An Unconfirmed List of 103 Has Leaked
The following is the list rumored to be the 103 players who tested positive for performance enhancing drugs. This list is UNCONFIRMED, but with the players on it, I wouldn't doubt it. Original list can be found here, courtesy of rotoinfo.com
Without further ado, the reported 103:
85.Valerio de los Santos
94.Paul Lo Duca
The rest of the article continued on the next page.
It's sad, many people's childhood heroes are on this list. There are future hall of famers and scrubs, all-stars and pine-sitters. It shows you how rampant the use of PED's was. There are many questions that this list raises.
The Superstar Shortstops
Remember when the change happened? When shortstops went from defensive-minded, light-hitting top-of-the-order guys to slugging clean-up hitters? It was odd seeing guys going out and winning a Gold Glove and hitting 35hrs at the position. Well now, we see why. Among the names mentioned are: Nomar Garciaparra, Alex Rodriguez and Miguel Tejada. The only one not mentioned of that super four is Yankees Shortstop Derek Jeter, who was never a huge power-hitter to begin with. The sudden burst of power from the former light-hitters wasn't just at shortstop either. Which brings us to the next topic.
Skinny Boys to Juiced-up Juggernauts
It was strange how nobody raised any question when a guy like Brett Boone, who had previously had no more than 15 dingers and 69 RBI's, magically turned into a slugger, averaging 26 HR's and 97 RBI's between 1998 and 2004. It wasn't as if Boone was developing power early, he was 32 before he had his first 30+ HR season. It makes you wonder whether Boone found his stroke, or if he had done what many players had during the height of the steroid era, juiced his numbers. Other players who had similar paths include: Melvin Mora, Aaron Boone, Jose Guillen, Roberto Alomar, Gary Matthews Jr., David Ortiz
Once Promising Careers
When you hear the names of guys like Mark Prior, Kerry Wood and Mike Hampton, what first come to mind? Guarantee you thought something along the lines of "Bust" or "Unfulfilled promise". That's because these are guys who had tons of hype around them, maybe even put together a huge year or two, and then never were the same. Prior and Wood were the two key components to the Cubs playoff run in 2003. Highly regarded as two of the best young pitchers the game had ever seen, they were expected to carry a promising young team to future World Series titles. But they flamed out due to different arm troubles and a rather random set of injuries. Wood is now closing and Prior may never pitch again, could steroids be the reason for the rapid breakdowns in the bodies of these promising young stars? Same goes for Hampton, who after having a Cy Young caliber season in 1999 with Houston and leading the Mets to their first World Series appearance in 14 years, bolted for Colorado and the big money deal. He proceeded to be torn apart by injuries, his body broken down, and when healthy he did nothing but underwhelm. Other players similar to this include: Brent Abernathy, Craig Monroe, Jay Gibbons, Alex Sanchez, Trot Nixon, Shea Hillenbrand
The "One Hit Wonders"
You know when you think about a team and go "that guy had a great year, but never panned out, what happened to him?". These are those guys. Guys who had a monster season, but fell off the face of the earth very soon after, if not immediately. Take for instance former Expos and Cardinals Third Baseman (and current Mets utility man) Fernando Tatis. In 1999, the year after the home run race that supposedly saved baseball, a 24 year old Dominican corner infielder had a sudden stroke of power, dominating opposing pitching and crushing balls like it was going out of style. In 149 games, Tatis hit 34 HR's and had 107 RBI's, more than triple the home run total and nearly double the RBI total he had in 1998, when he played 150 combined games for the Cardinals and Rangers. But what happened after that? Tatis proceeded to average just over 9 HR's and 36 RBI's over the next four seasons. It got so bad that at one point Tatis was out of baseball for 3 seasons. Was this mammoth season thanks to a PED overload? Other examples include: Brady Anderson, Sandy Alomar Jr., Roger Cedeno, Adrian Beltre
The Consistent All-Stars
These are the players who, while most likely not Hall-worthy, were consistently high quality players with All-Star appearances. Consider Javier Lopez, the former Braves catcher, who played the majority of his career in the Steroid-Era. He had always been known as a great manager of pitchers and a decent stick. in 1998, the year of the chase, he bulked up, he also hit 34 HR's and 106 RBI's, both career highs. That may not be so strange, a 27 year old catcher having a high quality season, but what is strange is that his home run and RBI totals took a nose dive for the next 4 seasons, averaging just 15 HR's and 63 RBI's. Still good numbers, but not 1998 numbers. Then 2003 rolled around, the same year he (unofficially) tested positive for a banned substance. Lopez went on a tear the entire season, batting .328 with 43 HR's and 109 RBI's and coming in 5th in the MVP voting, all this at the age of 33 and having been playing catcher in the MLB for 12 years. Other players who had similar careers include: David Ortiz, Raul Mondesi, Jason Giambi, Eric Chavez, Troy Glaus, Cliff Floyd, Jermoy Burnitz, Paul Lo Duca, Andres Galarraga, Magglio Ordonez, Derek Lowe
Where Did Their Dominance Go?
There are certain guys who, for all intents and purposes, superstars and possible future Hall of Famers, on pace to obliterate records and sell tickets at record highs. But then something happened, in 2002, Major League Baseball instituted a steroids testing program. In 2005, they made it even stronger. All of a sudden, certain players, former elites, fell off the face of the earth. Shawn Green, who from 1998-2002 averaged over 38 HR's and over 112 RBI's, suddenly lost his power stroke. After the policy was institued, he went on to average just over 18 HR's and just barely over 72 RBI's from 2003 until his retirement in 2007. You could simply say this is a case of an aging player, as Green was 31 in 2003, but there are other examples. Eric Gange, for example, was a failed starter in the Dodgers system. Then, in 2002, Gange suddenly found his mojo, as he would save 152 games over the next three seasons. But something happened in 2005, when the tougher policy was announced. Suddenly, Gange became ineffective, just two years after winning the Cy Young award and coming in sixth in the MVP voting as a closer, Gange couldn't get outs. He also became very injury prone. Gange would save just 35 games over the next four seasons and is currently a free agent, just five years after being the best closer in baseball, and only at age 33. Other players who did the same include: Jose Contreras, Bartolo Colon, Moises Alou, Richie Sexson, Ryan Klesko, Jeromy Burnitz, Jason Schmidt
The Future Hall of Famers (Pitchers)
When we think of steroids and PED's, we usually think beefed up sluggers and home run records. What we don't think of is the dominant, Cy Young winner who pitched late into his career with dominance. You know exactly who I'm thinking of, don't you? Roger Clemens and Pedro Martinez. The two best pitchers of their generation (other than maybe Randy Johnson), pitching for cross town rivals. Clemens came up as a fire balling power pitcher in 1984. He was the ace for a Boston Red Sox team looking to reverse the curse. He lead the league in wins in 1986 and 1987. However, the Rocket was considered to be done by the Red Sox in 1996, his contract was not renewed. Clemens, with a chip on his shoulder, signed with division rival Toronto and proved how wrong Boston was, winning back-to-back Cy Young awards, compiling 41 wins. All this at the age of 35. in 1999, Clemens signed with his former teams biggest Rival, the defending World Series champion New York Yankees. He would go on to compile 77 wins, average over 200 innings pitched per season and strike out an astronomical 946 batters in five years with New York. Clemens then went with former teammate (and steroid user) Andy Pettite to Houston, then a return to New York in 2007. Between the ages of 41 and 44, Clemens amassed another 44 wins and 573 strikeouts, winning one Cy Young and coming in third in the voting for another. Pedro Martinez came up a few years after Clemens with the Dodgers, moving into full-time pitching at just 21 years of age. Pedro would dominate the league between the ages of 21 and 32, the prime of most players careers. However, Martinez had totalled nearly 2,300 innings pitched over that time, and had been pitching for 13 years. Martinez signed an off-season deal with the Mets in 2005 where, in his 14th year in the league, he would win 16 games and strike out 208 batters in 217 innings. He wouldn't be the same after that, becoming injury prone and showing massive breakdown, Pedro would win just 17 games over the next three seasons after averaging 14 per season in his previous 15 years in the league. Are the career longevities of these superstar hurlers attributed to "magic workout plans" or to performance enhancing drugs? You be the judge, but I would choose the latter. Other pitchers with sustained longevity and dominance in their later years or who were dominant and named include: Kenny Rogers, Francisco Rodriguez
The Future Hall of Famers (Hitters)
This is the part of the article that's going to hit closest to home, the part that will destroy your childhood heroes and hometown favorites, the Future Hall of Famers. It seemed hard to imagine in 2004 that Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, Barry Bonds and Luiz Gonzalez all would be out of baseball by 2009, and that they would all have little to no chance to make it to the Hall. McGwire and Sosa, the two players who had single-handedly saved the game in 1998 with their home run race to break Roger Maris' legendary single-season home run record of 61. Both obliterated the once unbreakable record, McGwire with 70 and Sosa with 66. After that amazing season, Sosa would continue to dominate until 2005, while McGwire broke down quickly, he was out of baseball by 2001. McGwire is not on the list, but it seems evident now that he was using PED's, although he was never convicted. Just a short three years later, another man emerged as the preeminent power hitter in the game, the former lanky Pirates left-fielder turned beefed up supper slugger, Barry Bonds. Bonds had always hit for plenty of power, a consistent 30-30 player who also touched the 40-40 plateau. However, never in his life had Bonds had a season like this. Had Bonds retired in 2000, he still would have been a surefire Hall of Famer, but he didn't stop there. Bonds had averaged 32 HR's and 31 steals per year, bonds hit a ridiculous 73 HR's in 2001, although with just 13 steals. An amazing, unprecedented season had occurred. But everyone had to know something was wrong, Barry was 37 years old. At an age in which most players are barely still hanging on, Bonds had the best year of his life by far. He would go on to win 4 straight MVP's, leading the league in walks all four times and walks twice. It's sad to think about the fact that these players who helped to save baseball and revamp it cheated to do so. Then the one man who was (along with Ken Griffey Jr. and Mike Piazza) considered a "clean superstar", attributing his dominance to a rigorous workout plan, the man who would break the records cleanly, had his name leaked to the media as a positive tester in 2003. That man was Alex Rodriguez. He has hit 564 HR's over his career, but his reputation, although already somewhat smeared thanks to his ego, has been tarnished. Other players with careers comparable to this include: Manny Ramirez, Roberto Alomar, Carlos Delgado, Miguel Tejada, Juan Gonzalez, Rafael Palmiero, Ivan Rodriguez, Todd Helton
It's sad to see what has happened to our pastime, but hopefully now that this list is out and the era is over, along with Donald Fehr's resignation and the new, tougher testing policy, the game we all love can once again be clean, and we can see a slugger like Ryan Howard hit 40 HR's and not have to question whether it's good, old- fashioned hard work or an illegal substance he got in the off-season.
Statistics found at http://www.baseball-reference.com/
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