Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
April 4, 2005
BASEBALL: Pumped, But Not Up

We've all had a good laugh, and deservedly so, at the expense of Alex Sanchez, the first player to (apparently) get caught using steroids. Apparently it was easier for the Tampa Bay speed merchant to take steroids than take a pitch. As my older brother put it, "We can only guess how many of Sanchez's two home runs might have been the result of steroids... " Ex-teammate Brandon Inge:

He's the farthest guy from testing positive that I ever thought would happen . . . You'd think a red flag would go up in someone's mind. I can't believe it. When I heard his name, I thought it was a joke. You don't need steroids to bunt like he does. Actually, I'd think he'd be taking the opposite of steroids.

That said, the idea of a speedy guy taking steroids isn't that far-fetched; if you think about it for a few minutes, the name "Ben Johnson" may come to mind.

Of course, there's still Inge's other point:

I didn't think anyone would test positive. Everyone had enough notice, I mean they've been talking about it since midseason of last year.

Yes, Sanchez is apparently an idiot.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 9:04 AM | Baseball 2005 | Comments (7) | TrackBack (1)

I like Johnny Damon's quote: "Hopefully, he was doing steroids, and it's not an inhaler or a high blood-pressure pill [that caused a false positive]."

What irony if the first guy nailed turns out to be a false positive.

Posted by: Geoff at April 4, 2005 10:29 AM

The first thing that I thought of when I saw that Sanchez tested positive was all of the tracks & field athletes as well as cyclists who have been suspended for doping.

Let us not forget the sage explanations of that beloved author Jose Canseco when he revealed that steroids helped him with his speed as much as his power.

Posted by: Stephen at April 4, 2005 12:08 PM

This is a big first test for the new MLB drug testing policy. I wonder if any player would easily admit to using steroids if caught. There seem to be enough loopholes and possibilities of false positives to cast reasonable doubt in many circumstances.

Also, steroids is not just for bulking up. It can enhance speed and reduce healing time for injuries. Is it a coincidence that Barry Bonds is on the DL for the first time since before his suspected steroid use?

Posted by: Roger Cunard at April 4, 2005 1:02 PM

"Sanchez is apparently an idiot."

A friend's brother says that idiots of this type should be prosecuted for "criminal stupidity."

Posted by: Attila at April 4, 2005 1:57 PM

Two great things I read today that touched on steroids that I linked to today at my blog:

It's Opening Day! And I'm going to post about steroids? Well, I wasn't, but two of the things I read today talked about it, and are worth repeating...

From Sports Guy's Sox vs. Yanks season preview:

Speaking of steroids, which team will be more affected by the steroids crackdown? Well, one team features the poster boy for the steroid crisis (Giambi), as well as someone who hung out with Barry Bonds and his trainer and "unknowingly" used a steroid cream (Sheffield). The other team has two goofy sluggers from the Dominican Republic who probably couldn't figure out how to make a cup of Thera-Flu for one another, much less inject each other with hormones.

And Salon's King Kaufman on the unlikely/ironic first player caught under the new testing policy:

It's a home run for baseball that it gets to show off its new testing teeth without causing a fuss among the fans. People aren't going to be complaining because Alex Sanchez isn't in center field for the Rays on Opening Day. And Sanchez's stature, playing style and anemic .364 lifetime slugging percentage also let baseball make an important point about steroids.

The surprise with which so many met the revelation that Sanchez was perp No. 1 shows how uninformed we are about this subject. Alex Sanchez? He's not a hulking slugger. He's not chasing home run records. What's he doing chasing steroids.
Almost all the steroid talk has centered around home-run hitters with comic-book physiques, but steroids can do more than just build huge muscles. All those sprinters and hurdlers don't look like linebackers, after all. Anybody can benefit from steroids, as Jose Canseco tells us. People around the game say there might be more pitchers on the juice than hitters.
It's in baseball's interest to make these points. Look, baseball can say, steroids aren't just about home runs. Now let's stop talking about putting asterisks in the record books
Good point.

Anyway, it's Opening Day, a joyous occasion. Since I never count ESPN's bogus Opening Days anyway, let's just pretend last night's game never happened.

Posted by: Mr Furious at April 4, 2005 3:48 PM

I'm wondering what the substance was. Tony Gwynn said that MLB's official statement did NOT say steroids, but that he was using a banned substance.

Heck, if he took some "Ripped Fuel" that he bought last year (when it was legal), then he's taking a banned substance (ephedra) that isn't a steroid. Of course, ephedra would increase his metabolism, thus cutting his fat & making him weigh less = faster, which is his goal.

Of course, you have professional basketball players fathering children out of wedlock left & right, meaning they're using unprotected sex with strangers FOURTEEN YEARS AFTER MAGIC JOHNSON, so idiotic athletes are words that have become synonymous.

Posted by: RW at April 4, 2005 7:36 PM

As a Tiger fan, I must say that, if you had seen Sanchez run the bases, you would have no doubt in your mind that he is an idiot.

I would bet that this is something less than an official "steroid" - probably some random thing from GNC that Sanchez was too dumb or uninformed to know was banned.

Posted by: BDH at April 5, 2005 1:29 PM
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