nuts were shrivelling up".

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8 minutes ago, tiger337 said:

I would bet a lot are still taking them, but being a lot more careful about it.  There is a lot of stuff that can't be detected by tests.  

I still don't think MLB even cares. They do enough testing to cover their asses but they'd still rather let it go. 

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7 minutes ago, Charles Liston said:

The UCLA football team was using steroids in the late 1960's.  Their kicker, Zenon Andrusyshyn, later wrote that he stopped taking them after 2 years because he "thought his nuts were shrivelling up".

He played football for UCLA. Didn't have any to begin with. 

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46 minutes ago, Charles Liston said:

Steroids don't make you a better baseball player, or a better 100 meter runner.  Weightlifting does.  You have to lift the weights.  Steroids help you to recover from workouts, so that your weightlifting can be more intense.  You still have to lift the weights, you can't just stick a needle in your ***.  

Yes, you have to exercise to realize the benefits of steroids. Yes, the gains realized will be beyond what would be possible without steroids. Yes, steroids could make you a faster 100 meter runner. A stronger, more explosive, more efficient muscle performs better, that's why they do it, despite the risks.

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1 minute ago, Yoda said:

I still don't think MLB even cares. They do enough testing to cover their asses but they'd still rather let it go. 

I don't think MLB cares.  Players seem to care more than they used to care though.  Steroid usage seems to be more taboo now and players express genuine anger when someone gets caught. 

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1 hour ago, Yoda said:

As you said, it's science. It can be found in numerous studies online. 

I'm interested in @Longgone's answer to this, since he supplied the data.

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1 hour ago, Hongbit said:

Just curious, any thoughts on how someone would go about scientifically proving this hypothesis?   There’s no way you could get a set of players to willingly take steroids and play and then compare to their base without them.   

I'm not a scientist, so I can't hazard a workable study, so I'm open to suggestions. I will say that just because I'm not a scientist who can devise a study does not mean it can't be done.

I would also say that, even if the ethics of such a study precludes the execution of such, it does not mean we should take statements of faith based on convenient anecdotes at face value as being the truth.

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42 minutes ago, socaltiger said:

Empirical data shows steroids helped quite a bit. 60 HR/year record stood for a very long time and then suddenly multiple players hit 60 and even 70 was obtained while others hit career highs. After the "crack down" on steroids these HR totals went back to closer to pre steroid levels while the small ballparks, better lighting and livelier ball remained. Its steroids as the lone/main variable. 

As long as we're using home runs hit as being empirical data:

The median HR% (HR/AB) among qualified batters during the Chicks Dig The Long Ball era was 3.63%, meaning half of qualified batters hit home runs at a rate greater than 3.63% of at bats, and half at less than that rate. The highest rate was 3.86% in 2002.

In 2016, that median HR% was 4.04%. In 2017, 4.14%. In 2018, 3.81%. And in 2019, 4.79%, far and away the highest home run rate among qualified batters in baseball history.

That's the empirical data.

Are we to conclude we are seeing the greatest steroid usage in baseball history?

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31 minutes ago, Longgone said:

Yes, you have to exercise to realize the benefits of steroids. Yes, the gains realized will be beyond what would be possible without steroids. Yes, steroids could make you a faster 100 meter runner. A stronger, more explosive, more efficient muscle performs better, that's why they do it, despite the risks.

correct answer

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9 minutes ago, chasfh said:

As long as we're using home runs hit as being empirical data:

The median HR% (HR/AB) among qualified batters during the Chicks Dig The Long Ball era was 3.63%, meaning half of qualified batters hit home runs at a rate greater than 3.63% of at bats, and half at less than that rate. The highest rate was 3.86% in 2002.

In 2016, that median HR% was 4.04%. In 2017, 4.14%. In 2018, 3.81%. And in 2019, 4.79%, far and away the highest home run rate among qualified batters in baseball history.

That's the empirical data.

Are we to conclude we are seeing the greatest steroid usage in baseball history?

I like to see a comparison of right tails.  95th percentile for example.  

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4 minutes ago, tiger337 said:

I like to see a comparison of right tails.  95th percentile for example.  

Here you go:

Season 95th
1996 8.01%
1997 7.49%
1998 7.88%
1999 7.96%
2000 7.95%
2001 7.85%
2002 7.42%
2003 7.41%
2004 7.32%
2005 7.26%
2006 8.29%
2007 6.37%
2008 6.86%
2009 7.16%
2010 6.30%
2011 6.54%
2012 6.68%
2013 6.18%
2014 6.25%
2015 7.12%
2016 6.81%
2017 7.32%
2018 6.73%
2019 8.20%

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44 minutes ago, tiger337 said:

I don't think MLB cares.  Players seem to care more than they used to care though.  Steroid usage seems to be more taboo now and players express genuine anger when someone gets caught. 

I can never tell if it's fake anger or real. JV is a good example. He cared so much and then we find out his whole team was cheating and he had nothing to say about it. 

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9 minutes ago, Yoda said:

I can never tell if it's fake anger or real. JV is a good example. He cared so much and then we find out his whole team was cheating and he had nothing to say about it. 

Good point.  It's not always genuine,  

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18 minutes ago, chasfh said:

Here you go:

Season 95th
1996 8.01%
1997 7.49%
1998 7.88%
1999 7.96%
2000 7.95%
2001 7.85%
2002 7.42%
2003 7.41%
2004 7.32%
2005 7.26%
2006 8.29%
2007 6.37%
2008 6.86%
2009 7.16%
2010 6.30%
2011 6.54%
2012 6.68%
2013 6.18%
2014 6.25%
2015 7.12%
2016 6.81%
2017 7.32%
2018 6.73%
2019 8.20%

Thanks.  The steroid error did tend to be higher on the tail but 2019 was way up there.  

 

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I'm confused by this thread. Are some of you implying steroids didn't have that big of an impact? Brady Anderson hits 50 home runs? Sure, there is no scientific way to know exactly what extent steroids aided the totals. You don't believe in the eye test? 73 home runs in 476 at bats? Again, I go it made a mockery of stats. Bonds was hitting home runs at a 15-20 at-bat pace during his Pitt MVP days. 6.5 in his mid 30s? The stats are so different than before or have been since mlb started testing. I'm just not sure what you guys are implying.

There were so many outlier statistics during that era. 

 

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2 minutes ago, leflore said:

I'm confused by this thread. Are some of you implying steroids didn't have that big of an impact? Brady Anderson hits 50 home runs? Sure, there is no scientific way to know exactly what extent steroids aided the totals. You don't believe in the eye test? 73 home runs in 476 at bats? Again, I go it made a mockery of stats. Bonds was hitting home runs at a 15-20 at-bat pace during his Pitt MVP days. 6.5 in his mid 30s? The stats are so different than before or have been since mlb started testing. I'm just not sure what you guys are implying.

There were so many outlier statistics during that era. 

 

There have always been and always will be major outliers. But given what we know about those particular players, I agree with you. 

I just keep going back to the theory that they affected certain players differently. Bonds went from looking normal to having the face of the Incredible Hulk. And then right back to normal after he "retired." It's pretty clear his body reacted to them in a much different way than they would have with a player like David Eckstein. If they took the same steroids and had the same workout routine, I don't think Eckstein would have benefited that greatly. Some bodies are just more prone to gaining weight and strength. 

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Btw slightly off topic but I highly recommend the documentary Icarus.  It’s about a semi-pro cyclist that tries to answer the exact question that we are discussing.   The movie ends up turning into something bigger on the subject of steroids but definitely worth a watch.  

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46 minutes ago, leflore said:

I'm confused by this thread. Are some of you implying steroids didn't have that big of an impact? Brady Anderson hits 50 home runs? Sure, there is no scientific way to know exactly what extent steroids aided the totals. You don't believe in the eye test? 73 home runs in 476 at bats? Again, I go it made a mockery of stats. Bonds was hitting home runs at a 15-20 at-bat pace during his Pitt MVP days. 6.5 in his mid 30s? The stats are so different than before or have been since mlb started testing. I'm just not sure what you guys are implying.

There were so many outlier statistics during that era. 

 

If hitting home runs at a greater clip in your late 30s is de facto evidence of steroids, then Hank Aaron was on steroids.

 

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44 minutes ago, Hongbit said:

Btw slightly off topic but I highly recommend the documentary Icarus.  It’s about a semi-pro cyclist that tries to answer the exact question that we are discussing.   The movie ends up turning into something bigger on the subject of steroids but definitely worth a watch.  

Road cycling is a different animal with respect to PEDs because the effect of EPO was/is so unequivocal. It's not like you are adding at the margin of an extremely rare ability to hit major league pitching. All you have to be able to do is pedal. But the control regime was quite different as well. Since until late in the game, there was no effective test for EPO, the cyclists were just limited to how high a hematocrit they were allowed to have. In an odd way, EPO in effect was leveling the genetic variations in the competitors with everyone competing as close as they could manage to the max hematocrit.. It would have been like baseball saying you could take all the anabolics you want but you could not play if your total muscle mass was greater than X% of body weight.

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15 minutes ago, chasfh said:

If hitting home runs at a greater clip in your late 30s is de facto evidence of steroids, then Hank Aaron was on steroids.

 

It was more than just the numbers.  Bonds had noticeable physical signs of massive muscle growth,  he had abnormal cranial growth his 30’s, and oh yeah, he was also implicated by the biggest designer steroid doctor in history.  
 

None of those things happened to Aaron.

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40 minutes ago, Hongbit said:

Btw slightly off topic but I highly recommend the documentary Icarus.  It’s about a semi-pro cyclist that tries to answer the exact question that we are discussing.   The movie ends up turning into something bigger on the subject of steroids but definitely worth a watch.  

I heard really great things about that doc. Need to check it out. 

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2 hours ago, Yoda said:

Yeah that makes sense. It's interesting that we haven't had more players come out with more info since then. I'd assume because they've never gone away? 

This I would think. Things have probably shifted to very short term agents that are probably less effective but that players still believe in.

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