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11-21-2012, 03:29 PM
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Originally Posted by ixcuincle View Post
Then explain how pretty bad players take steroids and nothing happens to them.

People act like steroids are magic pills that magically make you hit home runs.
First off, any drug/alcohol/medicine is going to affect different people differently. Some people are going to be affected tremendously. Some perhaps very little or not at all. Some might just feel sick.

Second, of course steroids aren't going to turn a 5 HR guy into a 50 HR guy. A guy like Bonds was already a top-5 player all time before he hit the roids, and then turned into something utterly freakish. If taking roids adds 10% to your ability, then they're well worth taking but won't turn a terrible player into a great one ... just a less terrible one.

A guy like Freddy Galvis is used as an example of 'steriods don't work!!1!' but after getting on the juice he went from a .586 OPS in AA to a .617 OPS in MLB in a little over a year. Pretty significant improvement.

Originally Posted by robert terwilliger View Post
yes sir, sirdy sir sir. next time i'll use something else. thanks for the counter argument.
The first problem is that his method - using league-wide stats as a measuring stick - is flawed and he's never going to see a significant result under those metrics, no matter what steroids do.

If 10% of the league is using steroids and they provide an average 10% increase in performance, that's a 1% difference in offense league-wide. In other words, hardly measurable by the metric he's using despite being very significant for the players actually using them.

And that's going from nothing to the 10% in one year. Any increase in users would be incremental - ie. 0.2% each year for 5 years. Or some such. It just isn't going to show up as a significant factor on a league-wide basis in the way he's providing the data.

The second thing he ignores is that *pitchers take them too*. It isn't a one-sided equation. If a similar percentage of pitchers are using roids and getting a similar effect ... the net result league wide will be zero, just with some freaks on juice (Clemens, Bonds) cancelling out on either side of the equation. Now, I'd suspect that less pitchers used steroids and they had less of an effect, but it isn't something that can just be utterly ignored.

The only way to properly figure out exactly what steroids do is to take a group of players using them and a group of players that aren't, do a double-blind test, and compare results over a period of a few years. Obviously we can't do that and it's never going to happen. But 'research' like this provides absolutely nothing to the equation and zero proof about whether steroids work or not.

Then he goes and blatantly manipulates graphs to try and bear out his point - ie. dragging all data back to 1985 instead of 1990 so he can use the juiced-ball 1987 season to give his line a negative slope instead of the well positive one there would have been if the data was from 1990-2005.

Likewise, his treatment of the 'steroids do more to the upper body' thing is ridiculous. It's basically treated as 'steroids *only* help the upper body and hitting *only* comes from the lower body so they do nothing, case closed!' which is of course total rubbish.

Yes, most power comes from the core and lower body. And yes, steroids might help the upper body more. But bigger arms and shoulders are still going to help you hit a ball further, and steroids are still going to help develop your lower body, even if at a lower rate. There's a reason Olympic sprinters have been chronically on steroids for the last 30 years, and it isn't because they're trying to build huge biceps to run with.

And again, of course, it ignores the issue of recovery from injuries/fatigue, etc.

Originally Posted by robert terwilliger View Post

jay jaffe wrote about the balls being juiced in a bp essay book. deadspin used the article. hopefully it would be allowed in a statistics class! :/
Just because one thing is happening doesn't mean something else is happening also.

I don't doubt that the ball might have been altered through that era. That doesn't mean that players doing steroids weren't also improving their numbers by doing so.

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