In light of recent irresponsible bloggers and broadcasters (Howard Eskin) opening up speculation about Raul Ibanez's current inflated stats, I thought it necessary to publish this article.
There has to be some accountability if you are going to speculate steroid use by a player and then publish it or broadcast it. I discovered after a little research myself that Ibanez always goes on these type of tears; he just so happens to have started out the season this year on one. Through 60 games this year, Ibanez was hitting .322/.386/.676 with 22 homers. Here are some comparable figures below of previous streaks Ibanez has had in the past
Let's begin In 2002. That year, Ibanez had a 50-game streak—June 7 to Aug. 2—when he hit .328/.385/.704 with 15 doubles, five triples, and 15 homers. He drove in 54 runs. Few noticed because the Kansas City Royals were abysmal that year, and it was in the middle of the season. But that stretch, you will note, is about as good as the stretch he's on now. In some ways, it's even better.
In 2003 he had a 55-game stretch in which he hit .326/.360/.514. It's not as good, but pretty damn close.
In 2004 he hit .365 over a 54-game stretch. In 2005 he got off to a dreadful start and then hit .330/.400/.524 over his next 55 games. In 2006 he hit 18 homers and drove in 57 runs in a 52-game stretch.
Over the last 52 games of the 2007 season, Ibanez hit .363/.425/.652 with 15 homers.
In 2008, for 55 games, from July 12 to Sept. 14, he hit .374/.435/.648 with 17 doubles, two triples, and 13 homers. And that, you might remember, was in Seattle and a lousy hitters' ballpark.
This is a man who, when he gets hot, absolutely tears up pitchers. I've seen it up close. He has had a 50-to-60 game hot streak EVERY SINGLE YEAR since 2002.
After discovering these facts, I've come to the conclusion that Ibanez is NOT a steroid user but an absolutely streaky hitter. This is what a responsible blogger or journalist would have investigated before publishing unfounded "speculations."
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