i.have.never.used.steroids…question.mark

Rafael Palmeiro – how can I not address this situation? A few months ago, we were all wondering what Raffy was doing at the Congressional hearings because Jose Canseco was the only person that’s ever pointed the finger at him as a juicer. He’s not a hulking guy at 6’0″ and 188 pounds. He obviously just hit his 3,000th hit and he has well over 500 home runs which are obvious Hall-of-Fame numbers. Yet, a small segment of people have never viewed Palmeiro as a first-ballot Hall-of-Famer because he’s never been “the guy.” He’s been very consistent, but he’s never finished higher than fifth in MVP voting, he’s only a four-time All-Star, and the general consensus is that he’s never been the best first basemen in the league. Guys like Delgado, Giambi, McGwire, Big Hurt, Cecil Fielder, McGriff, Pujols, Helton, and Bagwell have all had more impressive single offensive years. He’s played a measly 22 career playoff games hitting only .244 with 4 homers and 8 RBI’s with a pretty normal OPS of .759 which would make him comparable to somewhere between Michael Cuddyer and Luis Rodriguez (in the playoffs, mind you).

Steroids obviously don’t turn your average baseball fanatic into an MLB All-Star. In fact, how much of an impact steroids make is a very debatable subject. For arguments sake, though, let’s assume Raffy started taking some sort of performance enhancing drugs in the offseason after Jose Canseco was traded to the Texas Rangers (which seems like kind of a logical starting point). In 1993, Palmeiro’s homer total increased by 15, his doubles by 13, his hits by 13, and his RBI’s by 20. His batting average jumped 27 points and his OPS jumped a whopping 139 points.

For the sake of arguing, let’s say that the improvements Raffy made from his 1992 season to his 1993 season were due to the extra help he was getting due to steroids. I know this is probably completely unfair, but let’s just say Raffy’s career numbers stayed more in line with his pre-1993 seasons. Would he be a Hall-of-Famer? Definitely not. Again, just for the sake of arguing, let’s take his post 1993 home run totals and multiply them by 0.59 which is how much his home run totals jumped in that one season. Let’s multiply his RBI totals by 0.80, his hits by 0.92, and his batting average by 0.91. I’ll add these stats for the years after 1993 to his seasons before 1993 and come up with a new and completely irrelevant stat called “Steroid adjusted career stats” and then see if you’d vote him in the Hall-of-Fame.

Rafeal Palmerio Hits HRs RBI’s
Pre-1993 968 95 421
Post-1993 2050 474 1413
Career Stats as of 8/1/05 3018 569 1834
Steroid Adjusted Career Stats 2833 375 1551

Let me say, before the hate mail all comes rushing in, that I realize that these are completely random numbers. All I did was pick the season which would seem like the logical choice for the beginning of his use of steroids and adjust his stats just to see what his career may have look like had he not have had some sort of extra help. I am in no way, shape, or form saying that this is the exact amount that steroids helped him. All I am doing is trying to rationalize what a realistic amount of improvement he may have received. Assuming he never used the juice and his career numbers were more similar to the “Steroid Adjusted Career Stats” than to his real stats, do you think he’d make the Hall-of-Fame? How about if you compare him to another couple players who wound up just a little short of making the Hall-of-Fame.

Player Hits HR RBI
Jim Rice 2452 382 1451
Andre Dawson 2774 438 1591
Raffy – Steroid Adjusted Stats 2833 375 1551

Andre Dawson’s a former MVP (and he finished second twice), an 8-time All-Star, and an 8-time Gold Glover. As far as we know, he’s a character guy and a definite fan-favorite. For all comparison purposes, he is Kirby Puckett without the two championships. Jim Rice is also a former MVP (along with two 3rd place, two 4th place, and a 5th place finish), and an 8-time All-Star. Again, like Palmeiro and Dawson, he didn’t play in many playoff series and didn’t have impressive stats in the ones that he did.

The real problem I have with steroids is how they possibly can affect statistics and history’s outlook on players who played before the “juiced-ball” era. Part of the problem is that no one can say for sure how much or how little steroids have helped hitters. Plus, there is also the argument that pitchers can use steroids as well. Did what Rafeal Palmeiro do qualify as worse than what Pete Rose or Shoeless Joe Jackson did? Only your own individual perception of what is right and what is wrong can decide that. I do think that this will linger and haunt Raffy’s legacy forever. His “I did not use steroids period” statement will be played and used against him by his detractors the same way “No new taxes” and “I did not have sexual relations with that women” were used against our past two Presidents.

Dot… Dot… Dot…

  • So, believe it or not, I’m going to be headed to We-Fest this week. Country fans not from around the area would probably be envious as I’m going to see SHeDaisy, Charlie Daniels, Toby Keith, Sawyer Brown, Alan Jackson, Dierks Bently, Gretchen Wilson, and Tim McGraw this weekend. Between all those bands, I know of exactly two songs that I could instantly name the artist and title of a song if it was played at random. It’s true – I’m not a fan of country music. In my 10+ years of driving (since I got a permit), a country station has never been on the radio for longer than approximately 10 seconds. I am an unabashed non-fan of country music. Yet, believe it or not (again), I’m excited to go. First of all, I’m going with Sara. Doing anything with her is automatically more fun than it would be by myself. Secondly, it’s going to be one of the last weekend’s this year that Sara’s brother Ross and his girlfriend Amanda are going to be home before heading off to college. They both live with Sara right now. I’ve gotten to know them both quite well this summer, and I’m gonna miss not being able to see them on a regular basis. Also, even though I don’t like country music, the country music crowd are a relatively chilled and overall nice crowd. There are a few guys that have a little too much of that “tough guy redneck” gene for my liking, but it’s impossible to find a gathering of thousands of people and not be at least a little annoyed by a few people. The good news is that I’ll have my camera with, so hopefully I’ll be able to get some cool pics for the photo gallery. A lot of people have checked out and commented on my Chicago pics and I hope that as the site grows, more and more people check out the different sections of brentnet.
  • I’ve bashed “box office numbers” many-a-times on good ol’ brentnet because I think people look at them as being too important. I have to mention, though, that I absolutely love to see big-budget movies that I have no interest in seeing like Stealth and The Island absolutely taking it in the shorts. August is usually a little weak for quality of movies that come out and September is usually dreadful, so my movie-watching days may be limited to dvd releases and older movies until the good stuff starts coming out again in November and December.

  • I read the man of the hour (or at least the man of the hour, every July) – Lance Armstrong – is pondering what to do with his retirement. Apparently, he’s thinking of taking it easy by training for a marathon in hopes that he can run under 2:30. As a guy who’s struggling to try to drop my time to 3:11, I just have to respect how versatile he truly is. I don’t think he’ll make the transformation from the elitest of the elite bicycle riders to an elite marathon runner, but I think he’ll be awfully tough.

  • Richard Dead Anderson (aka MacGyver) is going to be on an episode of the Simpson’s next year. Tell me that this isn’t the most apporpriate cameo on any tv show in the history of ever?

Anyway, that’s all I have for today. I hope the Raffy talk gets some good talk going in the message boards. Otherwise, check back later this week as I have more posts as well as some ideas for brentnet radio and possibly even another brentnet tv episode before the end of the month!

If you’re out on your bike tonight, do wear white,
-B-