A-Rod Steroids Fallout: Twelve Other Players Who Might Have Juiced
We have all heard the news by now. New York Yankees' Alex Rodriguez, future Hall of Famer, tested and admitted to using steroids in the early 2000s.
Personally, it did not surprise me, but saddened me.
Baseball is under a microscope now. If A-Rod's name was released, the other 103 players names should be released.
Here are 12 players that I personally believe used steroid during some or most of their careers. I tried to take players that the media and fans may not have talked about much, and whose names have yet to be named.
Let me know what you think and who you agree or disagree with on my list. Please mention if there are other players who you believe should be on this list.
Remember, this is my personal list. I am not declaring that there 12 players used steriods based on facts. It is merely my opinion based on their stats, bodies, and surroundings.
As painful as this is for me to admit since I love the Dodgers, I believe Mike Piazza was a steroid user at some point during his career.
Yes, he won Rookie of the Year and put up great numbers early in his career, but who is to say when he started using, just as Canseco. Piazza had 10 seasons in which he hit over 30 home runs. For a catcher, not only are those numbers oddly consistent, they seem to make me a little skeptical.
His body was fairly massive. Like most catchers, his body broke down at the end of his career, but few fell as quickly as Piazza's.
He played in over 130 games in 2002 and hit 33 home runs. The following year, he played in less than 60 and hit 11 home runs.
From this point on, his numbers were never the same, and neither was Piazza. Personally, as much as I don't want to admit it, I think Piazza was one of many players who took steroids.
If this guy never took steroids, than Wilt Chamberlain never slept with a woman.
Brady Anderson never hit more than 21 home runs in his first eight seasons. Suddenly in 1996 Anderson, a lead-off hitter, decided to swing for the fences as he hit a career high 50 long balls.
How did he do the next season you ask? A measly 18.
Look at the numbers. Look at his picture, and tell me you honestly think he did it the right way?
To me, Shawn Green was a quiet superstar, which is why this selection may be a bit strange. However, if there was ever a guy whose numbers tell you something is fishy, it is Green's.
In Shawn Green's first four seasons, he combined for 42 home runs. Ironically in his fifth season, he "found his stroke" and hit 35 bombs.
Oh, by the way, do you know who is teammate was in the outfield that year in Toronto? None other than Jose Canseco.
He then followed his 35 homer barrage by hitting over 40 homeruns in three fo the next four seasons including a career high 49 in 2001 with the Dodgers, a pitcher's park.
In 2003, following a 42 home run season in 2002, Green played in 160 games and hit just 19 home runs.
Coincidence? You be the judge.
This is one selection I am a little hesitant to include because his numbers have been extremely consistent, but so were A-Rod's.
It is obvious that Pujols is a big man, but I have seen plenty of guys who were out a ton in the gym and never assemble the body Pujols has. He has been and is still playing in his prime yet his past two seasons have not been quite as impressive.
There is no question he still put up a wonderful year and for most people it would be a career year but not for Pujols.
Steroid testing has gotten much stiffer and the scrutiny is at an all-time high. So did he merely have a down year in 2007 after his 49 home run barrage in 2006 or is there another reason behind it?
This one may come as a surprise to many but having watched his body fall apart in the middle of his "prime," I don't think it should be.
Kevin Brown was a big right-handed thrower, who seemed to gain speed as he got a little older. Ironically it was around the same time his body fell apart.
However, he had a mediocre at best record of 35-32 until the 1993 season. Suddenly, Brown found his game, and finished the 1992 season with a 21-11 record, a great second half.
Guess who was traded to the Rangers and was roaming the outfield while Brown suddenly found his mojo? Yes, you guessed it, Canseco.
From this point on, Brown had a few less than superb years, but for the most part was one of the most dominating pitchers in the game.
Until the late 90s, when not just his arm, but his body fell apart, often a sign of steroid use.
If Greg Vaughn was not such a strikeout king at the plate, he would have been much more renowned for his power than he was.
Lets be frank, you cannot look at Greg Vaughn and not be a little suspicious. He was oddly jacked and went from an everyday player to suddenly becoming a home-run hitting superstar.
From the start of his career in 1989 until 1995 Vaughn never hit more than 30 home runs. Suddenly three of the next four seasons, he hit over 41 home runs including a career high 50 in 1998.
Lets not forget that the summer of 1998 was captured by Mark McGwire's and Sammy Sosa's chase of history. Also, his good buddy and teammate during these years was Ken Caminiti, a known steroid user who passed away in 2004.
Luis Gonzalez is a very likable guy, but he also makes my list as a probable steroid user.
Gonzalez never had a season, where he hit more than 15 home runs from 1990-1998. Not surprisingly, in 1998, when steroid use was obviously a relevant issue, Gonzalez hit a then career high 23 home runs.
He followed up his career high with another career high 26 homers, then 31, and finally in 2001, he hit his peak, 57 home runs.
Wait? A guy, who never hit more than 15 home runs, suddenly improved by 42 home runs in a matter of a few years? Who was his batting coach? I want him!
Not shockingly, after his 57 homer outburst, Gonzalez never hit more than 28 home runs again.
Adrian Beltre was a young phenomenon for the L.A. Dodgers beginning in 1998.
So what was his only problem? He seemed like he was never going to reach his potential. The Dodgers' management was getting impatient, and Beltre knew this.
Beltre from 1998 to 2003 never hit more than 23 home runs. Entering the 2004 season, Beltre was in a contract year. Thus, yes you guessed it, Bletre hit a career high of 48 homers and had 121 RBI.
To this day, still in his prime, Beltre has never reached the 30 home run or 100 RBI plateau again.
Eric Chavez was supposed to be the next great third baseman. He was looked at as a Chipper Jones like player possessing power, decent speed, and great defensive play.
From 2000-2005, Chavez had his best numbers. These are also the years that steroids seemed to be at their peak in the game.
He had a career high 34 homers in 2002. Since this season, he has dropped in production every year, and his body has recently become a mess.
He missed more than half of the games the past two seasons. It merely seems a bit odd that when the strict testing began, Chavez huge numbers ended.
Brian Giles to me is one of the more suspicious players in all of MLB. His body is built like a user, and his numbers are an even bigger tell tale sign.
Between the years of 1999-2002, Giles had home run seasons of 39, 35, 37, and 38. Prior to 1999, Giles career high was 17. Since 2002, Giles high in homeruns was 23.
I know the Padres recently moved to Petco Park, which is a very pitcher-friendly park. However, his numbers dropped off too far and too fast.
Once an all-star caliber player, Giles is now looked at as an average player at best.
Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez
Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez is one of the most famous and best catchers of all-time. He has a freakish arm and insane athleticism for a catcher. He usually always hit for a high average, but lacked huge power.
Well, that was until 1999, of course.
Rodriguez from 1991-1998 never had a season where he hit more than 21 home runs. However, in 1999 he hit a monstrous 35 home runs followed by another solid season of 27 homers in 2000.
Not ironically, his numbers have constantly gone down since that point. Who can forget when he showed up a couple of years ago at spring training around 20 pounds lighter, claiming that it was for the benefit of extending his career as a catcher.
Meanwhile, around the same time Jose Canseco made claims that Rodriguez was also a user.
At this point, the only man I trust in baseball is Canseco, sorry "Pudge", I mean "String Bean.".
Richard Hidalgo is probably a guy that some of you are saying, "Who is this?"
Well during 1999 and 2000, he was the talk of Houston and many people claimed he was the next big star.
His second year in the league in 1998 Hidalgo played in 74 games and only hit seven home runs. His third year he played in 108 games and only hit 15 homers.
Somehow in 2000, Hidalgo played in 153 games and hit an unreal 44 bombs.
Once again it seems to be a common trend that in the late 90s and early 2000s, steroid users were everywhere including Houston. The very next season in only seven less games,
Hidalgo hit weak 19 long balls, and since his career year in 2000, Hidalgo has never even reached the 30 home-run mark again.