Thursday, February 12, 2009

Steroids and Chicago

Given the recent A-Rod steroid admission, once again steroids dominate the baseball conversation. Since there are 103 other names on the A-Rod list, one would have to think there will be at least 5 Chicago players named from those 2003 tests. I'm gonna take a stab at figuring out who those 5 guys are.

Right off the bat Sammy Sosa is almost a given to test positive in 2003. In Sosa's defense he has never been mentioned in any of these steroid reports, books, anything. Obviously Sosa put up ridiculous numbers from 1998-2002, but I fully admit that he was most likely on steroids. He went from 30-30 guy to 60 homer hitting mammoth. So guy number one on the list will be Sammy Sosa.

The second name seems to be another easy one to pick out, Magglio Ordonez. The kiss of death here is that Jose Canseco said that he injected Ordonez with roids. Canseco has yet to be wrong about a single guy using steroids, as this recent A-Rod thing proves. Plus what White Sox fan doesn't want Magglio to be busted for roids?

After those two it gets a little harder to figure who is using and who isn't. Mark Prior seems to be an easy target, and I think he is the choice for the third player. Prior had a dynamite 2003 season going 18-6 with a 2.43 ERA. After that season Prior has gone through a series of every single injury known to man, despite having what people called "perfect mechanics" when he got to the majors. Sure some of the injuries were flukes (see a line-drive going off his elbow) but a lot of them have to raise some sort of suspicion. 

Jose Valentin goes fourth on this list, and his numbers provide me with plenty of reason to suspect him. He went from 16 homers and 49 RBI for the Brewers in 1998 to 25 and 92 in 2000 for the Sox. Part of that has to do with US Cellular field being such a power hitting park, but steroid suspicion has to follow somebody who gets a five year power jump at age 30 coming off an injury.

I'll go with Joe Borowski to finish out the list. After being injured in 2001 Borowski had a two year stretch where had a 2.70 ERA and got 33 saves in the 2003 season after never having had a season with an ERA under 4, and he only had one season under 4 the rest of his career, that being 3.75 with the Marlins in 2006. Borowski could be argued to the top of the list, except that he is easily the most useless name on the list.

Honorable mention to Esteban Loaiza, Loaiza had a one year outlier season in 2003, winning 21 games with a 2.90 ERA. 

Who knows if any of these names will be seen on the 2003 drug test results, but based on what I've seen and what the numbers show the six players I mentioned seem to be the most suspicious from the 2003 Chicago baseball season. 

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