Tejada acknowledges age discrepancy

The Official Site of Major League Baseball

Will investigators deciding whether Tejada committed perjury about steroids before Congress use this little lie to sharpen their swords?  More interestingly, add the two years and his breakout year comes at age 26 rather than 24, and his career suddenly has a much more conventional arc.  Tejada has some explaining to do.

Willie Mays Nude:

Deadspin

Supposedly the only photo of Willie Mays’ willie is for sale on eBay, and Deadspin has the story. The seller has placed a Giants logo over the sensitive area, perhaps a bit of subliminal seduction. Thanks, baseballmusings.com.

Changes in home run rates during the Retrosheet years

The Hardball Times

Tom Tango methodically and revealingly demonstrates, using information gleaned from Retrosheet and MLB’s ball-testing lab, that there is real evidence that the home run boom that began in 1993 was a product of a juiced ball. Don’t believe me? Read the story.

Which isn’t to say that this is the final word. Tom’s data relates to balls put into play as they relate to home run rate, which is the best way to figure out the effect of hitting the ball farther, but not so good for determining changes that might stem from the umpires’ calling of the strike zone (in which case the ball might be hit less often).

Plus, I find it hard to believe that given the potency of Mile High in Denver, that the control group of players had a similar increase in home runs to those who didn’t play in Colorado. That’s something to think about while reading Tom’s story.

David Pinto, of baseballmusings.com, says that manufacturing standards tightened up for the ball manufacturers in 1993, and that balls were tested more often. His theory is that the manufacturers established a more tightly wound ball (but still within the official specs) as the de facto standard. Unlike times past, when the equipment would slide and the balls would loosen up and a range of tightnesses were created, the modern ball is uniform and tightly wound.

In no way does this argument rule out the possibility that other factors played a part in the recent power boom (Tom doesn’t publish the numbers after 1998 for one thing), but it does establish that only modest changes to the ball could readily explain much if not all of the changes. That’s worth remembering when it is tempting to overreact.

The One Pitcher Congress Believes

The All-Starr Blog

The best single summary of yesterday’s events in Congress I’ve seen. And shorter than a lot of them, too.

Steroids, Other “Drugs”, and Baseball

Eric Walker

A huge site that could use an editor, that makes all the cases that steroids are not the menace they’re painted to be.  If you have an interest in the topic you will be challenged and informed by Walker’s arguments. I’m not sure he demolishes the notion that PEDs can improve baseball performance, though he seems to think he has, and I think the argument that they’re relatively safe is relatively disingenuous.

Which simply means there is more work and arguing and convincing to be done. But this is a fairly rational and exhaustive look, with evidence, at the issue without the hysteria, and well worth checking out no matter which side of the debate you find yourself on.

HGH Use Is ‘Nothing’

Newsvine – Stallone

Rambo is juiced and doesn’t apologize for it.

In Baseball, Fear Bats at the Top of the Order –

Doug Glanville – New York Times

Yes, the former centerfielder, not only says what’s in the minds of ballplayers as their careers progress, but writes it beautifully.

The man making the case for steroids

ChicagoSports.com

Norman Fost is a scientist who makes many of the same arguments I have at various times against steroid hysteria (and in some sense in support of steroid use). He seems to go a step further, actually promoting steroid use, though I think that’s something of a rhetorical device. He wouldn’t get the attention he covets if he was less extreme.

The question for debate is really where we draw the line between enhancement and innovation. Ben Johnson using Winstrol may be comparable to a swimmer with a technologically better bathing suit, but I think we can decide to say it is not. Similarly, our belief in equal rights for those with physical handicaps (like no legs, let’s say) doesn’t necessarily mean that we should allow those with prostheses to compete in the same events as those with natural legs.

But how about having those with prostheses competing with those who take steroids?

Just wondering.

Further review on Tejada

baltimoresun.com

Yesterday Miguel Tejada’s brother died in a traffic accident in the D.R., which turned a bad day for Tejada into a nightmare. A potential investigation into his alleged perjury before Congress was announced early in the day at the Congressional hearings. Last time, Tejada testified that he’d never taken steroids, while the Mitchell report includes cancelled checks made out to Adam Piatt, who said he sold Tejada drugs in 2003.

An item of interest in all this is that Rafael Palmeiro said he tested positive shortly after also testifying in front of Congress that he’s never used steroids because, perhaps, he’d used a contaminated needle when being injected with Vitamin B12 by Tejada. Since this is the same defense Roger Clemens is using, there is some question how pervasive the practice of players shooting up other players with B12 is?

The more common the practice the more likely Clemens’ big defense will hold up, absent documentary proof.

Peter Gammons: The Mitchell Report Song –

Exhibitionist – Boston.com

I was hoping for a video link, which would have been more entertaining, but instead got comments filled with vitriol for Gammons because he didn’t break the steroids story back in the day. I’m not sure that’s fair, to single Gammons out anyway. Is it credible that he sat on actual evidence players were using?

What’s certainly true is that the press didn’t shrink from the story in general. Remember the uproar when the report found McGwire’s andro on the shelf in his locker?

Too bad the lyrics aren’t better.