MLB Hall of Shame: Jose Canseco and the 25 Most Highly Suspected Juicers Ever
The sooner the mass public accepts the fact that steroids were ingrained into the fabric of baseball during the "Steroid Era," the better.
There was no test for it. It was a part of the game.
Now every time someone hits a home run, eyebrows raise across the MLB and the same question runs through every expert's mind: Is he juicing?
While steroid usage has certainly decreased dramatically in recent years, the success of these 25 guys make it pretty easy to assume that something was going on behind the scenes. Without further ado, here are the 25 most highly suspected juicers in baseball.
25. Guillermo Mota, RP
Mota waffled between inconsistency and success after breaking onto the scene.
After battling injury and on the downslide of his career, Mota came roaring back with a 98 mph fastball that nobody saw coming.
Shortly thereafter, he was suspended by the league for testing positive for a performance enhancer.
24. Jeremy Giambi, 1B/OF
Remember the infamous play where the other Giambi gets tagged out at home plate by Jorge Posada because he chose not to slide?
It's not that he couldn't do it, but like any steroid user, he was like a bull seeing red and wanted to take out all of that rage on Posada at the plate.
23. Jose Guillen, OF
Never a prolific home run hitter, Guillen has battled issues of health late into his career and sought a little outside help.
While he still denies using HGH, all of the evidence has the arrow of blame pointing squarely at him.
Hasn't he learned from A-Rod that lying does no good?
22. Bret Boone, 2B
Boone saw his home run total spike from 19 in 2000 to 37 in 2001.
The following three years, he hit 24, 35, and 24 homers respectively, through the 2004 campaign.
In the following seasons, Boone never saw double-digit homers again and eventually fell out of the league in 2005, just two years after a 35 tater campaign from a scrawny second baseman.
Something smells fishy.
21. Paul Lo Duca, C
After spending forever and a day in the minor leagues, Lo Duca finally made it to the show in 2001.
He responded by blasting a ridiculous 25 homers from the catching spot, something rarely seen in the modern day MLB.
Despite his initial success, Lo Duca's next highest home run total in a single season was just 13, and only reached the double-digit HR plateau three times in his short career.
20. David Justice, OF
Justice had always been a power threat at the dish, but this was something miraculous.
After four straight seasons with either 20 or 21 long balls, Justice had the most prolific season of his career at age 34.
Sound weird? It should. Justice launched a whopping 41 taters that season, and in the two seasons following that magical total, he combined for just 29.
19. Mo Vaughn, 1B
The best thing that Mo Vaughn did in a Mets jersey was get a sandwich named after him at Carnegie Deli.
Why did he fall so far off after joining the Mets after a prolific career beforehand?
After six straight seasons of at least 33 homers, Vaughn combined for just 29 during his two year tenure as a member of the team.
18. Todd Hundley, C
Where did the power come from?
After coming up in 1990, the promising kid behind the dish had never hit more than 20 bombs in a single season...until 1996.
Hundley shocked the world by launching an incredible 41 taters, and followed it up the next season with another 30 more.
Following those two seasons, Hundley never hit more than 24 home runs in a single season again.
17. John Rocker, RP
How does a guy go from a sub-3.00 ERA in three straight seasons upon his callup to a ballooned out 5.45 ERA in his fourth season?
Maybe he just lost his touch.
Or maybe his supplier lived in Atlanta. After a brief stopover in Cleveland, Rocker found success once again with the Braves in 2001, posting a 3.09 ERA.
Then he tried to move on to new teams afterward with miserable failure, posting ERA's of 6.66 and 9.00 the following two seasons before eventually falling out of the league.
16. Miguel Tejada, SS
Over the span of three seasons (1998-2000), Tejada saw his home run total go from 11 to 21, all the way up to 30 in 2000.
After his best season in 2004 when he hit an insane 34 homers to pair with 150 RBI, Tejada saw a sharp decline in his power numbers which have yet to rebound since.
That's right around the same time the steroid conversation began to grow louder and louder.
15. Eric Gagne, RP
Another relief pitcher to add to the list.
Gagne came out of nowhere to put together three incredible seasons from 2002-2004, collecting 55, 52, and 45 saves, respectively.
Many thought he could turn out to be one of the greatest finishers of all-time at that rate.
And then he fell apart.
14. Lenny Dykstra, OF
Maybe if he hadn't spent so much money on the juice during his playing days, he wouldn't have had to file for bankruptcy recently.
Calling himself a "steroid pioneer", Dykstra admits to being among the first players to try its effects along with Jose Canseco.
Can't get much more obvious than that.
13. Ivan Rodriguez, C
Pudge isn't so pudgy anymore these days.
He was never considered much of a power threat until he suddenly hit 35 home runs in 1999.
Following that season, I-Rod never launched more than 30 ever again, and only hit 20 plus twice more.
12. Alex Rodriguez, 3B
He had just about everyone fooled.
Or so he thought.
There's no denying the talent that A-Rod has, as he's one of the most talented players to ever step foot on a diamond.
But 57 home runs simply isn't natural, even for a wonderboy like A-Rod.
His eventual admittance was the final nail in the coffin.
11. Brady Anderson, OF
When Anderson launched 50 home runs back in 1996, he had never hit more than 21 in a single season.
After his magical campaign, he never hit more than 24 homers in a season.
Where did all the power come from, Brady?
10. Ken Caminiti, 3B
RIP, Mr. Caminiti.
Your surprising death had us all stunned, but perhaps all of the steroids finally took their toll on the all-star's heart.
After never cracking the 20 HR plateau, Caminiti suddenly had four straight seasons of 26 or more between 1995-1998, including a miraculous 40 tater effort one year.
The magic never returned after that magical stretch.
9. Sammy Sosa, OF
Corked bats, steroid usage, Sosa's fall from grace has been anything but pretty.
With three seasons of 60 plus home runs to his credit, Sosa was one of the stars in his day.
Unfortunately, he played alongside McGwire in the height of the steroid era and his 609 career blasts will always have an asterisk next to it in the record books.
8. Gary Sheffield, OF
Sheffield enjoyed the most prolific portion of his career when many players would be on the back slide.
With seven straight seasons of 25 or more homers after he had already been in the league for 11 years, Sheffield's chest grew at exponential rates with every passing year.
His story might not be as well documented as the infamous Barry Bonds, but take a look at a rookie picture of Sheffield.
You may not even know it's him.
7. Roger Clemens, SP
Everyone knew, but nobody wanted to admit the truth.
What MLB athlete (especially a pitcher) goes through that type of enormous growth naturally?
The Rocket was a stick when he came onto the scene, and was an absolute torpedo by the time he left.
6. David Segui, 1B
One of the earliest steroid poster boys, Segui admits to being a user openly.
He first used anabolic steroids during his time with the Mets in 1994-95, but it didn't stop there.
Although he was never a monster in terms of home runs, he smacked doubles all throughout the park and kept his career alive with the help of the juice.
5. Jason Giambi, 1B
Much more notorious than little brother Jeremy, Jason was fully exposed during his tenure with the Yankees.
Although he hit 32 homers as recently as 2008, Giambi's history with steroids is well documented, and very much aided his power numbers that got him an insanely lucrative deal with the Bronx Bombers.
He'll always have the steroid cloud hovering over his name, no matter what he manages to do in the days of the aftermath.
4. Juan Gonzalez, OF
Another classic example of a guy going from a skinny stick to a massive beast.
Claiming he has nothing to hide, Gonzalez openly admits to using during his playing days.
With five seasons of 40 plus taters and still unable to break the 500 homer barrier, it's tough to say that anyone should've been surprised when he admitted to being a user.
3. Jose Canseco, OF
This one is fairly obvious.
He's written multiple books, accused several past teammates, and openly admitted to being a heavy user during his playing days.
After entering the league with a rather athletic frame, Canseco left with a massive chest, a swollen head, and feet that wouldn't fit into his cleats.
Perhaps the reason he's trying to out everyone else is to deflect attention away from himself, but he's clearly only drawn more.
2. Mark McGwire, 1B
After years of denial, he finally came clean.
If he was going to be a public figure and take the role as Cardinals' hitting coach, he had to.
Next to the word asterisk in the dictionary is a picture of McGwire's name, as everyone knows that he didn't quite do it on his own merit.
Four straight seasons with home run totals of 52, 58, 70 and 65.
We all knew something had to be up.
1. Barry Bonds, OF
Remember the kid with the dangling cross earring who could fly around the basepaths?
Bonds' increased chest, hat, and shoe size are all well documented in the infamous book "Game of Shadows," and anyone who jumps from 49 to 73 home runs from one season to the next is sure to turn several heads.
Bonds had his final 45 homer season at age 40, a feat that's almost impossible to fathom under normal circumstances.
But there was nothing normal about Barry's play, as he comes in at number one on this list.