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February 2013

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« Any juiced writers out there? | Main | Clemens depositions start in Congress: Agent testifies; Knoblauch scheduled today »




For those who question this, please refer to the baseball reference site which has game logs going back to 1957, and records to 1875. Please refer to the adjusted (normalized) ERA figures which account for league, park and team effects.

First, the problem with the SI 'proof' is that Clemens had a 1997 season which was just as good as the second half of 1998. This was as you all will recall before Clemens purportedly used PEDs.

Second, the next problem is that Clemens performance in 1999 through 2003 was worse than 1997 by a substantial margin and worse than his career averages. This was while he was 'on' PEDs. Thus, we are to believe he was great, got really bad for 2 months in 1998, used PEDs, got great for a few months in 1997, then while still using PEDs, got far worse again. So PEDs work only for a few months and never work again?

Reality check. This is not a player who had his 5 BEST careers years after age 35. Schilling and Johnson, like Clemens had years in their late 30's and early 40's which were almost equal to their best years in their 20's.

Charles Victory Faust

The first-half/second-half split is interesting, but far from probative. Back in my first two years of college, when I was looking for projects other than studying, I wrote a computer program (using BASICA!) for inputing pitchers' stats game by game and then analyzing them. Into this program I entered dozens of seasons for Seaver, Ryan, Koufax, etc. etc. etc. One thing I can tell you is that it's quitetypical for great pitchers to have a 3.50 ERA in one half of the season and 2.00 in the other half. So, Clemens' split ERA's for 1998 should not be cited as evidence for PED's, because lots of other pitchers in baseball history have taken off like that in the second half.


These are all good points.

We really doubt that one anabolic steroid injection changes anyone's pitching performance in a meaningful way. We would suggest that a well planned, well executed PED program in conjunction with a rigorous training regimen would be required to make a major difference in elite-level performance.

Might AAS injections decrease fatigue in an aged pitcher? Perhaps.

Everyone should realize PEDs constitute one factor in performance, and likely not the most significant factor in success.

However PEDs are illicit. Furthermore, the risks are significant. Are the risks of juicing worth 5-10 home runs per year, or a 0.50 gain in ERA?

sal m

for the sake of this argument you have to make a distinction between an athlete using steroids/hgh/peds properly and improperly. if these drugs are used willy-nilly without the proper plan there's no guarantee that they will work and no reason to assume their use will have a direct affect on performance.

if you look at what greg anderson did to barry bonds, you have a clear case of how misuse of peds almost ruined bonds' chance of breaking aaron's record.

if clemens was relying on a rubber-head such as mcnamee to dose him at that stage of his ped use it's more than reasonable to say that he wasn't using these drugs properly.

you have to look at these peds in a way beyond the obvious ways such as he won more games, had a lower era, etc. the recuperative properties of these drugs allow athletes to come back quicker from competition and training. there's no guarantee a pitcher will win more games if he uses because there are factors beyond his control that determine the outcome.

i just wanted to point out that using the drugs and using them properly are two different issues, and that recovery and performance are different issues as well.

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Clemens's agents look at Randy Johnson, Curt Schilling, and Nolan Ryan, 3 pitchers who continued pitching into extended age ranges. Clemens's career appears similar in many ways to these other elite level pitchers. Every career, when examined, shows peaks and valleys.

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