Thursday, August 09, 2007

Don't Steroids Help the Pitchers Who Face Bonds?

From today's NYTimes (one of hundreds of similar articles):

"There will always be fans who feel that Aaron and Ruth are the pure home run kings. Bonds has been connected to investigations into steroid use, muddying how he accumulated 756 homers, which improved to 757 on Wednesday, and creating suspicion about how he conquered Aaron and 755."

Bonds’s critics will note how his body and statistics inflated in his late 30s, an age when they are supposed to decline. They will repeat how Bonds has been central to steroid investigations and has been featured in a best-selling book about the subject. They will argue that Bonds has avoided failing tests only because some steroids are undetectable."

Q: If MLB players have been using steroids, wouldn't the pitchers who face Bonds also be using them, and wouldn't steroid use enhance their performance as pitchers, balancing out the enhanced performance of hitters like Bonds? Or is the agrument that steroids improve the performance of batters disproportionately more than steroids help pitchers?

Comments welcome.


At 8/09/2007 7:55 AM, Anonymous bob wright said...

I just don't think you can compare a roids-enhanced Bonds with no-roids Aaron and Ruth.

There needs to be pre-roid record and a post-roid record.

I would leave the condition of the pitchers out of the discussion.

At 8/09/2007 8:54 AM, Anonymous josh said...

When discussing how steroids affects pitchers, the focus is usually on the improved recovery time that steroids provides pitchers. Steroids speeds up the healing process; as a result, pitchers recover faster physically after one of their pitching performances, enabling them to be fresher and sharper for their next appearance.

However, how steroids enhances the mechanics of the pitching motion, and the resultant effect on a pitched ball, is less discussed. I suspect it's because A) Even steroids' impact on batting is not well understood. B) What is understood is that steroids enhances the fast-twitch muscle fibers required to quickly turn on a major league pitch. It is not well understood how these benefits transfer to the pitching motion. C) Anecdotal evidence suggests that steroids are the cause of many pitchers' breakdowns, and thus steroids are often avoided by pitchers, who already face shoulder and elbow stress througout their career.

At 8/09/2007 10:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How come no one talks about how when Ruth and to some extent Aaron played, they faced ptichers who played most if not all the game... so they hit home-runs off of tired ptichers... do we catagorize that and say, well if the day of the closer was as good as today, they never would have hit that many... No we don't. The game changes, records change... People will always say one player was better then another, but as the game changes, the athletes get a lot better too...

At 8/09/2007 12:28 PM, Blogger Wes said...

1) yes i believe steroids would disproportionately help a power hitter over a pitcher

(2) when comparing Bonds to Ruth and Aaron it is really not fair even if he didn't take steroids considering the incredible advances in nutrition and training. it is the same problem as comparing Alexander the Great to George Patton as a battle field commander. Same game but really almost incomparable

At 8/21/2007 1:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

sounds like we need a career-homerun-deflator!


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