PED apologists violate their own liturgy

Familiar language from ESPN’s Christina Kahrl, who claims the HOF is already compromised by PEDs.

I mean, c’mon, no Mike Schmidt or Hank Aaron in the Hall of Fame? By their own admission they broke the same baseball rule on the books that Bonds did, and they did so for the same reason — to enhance their performance.

She’s talking about amphetamines, which were once doled out like Morrison’s peppermints in most, if not all, of baseball clubhouses. That doesn’t make it right, but they weren’t consumed in the shadows. Eddie Mathews wasn’t snorting lines with Hank in a toilet stall, for instance, a la Canseco injecting McGwire. Greenies didn’t give one player a significant advantage over another.

Besides, it’s ridiculous to compare the banned substances.  The proof is in the stats, yet the apologists ignore the evidence. Perhaps because it totally destroys their argument.

What else explains Bonds’ production in the twilight of his career? Bonds’ lowest OPS, in four seasons from ages 36-39, was 1.278. His highest OPS in the prime of his career, from ages 26-29: 1.136. He had 69 more homers from ages 36-39.

Fortunately, someone else crunched the numbers typically required by the statistically obsessed.

Below are the top 15 OWPs of all time, regardless of age. Before 2001, no player had reached .924, Bonds’ OWP for the whole period that covers ages 36-39. Notice how unusual it is for someone aged 36-39 to have such a great OWP. It appears that no one has aged as well as Bonds.

Rank

Player

YEAR

OWP

AGE

1

Barry Bonds

2002

0.942

37

2

Barry Bonds

2004

0.929

39

3

Barry Bonds

2001

0.922

36

4

Mickey Mantle

1957

0.915

25

5

Babe Ruth

1920

0.913

25

6

Fred Dunlap

1884

0.909

25

7

Ted Williams

1941

0.908

22

8

Barry Bonds

2003

0.897

38

9

Babe Ruth

1923

0.896

28

10

Babe Ruth

1921

0.891

26

11

Ted Williams

1957

0.891

38

12

Babe Ruth

1926

0.883

31

13

Ted Williams

1942

0.881

23

14

Pete Browning

1882

0.88

21

15

Babe Ruth

1924

0.879

29

Dare I mention the freakish guns and engorged head?

Apparently none of this is sufficient proof for the likes of Kahrl, who writes of “the purported performance-enhancing benefits of PEDs.”

This from the group that sneers at those who ignore the irrefutable evidence found in the numbers.

Terry Blocker

The 20 worst A-Braves players: #11 Terry Blocker

Terry Blocker is a helluva guy. When pitcher Dave Shotkoski was gunned down in West Palm Beach in 1994, Blocker, trying to make a comeback as a replacement player, took to the streets to help find the culprit.

Without ever meeting the man, Blocker was able to come up with a street nickname. He went to the police, who soon arrested Neal Douglas Evans, age 29, and charged him with first-degree murder and attempted robbery.

“Blocker saved us at least one day and probably two,” said Detective David Atherton of the West Palm Beach Police Department. “He went out on his own. Nobody asked him to do it. He’s very modest. He doesn’t think he’s a hero, but if some people had known what he was doing, he would have been in danger. I’m in danger every time I go there.”

Six years earlier, Blocker was the part-time CF for a Braves team that would’ve probably lost to most replacement squads.

Blocker was chosen by the Mets with the 4th overall pick in the 1991 amateur draft ahead of Frd McGriff, Mark McGwire, Frank Viola, David Cone, Matt Williams, Mark Langston, Sid Fernandez, Paul O’Neill, Ron Darling, Devon White, to name 10. (The Braves, with the 12th pick in the 1st round, selected Jay Roberts. The OF, a special teams stalwart with the Washington Huskies who had not played high school baseball, never advanced past Single-A, batting .187 over 4 years. )

GM Bobby Cox acquired Blocker from New York for pitcher Kevin Brown (not that Kevin Brown) prior to the ’88 season, throwing him into the OF mix along with the likes of Albert Hall, Gary Roenicke and Dion James. Blocker ended up starting 59 games in CF, providing decent defense but little else, batting .212 with a .250 OBP and .283 slugging percentage. The erstwhile speedster was 1-for-2 in SB attempts.

He started the ’89 season in Double-A Greenville but made it back to Atlanta, which tells you plenty about that Braves team. Blocker hit .226 in 31 AB, the last of his MLB career until attempting a comeback, 5 years later, as a replacement Brave. It was then that Blocker finally made his mark, albeit off the field.