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.

22 thoughts on “What does Rick Sutcliffe think about drinking and driving?

  1. I didn't know Hank Aaron used 'performance enhancing' drugs'! Pleas enlighten me, what exactly did he do???

    • Aside from that being a general term to describe an era, how is it that people can be so smug about being ignorant about GREENIES?

    • Amphetamine usage was rampant in baseball from the 1960s (and probably before) on until they came under the new PED regulations in the last decade.

      • Ahhhh, so Aaron was taking Amphetamines? Do we know this as a fact or is this just assumed?

        • Well, you're right I don't know that for certain about Aaron but guys who didn't take them were considered the exceptions. If you want a big name, Willie Mays was known to keep a liquid concoction in his locker that he referred to as his "red juice" and was known to contain amphetamines.

          This is not to malign Mays or Aaron or the players of that era. With the travel and pressure to perform it's understandable how they would need a boost just to stay on the level. And in that era amphetamines were commonly used as "pep pills" and diet drugs by many folks in all walks of life so while their use by baseball players wasn't really publicized it was not really underground or even controversial like steroids or HGH in these times.

          • Follow up – a Google search turned up some references to Aaron's autobiography in which he admits trying greenies once. I will take him at his word and assume it's not a limited hangout.

            I think Brien was just using Aaron as a symbol for that era in which lots of guys did take greenies but which many assume was a "clean" era in comparison with the "cheating" atmosphere of today. You're point is well taken however, Aaron should not be singled out without more specific eveidence.

          • I think the word Aaron used specifically was "experimenting," but yes, the point is that he admitted to ingesting greenies on at least one occasion.

            The general point of using Aaron for the moniker was originally just because people insist he's the "clean" home run king, but upon further thought there's a lot more symmetry there then I realized at first. And the fact that he's the most universally well respected "good guy" superstar of the era is a part of the joke as well.

  2. There's no evidence that "performance enhancing" drugs drastically enhance a players, um, performance, either. Doesn't stop people from definitively asserting otherwise.

    • "There's no evidence that "performance enhancing" drugs drastically enhance a players, um, performance, either."

      Are you being serious?????

      • Please to be citing the many scientific inquiries into the effects of using various "performance enhancing" drugs on performance in professional baseball. A study or two specifically addressing the relative impact on hitters and pitchers would be particularly appreciated. Thanks in advance.

        • Shouldn't you be the one doing this kind of research? I don't write posts for this blog, YOU do! In my mind, comparing 'greenies' to steroids or HGH is like comparing 5-hour enegry drinks to Speed or cocacine. I know health nuts who swear by wheat grass as a great source of energy but it is nothing compared to HGH and Steroid effects on the human body………..

          • I'm supposed to be proving a negative now?

            Of course, such studies don't exist, mostly because it would be impossible to do a controlled study testing the effects of banned substances on performance. Which is why we get left to deal with bald assertions and the wonderfully Orwellian rebranding of banned substances as "performance enhancing" drugs ("they must enhance performance, they're called 'performance enhancing drugs!'"), as well as a universal agreement to ignore the implications of *pitchers* taking said "performance enhancing" drugs as well as hitters.

          • Or, for that matter, that guys like David Segui and Jay Gibbons were named in the Mitchell Report.

          • First, I agree completely with your comment about pitcher PED use being ignored. I also think that the "PED class" of HOF candidates from the past 20 years should be inducted in the the HOF just like any other player with comparable stats would.

            However, the whole "there's never been a study proving PED use is beneficial" is one I see repeated all the time, and it's just absurd to me. As you acknowledge, there's no realistic way to conduct such a study, either to prove or disprove the theory. That fact, however, does not equate to it not being true.

            There is no scientific way for me to prove that I ate a bagel for breakfast on Tuesday of last week, but that doesn't mean that it didn't happen. There may be no way to scientifically prove that PEDs help hitters(as well as pitchers), but the anecdotal evidence that they do is pretty overwhelming.

            Also, the fact that mediocre players were named in the Mitchell Report has absolutely no bearing on whether PEDs "work" or not. For all we know, those players may have been on their couch arguing the effects of PED use if they hadn't themselves been (allegedly) using them.

          • " That fact, however, does not equate to it not being true. "

            I didn't say that it did. It's certainly possible for blind assertions to be correct all the same, but they're still BS without actual evidence to support them.

            " For all we know, those players may have been on their couch arguing the effects of PED use if they hadn't themselves been (allegedly) using them. "

            And, as usual, I think simply proves too much. If this were true, we should assume that approximately 98.5% of players were juicing before the testing regimen was put in place and that quite a few are doing so still today, because the odds/consequences of getting caught would then be FAR outweighed by the benefits of juicing. We should also expect to see the various sports leagues, particularly the NFL, lobbying to legalize these miracle drugs.

          • You and Brien are doing fine here without me, but…..

            "Greenies" ARE amphetamines…just what do you think "Speed" is?

            otoh, they were regularly given to US Army troops to "enhance" performance. Especially USAF pilots.

            Oh well – I'm back to OT – DEPORTING Melky for peds? When wife-beating and DUI is ok? Agreed, Brien – stupidest thing of the week.

  3. Anyway, I think you're missing the ironic point, which is that "I only tried it once to see what all of the fuss is about" would never suffice as an excuse for someone who was juicing in the mid-90's.

      • Sure, that works. Though I think the reason Pettitte gets ignored has more to do with the fact that admitting that pitchers were also taking PERFORMANCE ENHANCING drugs rather complicates the narrative that offensive numbers exploded because the hitters were "cheating." Hence why, if you listened to only the prevailing media narrative, you could be forgiven for thinking that Roger Clemens was the only pitcher to ever take "performance enhancing" drugs.

        • I'm still not convinced Clemens did take any PED's…….Mcnamee never came across as trustworthy to me……

  4. @a57se

    "Spikes" in performance do not necessarily indicate PED usage or do you think Roger Maris was juicing in 1961? And by the way, Aaron did have what could be considered "spikes" in his HR totals between 1956 and 1957 (26 to 44, a new career high by 17) and from 1964 to 1967 (24,32, 44, 39 – to be fair he started playing in the Atlanta "launching pad" in 1966).

    Actually, I do think that steroids can help players build strength and muscle mass (note: this is a non-scientific opinion based on anecdotal evidence) both directly and via enhancement of physical training but it's impossible to quantify the enhancement effect. Also, PEDs cannot add skill or turn an ordinary player into a great one.