Harper, Daily News, continue whisper campaign against Bautista

Born in Southwestern Ohio and currently residing on the Chesapeake Bay, Brien is a former editor-in-chief of IIATMS who now spends most of his time sitting on his deck watching his tomatoes ripen and consuming far more MLB Network programming than is safe for one's health or sanity.

About Brien Jackson

Born in Southwestern Ohio and currently residing on the Chesapeake Bay, Brien is a former editor-in-chief of IIATMS who now spends most of his time sitting on his deck watching his tomatoes ripen and consuming far more MLB Network programming than is safe for one's health or sanity.

54 thoughts on “Harper, Daily News, continue whisper campaign against Bautista

  1. Granderson is hitting a few. All we need now is for some "expert" to decide he's dirty..

  2. I’m with Harper here. Sorry, the days of blindly accepting this sort of thing are long gone. Can anyone actually point to a player that has developed this dramatically and quickly at this point in their career who hasn’t been linked to PEDs? Have we completely forgotten the last 20 years of MLB?

  3. Good points, Larry (this is a different Mike). I think it's natural to be suspicious given what has happened, however I don't think it's right or fair to assume guilty until proven innocent (with no evidence or even credible accusations for that matter). Bautista is not even comparable to guys like Bonds or Armstrong in that they have multiple accusations from different sources (some probably credible, others not so much). If someone comes forward and accuses Bautista, then I think our suspicions should be [cautiously] raised. But until then, I have to assume he's playing by the rules and that starting his load and swing earlier + normal physical development has done the trick. I mean you see what Paulie pointed out last night, the guy just doesn't get cheated with his swings, even 0-2 if he makes contact he's swinging harder than ****.

    Besides, wasn't it determined that only a small % of a player's HRs would come from PED use? So maybe Bonds doesn't hit 70, but he would have still hit 50. My adjacent point would be that even if PEDs were present with Bautista, they wouldn't and couldn't explain the jump from 13 to 54 HRs.

    Out of curiosity I just checked Fangraphs… by the sweet beard of Zeus! Bautista put up 6.9 fWAR last year; he already has 4.6 WAR this year! If you assume he plays 150 games, that's something like 17+ WAR (of course that also assumes he keeps up .350 avg, 70+ HRs, and .500+ OBP). So even if he stopped playing after May, he would probably end up in the top 30 or so in fWAR. Personally, I think it's quite exciting as a fan to see a player have such a special season (as long as it doesn't interfere too much with the Yanx making the playoffs). Fangraphs has a plethora of articles on him, interesting stuff http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/is-jose-… I mean one thing that is baffling is his 5 yr $65 million contract could be the biggest bargain in history, considering he's already produced $22.5 worth of WAR this year (that just makes me laugh).

  4. I think you have confused the author saying that after the steroid era you have to be SUSPICIOUS of someone going on a tear like this for him saying he assumes Bautista is juicing. There's a huge difference there. I've read a couple of posts here, and I'm pretty shocked that ESPN would associate with this blog to be honest. Guess it says something about ESPN.

    It's there clear as day

    "it’s impossible not to be suspicious when someone suddenly starts hitting the ball to the moon in his late 20s."

    yet you still choose to misrepresent the author. The irresponsible journalist here is clearly you, and not Harper.

  5. Ted, Bautista is unusual whether he's using PEDs or not. That's a large part of the point I'm making. Of course I cannot know for sure, but it's my assumption that a certain number of baseball players continue to use PEDs. However, Bautista is outperforming whatever group of baseball players you might care to associate with Bautista. You might just as well credit his beard for the home runs, or the fact that his name begins with a "B". Whatever group you can think of, Bautista is outhitting them. So you cannot say that his hitting is circumstantial proof of anything.

  6. "When McGwire broke the record the common refrain was that he was on creatine, nothing illegal… "

    As I recall, and I was pretty young so I may be misremembering, the story on McGwire broke when a reporter saw Andro in his locker. If that's the case, anyone saying the above would have just been wrong on the facts.

  7. I'm not splitting hairs… I'm reading the words on the paper for what they are. You are reading between the lines and assuming that by "suspicious" he actually meant something else. Perhaps he did, perhaps he didn't. Just like perhaps Bautista has or is using, perhaps he hasn't and isn't. Unless you get it straight from Harper's mouth that Bautista is using, you're doing the same thing to him you accuse him of doing to Bautista. The inconsistency there bothers me.

    The fact is that after the steroid era, when someone hits the way Bautista is hitting it is logical to be suspicious of steroid use. It is not logical to banty about accusations or conclude that he could not be hitting tihs way without PEDs. Just to suspect that he could be using steroids. They say that 12% of regular gym goers use HGH… if MLB matches that population, then just about 1 guy in ever line-up is using statistically speaking. Given what we saw in the steroid era, it seems likely the guys hitting the most HRs are more likely to be using… because guys hit unprecedented #s of HRs in the steroid era. You can ignore it, but not one player ever before hit as many HRs as McGwire, Sosa, and Bonds hit on PEDs. There is some link between huge HR #s and steroids. That doesn't mean every guy who hits a HR is on 'roids…

    Harper is absolutely right to point out that this is suspicious. You are reading between the lines and assuming he doesn't mean it's suspicious (which it is), he actually means Bautista is necessarily taking steroids. You are inferring that. It's not there in the words on the paper. That you choose to willfully ignore the impact PEDs have on baseball players and do not know the meaning of the "suspicious" (which I define below, via google)… that's a you issue. That Larry unprompted estimates Bautista is 100x more likely to be using than not using and still sides with you… that's a Larry issue. Most reasonable people would be suspicious of whether Bautista is using steroids. That doesn't mean they know he is using or accuse him of using, they are just suspicious. Nothing more, nothing less. It's not splitting hairs… it's black and white. Either you accuse him of using, or you don't. Perhaps Harper is accusing him, perhaps he's not. Without asking him, I don't see why you accused him for accusing Bautista. If you can't see how you are doing the same thing to him you accuse him of doing to Bautista… I'm not sure what to say.

  8. "there's a lot more that go into hitting home runs than just strength."

    I never said differently. In fact, I have said that exact same thing multiple times.

    "So if they're correct, there must necessarily be something else that explains the vast majority of Bautista's improvement even if he is using PED's, and by accepting that premise the increase in performance alone isn't enough to justify suspicion of PED use. "

    Again… you are arguing against a strawman. Please actually bother to read my comments. I've said this a bunch of times. Yes, I agree. I never once disagreed.

    The disagreement is only about how you quantify "the vast majority."

    Take Barry Bonds. He, unlike Bautista, was a great player throughout his career. From his early 20s on. He had two 10 fWAR seasons for the Pirates. Perhaps he was already juicing then, but we know for sure that his skull grew after that… He hit 46 HRs his first season in SF, 1993. That's a whole lot of HRs. His wOBA for two seasons in a row was .469. That's really good. Great really. When his head was literally growing and people make pretty well founded accusations he was using, he hit 73 HRs (despite not being pitched to much) and had 4 seasons in a row with a wOBA above .500. This came from his 36-39 year old seasons. A time when non-PED players tend to be declining or hitting their par… not getting substantially better. I can't prove that the PEDs helped Bonds… but it seems pretty damn likely. When you couple it with the other guys hitting unprecedented HR numbers on PEDs… it gets pretty overwhelming.

    The fact that Bautista was never all that good and now hits like only someone on PEDs has since Ted Williams and before that since Babe Ruth… yeah, that's suspicious. Doesn't mean he didn't change his swing, work harder, lift more, eat healthier, gain from experience, hit his prime, improve his eye-sight, start recognizing pitches better… whatever else he did to improve. Maybe he did those things (I have no idea). It's still more suspicious that he took steroids than it would be if his wOBA weren't in the mid-.500s.

    In a response to Larry below I make an analogy to a teach. Every kid in your class could be abused at home. You should keep an eye on all of them. If one kid is showing an unusually high number of signs, though, that doesn't mean you should ignore them and continue to put that kid in the same probability category as everyone else. You should be suspicious. You shouldn't accuse the parents or go to the cops, but surely you should be suspicious and do whatever it is you're supposed to do in that situation. Likewise, MLB should keep testing all players and no one should accuse Bautista without some proof outside of just his production at the plate. That doesn't mean we shouldn't be suspicious, though. The circumstances are such that a higher level of suspicion is justified with Bautista then with Joe Baseball, the average MLBer.

  9. Seriously, Ted troll Nelson, the basis here is the irresponsible journalism. To throw out the blanket accusation and hide behind the word "suspicion" is trash.