Could Luis Gonazalez Be One of the 103? Crunching the Numbers

Greg JergensContributor IFebruary 10, 2009

So here we go again. A-Rod admitted his guilt Monday because he was caught using steroids for a two-year span with the Texas Rangers. As part of the ongoing misery associated with true baseball fans, I was asked to speculate on other possible players that could have been a part of the 103 who failed steroid usage tests along with A-Rod. 

After doing some stat crunching, I came upon Luis Gonzalez.

On the surface, he seems like most other players. He comes to the park, plays hard, and has been known as a solid teammate. However, once you start looking at his statistics, something alarming happens.

From the time he broke into the league full time in 1991 up through 1997, he played in 856 games. These games went through what is known to many as the prime of a baseball player's career. He played at the ages of 23-29 and hit 84 home runs in 3,296 at bats. This averages out to one home run every 39 at bats.

Then, at age 30, he posted his first 20-homer season by blasting 23 for the Tigers. This is where things start to fall apart. From 1998-2004 (the so-called steroid era), he hit an impressive 208 homers in 3,870 at bats while playing in 1,040 games. His home run average greatly improved to one homer every 18.6 at bats.

Remember that he did this playing at the ages of 30-36. At the age of 33 in 2001 while playing for the Diamondbacks, he blasted 57 homers, a huge number for any player. Very much A-Rod like, and not bad for a guy that stands 6-feet-2-inches and weighs 180.

As a younger player, he averaged 12 home runs per year. After his sudden transformation into a power hitter in his 30s, he boomed 29.7 home runs per year.

Anyone with baseball knowledge can see that these numbers just don't add up. At the age when most players are on the downside of their careers, we have a gentleman that never had power suddenly putting up Albert Pujols-esque numbers.

Maybe I'm wrong, and I guess we may never know unless the government publishes the Mitchell Report. But I think the numbers speak for themselves.

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