Monday, August 01, 2005

Rafael Palmeiro...

has been suspended by MLB for violating its drug policy.

Somehow I think this will get more attention than the Betancourt suspension...

20 comments:

  1. Anonymous3:06 PM

    I would say that Jose Canseco's credibility just took a major leap upward.
    (Elsandito)

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  2. The media has such a blatant Rafael bias.

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  3. This will be all over the news and people will call for Palmeiros head and seek to exclude him from the Hall of Fame.

    I believe he took it unknowingly. I don't think he's that stupid to take a known banned substance after his part in the Senate hearings and the newness of the testing policy.

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  4. Anonymous7:03 AM

    Nate,
    Wake up and smell the coffee. Why would Canseco have named Raf as one taking steroids if Raf himself didn't know he was taking them?
    We should hold out the possibility that players like Bonds and Raf lie through their teeth.
    (Elsandito)

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  5. Did you read what the arbitrator said? Read his comments before you tell me to smell the coffee.

    I'll agree that some of what Canseco said "might" have had some truth to it but the day I believe that Canseco was telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth is the day I believe O.J. is innocent.

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  6. Anonymous9:23 AM

    Just one question - how does one - a professional no less - "unknowingly" take performance-enhancing drugs?

    Dave

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  7. (Waving my finger at you)"I repeat, I did not ever take steroids, ever!"

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  8. Anonymous11:56 AM

    Now if Raf had said that he had injected himself with some kind of chemical and wasn't totaly positive that it wasn't steroids, then I feel like he's bought credibility, although only a little. But, that indignant tone under oath, I'm sorry. It would take an Oliver Stone stretch of the imagination for a person to believe that Raf was sincere at that moment.
    (Elsandito)

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  9. Do you think we could hook Blake up with some of this stuff? I mean, slip it in his drink so he wouldn't be knowingly taking it.

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  10. Anonymous4:55 PM

    Hey Ryan whatever happened to the rest of the 2002 Retrospective? I was looking forward to reading the rest of that.

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  11. Anon,

    I'm working on it. The next installment concerns the Robbie Alomar trade and the subsequent moves.

    I probably should have waited until after the season to do it (more time, less to talk about), but I'm committed to finishing it over the next couple of months.

    For those who didn't read the first installment, I'll add a permanent link to the sidebar, so you don't have to go searching for all the installments.

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  12. Derek5:24 PM

    Little help... I can't seem to find the link, but after Canseco called out Palmeiro in his book within a fairly specific window of time, a blogger then went back to crunch the numbers...

    It was too comprehensive a piece to recall in detail but generally, the blogger found that almost exactly two months(prime bulk up time) after the alleged introduction, Raffy's HR/ABs went from around 1 in 25 (24HR/600AB) to around 1 in 16 (37.5 HR/600ABs), where it has more or less hovered until the Balco scandal.

    As far as evidence-based assumptions go, standing by Raffy's unwitting innocence is right up there with claiming we foiled a dangerous WMD program in Iraq. In both cases, hindsight is(or at least should be) 20-20.

    I'll keep searching for the link... it was an excellent piece.

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  13. Jeremy9:26 PM

    Derek, I wonder if you know if these stats are for just the first season Raffy spent with Canseco, or longer-term? If we're talking one season, it's not unreasonable or unusual to see a player hit, say 8 HR in the first 200 AB and then 26 in the last 400 AB. Statistical quirks do happen. Now, if it were over more than one season I'd find it more suspicious.

    I also find it hard to believe that 'roids would account for a 50% increase in HR production. I find it hard to believe that any one thing would have that much effect on a player's power. I'd love to see the link if you can find it.

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  14. Jeremy12:30 AM

    addendum to my above post: I'm not trying to defend Palmeiro or anyone else, just trying to avoid witch-hunting. The only way we'll ever know if Palmeiro was juiced pre-2005 is if he admits it, not by selecting stats that may back up the claim.

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  15. I searched through blog archives for over an hour... and haven't entirely given up but i'm much less optimistic at this point.

    However, just a quick and rougher look at the same material reveals some of the more obvious trends that seem to validate Canseco's claim of having introduced steriods to Palmeiro while with the Rangers from mid-season '92 to '94.

    Palmeiro's numbers (http://sports.yahoo.com/mlbpa/players/3897/career and manipulated with excel)

    '86 - '92: .348 OBP, .459 SLG, .807 OPS, 1:34 HR:AB

    '93 - '02: .380 OBP, .556 SLG, .953 OPS, 1:14.5 HR:AB

    Palmeiro's career high jumped from 26 HRs to 37 in '93 and would average over 39 over the next 11 years. And then go back to 23 HR/550 AB in the Balco clouded season of 2004? Palmeiro was 28yrs old in 1993, but a jump in numbers that sudden is impossible to ignore given the corroborating Canseco claim.

    I'm all for the benefit of the doubt, but no objective evidence even pays lip service to doubting Palmeiro's guilt. He's just not qualified for the unwitting victim of the system role that the CBA or the Union seems to think is the best way to handle the inevitable PR dilemas.

    If we are to believe the unwitting victim schtick and sincerity of the testing program, wouldn't it be in everyone's best interest to reveal the substance to kids, minor leaguers, etc. so they can know what to avoid? Just a thought.

    Anyway, i think this more or less sums up at least what I took and retained from the article I should be and wish I could be referencing.

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  16. Derek1:02 AM

    I think in the Canseco claim and the numbers, we potentially have two independent sources that suggest funny business.

    Perhaps this isn't overwhelming evidence in a court of law , but hero worshipping could probably stand to have slightly higher standards than idolize until proven guilty anyway.

    (still searching for my original reference...)

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  17. Derek1:11 AM

    I think in the Canseco claim and the numbers, we potentially have two independent sources that suggest funny business.

    Perhaps this isn't overwhelming evidence in a court of law , but hero worshipping could probably stand to have slightly higher standards than idolize until proven guilty anyway.

    (still searching for my original reference...)

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  18. Jeremy12:07 PM

    I'm not going to defend Palmeiro, but as a general rule I think we get into dangerous territory when we look at past stats for juicing evidence. What if (for example, using the timely choice of Palmeiro, but not limited to him) we looked at Raffy's stats from 86-89, 90-92, 93-95. Would the differences be as dramatic? Are we going to compare park-neutral stats or the traditional stats? The trouble is, there are so many ways to look at data, and when you have one thing in mind that you're going to find, it can be too easy to find it.

    I do think Palmeiro's story is fishy and I suspect he's carefully choosing his wording to avoid admission of guilt (like Bonds not knowing what was in his supplements = "don't tell me which steroids you're giving me"). But I'd like to look at the stats from multiple angles before rushing to judgment about what we know and don't know from over 10 years ago.

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  19. Derek2:40 PM

    You're right, Jeremy, there are certainly assumptions in play here... and crude stats that i'm kicking around.

    I like the idea of using stats as a confirmation tool in response to Canseco's dated claim, especially since the line of demarcation for comparing the pre- & post-juicing stats has been decided independently by Mr. Canseco.

    I also think it's more than fascinating that even stepping down to year by year figures, excluding Palmeiro's 221 ABs in his first year of signifcant playing time in '87, his worst year in the decade after Canseco's claim was significantly better HR-wise than his best year prior to it. (1:19 vs 1:24 HR:AB) T-test hardly seems necessary.

    ---------------------------------------------------------------
    For the record, I don't blame players for anything prior to 2005 because I think the owners should take 100% of the blame for creating an atmosphere that invited and all but necessitated performance enhancing. But I find it insulting to the intelligence of fans and counterproductive to public health concerns that everyone who gets caught is playing dumb AND not sharing their story.

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  20. Jeremy4:11 PM

    Derek, I agree that owners should feel a crushing burden of guilt for what they did in the 1990s, cultivating an atmosphere that left many players desperate to take steroids. But the players aren't blameless; they knew it was wrong and they did it. Trying to put myself into that situation, it seems like a tough choice: do what's right (no roids) at the cost of possibly losing my job (marginal big leaguer) or forfeiting millions in my next contract (star players) vs. doing what I know is wrong for a better shot at a career. It's easy for fans who aren't in that situation to judge those who chose career over doing the right thing, but are we all so sure that our moral fiber is superior to ballplayers'?

    Regarding stats, I think it's certainly worth a look, especially given that Canseco gave a timetable. But we have to be sure to take a careful look, not rushing to conclusions to find what we knew we wanted to find. (looks at White House sternly)

    I don't trust Canseco's ability to choose truth over book sales, but that doesn't mean everything he says is false. It's worth careful analysis, especially now that Raffy has been outed by his own drug tests.

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