Designated HitterJanuary 06, 2008
By Pat Jordan

It's nice to have friends, especially friends one makes during the course of business. It's even nicer if those new friends are celebrities. Take Mike Wallace, for example. At 89, Mr. Wallace has made a lot of celebrity friends during the 40 years he has been a reporter for CBS's "60 Minutes." Not friends like Yassir Arafat, maybe, but friends like George Steinbrenner, the owner of the New York Yankees, of whom Mr. Wallace says, "I like Steinbrenner, he likes me, we became good friends." It was through his friendship with Steinbrenner that Mr. Wallace made friends with one of Steinbrenner's celebrity hirelings, Roger Clemens, of whom Mr. Wallace says, "He became my friend. He trusts me." Which is no doubt why, when Mr. Clemens' name appeared prominently in the Mitchell Report, he turned to Mr. Wallace to help clear his name from accusations by his former trainer, Brian McNamee, that Clemens took steroids and Human Growth Hormone in his late 30s and 40s to enhance his pitching career.

Tonight on "60 Minutes," Mr. Clemens will sit for an interview with Mr. Wallace, because, Mr. Wallace says, "He trusts me." Hopefully, Mr. Wallace can be, as he says, "objective." Tomorrow, according to Rusty Hardin, Mr. Clemens' lawyer, Clemens will submit to questions from a host of reporters, the first time he will speak off-the-cuff so to speak, to a roomful of reporters, some of whom may not be his friends. Previously, Mr. Clemens has denied Mr. McNamee's allegations that he injected Mr. Clemens with steroids and HGH through press releases emitted by his lawyer and his agent, and through a staged video in which Mr. Clemens denies McNamee's allegations directly to a camera.

I had a chance to become friends with Mr. Clemens in 2001, when I interviewed him for a profile in the New York Times Sunday magazine. But, alas, our friendship did not take. Despite the fact that I, like Mr. Wallace, felt I too had been objective in my profile, Mr. Clemens did not concur. In fact, he called me up after the story appeared and berated me over the telephone. When I asked him what he didn't like about the story, he said, "I didn't read it." I responded, "Then how do you know you don't like it?" He said he was told by his "friend," and the co-author of one of Mr. Clemens' books, Peter Gammons, the ESPN-TV analyst, that he should hate it. In fact, Mr. Clemens hated my profile so fervently that he had me banned from the Yankees' clubhouse during the years he remained with the team.

I would later learn that one of the many things Mr. Clemens hated about my profile of him was my description of his fawning relationship at the time with his friend Mr. McNamee, who lived in the pool house of Mr. Clemens' Houston estate. On the first day I interviewed Mr. Clemens in Houston I had dinner with him and Mr. McNamee at the most exclusive steak house in Houston. The bill was for over $400, which I paid. Mr. Clemens said, "I’ll get you tomorrow." The next day he bought me a taco at a Mexican Restaurant. But the point of my profile of Mr. Clemens was less about his parsimoniousness than it was his strange relationship with Mr. McNamee. During the dinner at the steakhouse Mr. Clemens asked Mr. McNamee for his permission to have a steak (McNamee nodded) and a baked potato (McNamee nodded again, but added a caveat, "Only dry."). The same scenario played itself out at the Mexican Restaurant. Clemens pointed to an item on the menu and Mr. McNamee either nodded, or shook his head, no.

During the three days I followed Mr. Clemens around Houston, he seemed like a child beholden to the whims of the sour, suspicious, and taciturn McNamee. It seemed as if Mr. Clemens would not do anything to his body, or ingest anything into it that Mr. McNamee hadn't approved. I found it strange that, at 38, Mr. Clemens still had to have someone dictate his diet and workout regimen down to the minutest detail at this late stage of his illustrious career. In fact, Mr. Clemens' devotion to Mr. McNamee's diet and workout routine seemed almost like a spiritual quest that must not be impeded. When Mr. Clemens and Mr. McNamee went on a long run one day and they came across another runner, lying on the ground, in the throes of a heart attack, they called for help. When Mr. Clemens related that story to me, he ended it by saying, "We were having a good run, too."

I also found it strange that, at 38, Clemens had the energy of a teenager. Clemens' workouts lasted 10 hours a day with only breaks for lunch and dinner. They began at 9 a.m. under McNamee's watchful eyes, with light weight-lifting for an hour, then an hour run, then a trip into Clemens' own personal gym, where he did a few hours of calisthenics, wind sprints, and throwing before going to lunch. After lunch, Clemens and McNamee went to an exclusive Houston men's gym (Clemens told me that President Bush worked out there), where Clemens pedaled a stationary bike for an hour and then performed a heavy weight-lifting routine for another hour. Then after dinner at home, Clemens worked out again until 9 or 10 in the evening.

Just watching Clemens work out over a day exhausted me. I wondered where he found the energy to sustain such a maniacal pace when I, at a similar age 20 years before, had been unable to work out for more than a few hours a day without being drained. At the time I interviewed Clemens, I was training for an amateur body building contest and, like Clemens, I adhered to a strict diet and a strenuous weight-lifting and calisthenics routine. But nothing I did at 41 compared to the 10 hours-a-day routine McNamee put Clemens through.

This brings me by a circuitous route to Tom Seaver, the Hall of Fame pitcher from the 1960s to the 1980s. Now Seaver and I were friends. Not the best of friends. Not intimate friends. Just friends. In the early 70s we lived only a few miles from each other in Connecticut. On the weekends we played one-on-one basketball games against each other at the Greenwich YMCA. They were rough, no-holds-barred games marked by a lot of uncalled fouls, bruises, and bloody noses. I always let Seaver win those games; after all, he was Tom Seaver, but he denies this.

Whenever Seaver pitched badly I'd call him every so often to give him advice.

"Tom, you're throwing too many breaking balls."

"You really think so?"


"What the hell do you know?"

Seaver and I had a lot in common. We were both big men in our playing days. Six-one, 200 pounds. We were both pitchers. Bonus babies. Tom signed with the Mets for a $50,000 bonus and I signed with the then Milwaukee Braves in 1959 for a $50,000 bonus. We both threw hard. I threw harder than Seaver, of course, but he will never admit that. He had better control than I did (at least I will admit that). And a longer career. His lasted 20 years. In the major leagues. Mine lasted three years, in the minor leagues. And then out. Back home, at 21, lugging bricks and mortar up a rickety scaffold for a Lithuanian mason.

Over the 40 years of our friendship, I still call Seaver every now and then, mostly to remind him that I threw harder than him. His response is always the same, "In your dreams." My response is always the same. "But I did, Tom, I did!" Then he will say, "Yeah, and between us we won 311 major league games." I say, "Precisely!"

Like Clemens today, Seaver in his day was considered the most dominating pitcher of modern times. He did win 311 games over a 20-year career, and would have won another 50 or so if he had pitched into his mid-40s like Clemens has. But he didn't. He lost his fastball at 38, pitched without it for several more seasons with varying results, and retired. During his career, Seaver, too, was famous for his strict diet and strenuous workout routine. In fact, he was one of the first baseball players to begin lifting weights to enhance his performance. It had been considered taboo, particularly for pitchers, likely to make them feel too muscle-bound and inflexible.

I visited Seaver once at his home in Greenwich, Conn., in the dead of a cold winter. Seaver lives in Calistoga, Calif., today. Seaver took me down into his basement where he had set up a net to catch baseballs. There, with a bucket of balls beside him, and his breath billowing in front of him, Seaver grunted and sweated for 30 minutes as he pitched baseballs into that net.

I was so impressed with his diligence that I asked him why he bothered to throw on such a cold, January day. He gave me a little sideways look as if I'd asked the stupidest question, and said, "Because it's my day to throw."

After the Mitchell Report on the use of performance-enhancing drugs was published, I checked the records of Seaver and Clemens. In his first 12 seasons with the Boston Red Sox, Clemens posted a 192-111 record. In his first 12 years with the Mets, and the Cincinnati Reds, Seaver posted a 219-117 record. Over Seaver's last eight years with the Reds, Red Sox, and Chicago White Sox, he posted a 92-78 record. Over Clemens' last 11 years with the Toronto Blue Jays, Yankees and Houston Astros and then the Yankees again, he posted a 162-73 record, a winning percentage appreciably better than in his younger years.

While Seaver struggled with that declining fastball in the latter stage of his career, Clemens kept throwing hard. Seaver's decline in those final seasons was the normal drop-off for a pitcher who had relied on an exceptional fastball for a good part of his success. Clemens' improved record in his later years was an anomaly for a fastball pitcher. (Knuckleball pitchers like Phil Niekro, and junk ball pitchers like Jamie Moyer have pitched successfully into their 40s because they rely on finesse, not strength.)

A fastball pitcher still throwing in the mid-90s after the age of 40, as Clemens did, is a true rarity, except if his name is Nolan Ryan, who was blessed by God. It goes against the laws of nature, although I suspect that a case can be made that Clemens' incredible late career success could be attributed to the strict diet and fabled workout routine of his former trainer and friend, now his adversary, Brian McNamee. Which I also suspect is the case Clemens will make to his friend, Mr. Wallace, when Mr. Wallace interviews him tonight on "60 Minutes."

Pat Jordan, author of "A False Spring," and "A Nice Tuesday," is a freelance writer. His latest book, "The Best Sports Writing of Pat Jordan" (Persea Books), which features profiles of both Roger Clemens ("Roger Clemens Refuses to Grow Up") and Tom Seaver ("The Best of Friends"), will be released next month.


Is Mr Jordan's assertion true about relative aging of pitchers true? Knuckleballers, of course, last the longest, but I remember reading a study a while back that showed fastball pitchers tended to last a little longer (or, rather, that pitchers who lasted long tended to throw fastballs, which is close but not necessarily the same thing).

What an entertaining read. Great stuff.

As Jordan noted, a middle-aged power pitcher not losing velocity is very suspicious.

For those needing an empirical explanation of "blessed by god" in regards to Nolan Ryan, I recall an anecdote of a surgeon who operated on Ryan after his career was over describing the tendons in his body as twice as thick as an ordinary person's.

I agree that it is an entertaining read. However, having watched the Astros for many years, my impression is that Clemens' velocity since 2004 has been overstated. He was not a flamethrower in his later years, like a Ryan might be described. He didn't consistently throw a mid-90's fastball. Generally his fastball was in the 92 mph range, which is certainly good for a man his age, but not exceptional for a ML pitcher. In 05, his best season with the Astros, he might reach mid-90's for 1 or 2 pitches in a key at bat with runners on base; in fact, his trademark that year was getting out of jams without any runs scoring, relying on guts and pitch selection. What made Clemens tough to hit was his excellent splitter and the ability to locate his fastball well. I also think he had a good understanding of the mechanics necessary to get movement on his pitches. Clemens told his fellow Astros' pitchers that the key to a long career is adding or changing pitches when hitters appear to be adjusting to you. I think his later success had a lot to do with adding the splitter, setting batters up for the splitter, and improving his command. That's my observation anyway.

Good point about Clemens later in life. It was the splitter that really became his signature pitch. Majority of his pitches were fastball, splitters. What Pat is talking about when he talks about Ryan is that Ryan was naturally blessed with an amazing fastball. Natural, effortless delivery, like Mariano Rivera today. Clemens, even in his younger days, didn't have that kind of graceful, beautiful motion or fastball. He was more of a grunter, a grinder, much like Seaver was before him.

I don't think it is a particularly worthwhile article at all. First, I don't care if Clemens or any player used HGH or steroids or any other enhancement. The entire issue is an overhyped, attention grabbing matter for the benefit of sanctimonious, headline seeking panderers. There is shame in the affair, but it is on those who leaked information from grand juries or engaged in this insidious witch hunt. And incidentally, the description of Clemens' workout regimen puts in relief the difference between modern steroid users and the pill poppers of earlier generations who depended entirely on artificial means to keep themselves going.

As for the article, we discover that Clemens may not be a nice fellow. I never thought he was, nor do I care about that either. And in any case, it has nothing to do with the hounding of him and others. Perhaps the interview is a setup-how dastardly for a celebrity to try to control the spotlight! But the article is pure smear and adds nothing to the understanding of how a health issue has been turned into an ethical (pseudo-ethical) one.

Oh yes, and I also want to second the comments about Clemens's power pitching. I watched him often with the Yankees, and he was rarely throwing anything over 92 and usually less. Control and the splitter were far more significant in his success. Note too that he was far less able to pitch deep into games in later years, and that there have other 40 year old pitchers-Randy Johnson for one-who continued to throw in the 90s at that age.

No matter one's personal beliefs on the subject, I think Mr. Jordan's article is well-written and insightful. Importantly, he does not accuse Clemens of taking steroids or HGH. Instead, he documents a couple of days spent with Clemens and McNamee six years ago and compares the Rocket's workout regimen and record to Seaver's.

I have always liked Clemens but that is neither here nor there. He was a tremendous pitcher in the '80s, '90s, and '00s, and nothing will ever make me think less of him as a pitcher. However, I will think less of him as a person if he goes public (as he has), and it turns out he is lying to us all.

If Clemens is telling us the truth, great. If he is not, then I don't have any sympathy for him at all. I could handle Clemens remaining quiet on the subject or admitting that he used steroids and/or HGH (if that is indeed the case).

All I ask is that you don't b.s. me. I'm a big boy and can deal with anything short of that. Here's hoping that Clemens does not go down the path of Pete Rose.

Bob R. --

I don't believe Jordan ever stated that Clemens did this or that. It was, as Rich said, merely a look into Roger's life on the 2 days that Jordan spent with him. I thought it was a good read and like you, I've never thought much of Clemens as a person and I generally don't believe most of these athletes are that likable.

I don't care to get involved in the "who done it" issue that seemingly everyone is unfortunately interested in and I didn't think Mr. Jordan did that.

Bob R's second comment brings to mind the nickname the late Will McDonough applied to Roger Clemens: The Texas Con Man.

What else but an ego the size of Texas would spend months nibbling at offers, then finally agree to the Yankees' pro-rated 1-year salary of $28M (actually about $18M), knowing he was "far less able to pitch deep into games" and "rarely throwing anything over 92 and usually less"

(and the less said about the PA-system Yankee Stadium announcement of that deal, the better).

Clemens' greed contributed to the 2007 ruination of the Yankee bullpen, and for what? 6 wins and a 4.18 ERA, and collapsing 2-1/3 innings into the postseason.

For shame!

Anyone that follows sports closely knows that many of these guys, including Roger resorted to drugs to have a longer career. YOur head is buried in the sand or you don't know pro athletes or you worship the ground they walk on if you believe otherwise.

Remember the incident in the World Series when he threw the bat at Sciosia? Rhoid rage!!

Of course many of these guys took PEDs. I don't think there's any doubt about that and I think the total number of them is much higher than anyone is willing to accept.

Didn't he throw the bat at Piazza?

Just to be clear, I posted under the initials "CJ" at 2:03 pm, and I'm not the same "CJ" who posted a comment at 4:54 pm. I point that out because I don't concur with the other person's comment. At this point, I give Clemens the benefit of the doubt, because I am not comfortable with the general "rush to judgement" by the media and public surrounding the allegations. I'm not certain whom is telling the truth, and I think it is fair to allow Clemens' side some time to marshall any evidence on their side of the debate. I think Rich's reaction, above, is understandable and reasonable.

Rich, I understand the anger at celebrities who deny and later admit the truth. But I do not share it because I think it unreasonable to expect any of them to fess up given the climate. I realize some have, but usually it is accompanied by excuses or mea culpas, and I think neither is legitimate, especially because they dignify the inquisitors.

In my perfect world, all the athletes would simply say "yes, I used steroids. So what? There was nothing wrong with that." My comparison is the Red Hunt of the 1950s when the proper answer should have been "yes, I donated money to communist organizations and marched in May Day parades and so on. So what?" But anyone who said that would be disgraced and his career destroyed. So today, the hysteria means that players who admitted to usage would be considered cheaters (they weren't) and their cherished records would be asterisked or erased or declared invalid in the court of public opinion.

So I assume many are lying or hiding the truth, and I do not care because I think the questions are invalid to begin with. I do get angry, at the Mitchells and Seligs and the people who leaked the grand jury testimony about Bonds and the politicians who are grandstanding on an issue they have no business even considering.

So I don't deny the article is well written and I realize it makes no direct accusations about steroid use, but the thrust of it in the context of the day is to pillory Clemens and make his accusers appear more sympathetic. As for Roger's arrogance or conning of NY, as far as I can tell he simply negotiated cleverly. The Yankees were not forced to sign him, and nobody claims he intentionally pitched poorly or did not try to earn his salary. Seems to me people should be a lot more upset about players like Mantle who knowingly cheated his bosses and fans by playing drunk, hung over and out of shape. Nobody suggests Clemens did that (except some Boston writer who thinks he did back in the late 90s).

And the effect of the article is to encourage comments like the one about the bat throwing incident and linking it to "roid-rage" as if the case is closed. I consider such accusations unethical. Again, I think it entirely possible he intentionally used enhancements but I don't know it nor do I care. There is now a policy in baseball about it, and although I think it was brought about through intimidation and blackmail, it is now in place and the only question now is enforcing it or negotiating improvements in it. Whatever happened before is of no consequence.

I don't really know if Clemens used steroids or not, but I strongly suspect that he did. However, I don't think that the point of this article is so much about the fact that Roger did or did not use steroids. I think the point of this article is that Roger Clemens is a poor excuse for a human being, and that right now he is reaping much of what he has sewn.

Roger Clemens did pitch well through his illustrious career, but in terms of being a good human being, there is not much evidence. To the contrary, there is much evidence that while being a "gifted" pitcher (he may or may not have had help), there is much more evidence of his pathetic character (exiting with a small blister on his finger in a world series, melting down with the bat incident with Piazza, throwing at Piazza's head, his bizarre temper tantrum in the 1990 ALCS, assaulting a cop in 1991, and the many antecdotal examples such as this one).

What strikes me is how little compassion this guy engenders. I'm disappointed that Mike Wallace would consider him a's not clear that he knows much about Clemens or that he's had much interaction with him outside of beinng a guest of Steinbrenner.

Shocking to see a fan write that they don't care whether or not players are using chemicals to improve their performances.

Does this mean that you also want to accept Ben Johnson's record sprint in the Olympics while so filled with steroids that his eyes were actually yellow?

Jose Conseco freely admits that he would not have been a major league player without steroids. He learned to benefit from them to become a league MVP, the first 40-homer/40-steals player, and to earn millions of dollars for his enhanced efforts.

Ken Caminiti was another complete fraud whose 1996 MVP performance was the prime factor in his Padres winning the NL West.

Do you really want a WWF-kind of freak show where Paul Bunyans are chemically created to establish a new reality of performance standards in the game?

And then there is Barry Bonds whose shoe size increased in his late thirties from 10.5 to 13. Yeah, that's normal...for an HGH abuser. Again, is this the freak show that you desire in professional sports?

The post doesn't explicitly say Roger used PEDs, but it strongly implies it. It's a great read, but a little tarnished by the seemingly skeptical view of Roger's workout capabilities compared with the apparent undeniable belief that Nolan Ryan was simply an "exception", as though Roger isn't. That's complete BS. I don't care what he took - how many men on this planet who have made over $100 million and are contemplating retirement would put themselves through a 10 hour workout every day? Roger is an "exception" just like Ryan was. We just don't quite know what kind of exception he is.

And you can't compare Seaver to Clemens, in my eyes, either. Did Seaver have a trainer living with him? and following him to restaurants to indicate what he was allowed to eat?

I don't want to rail on the author, because again i think it was a great read and a great insight into Clemens. But I think it strongly implies that Clemens used PEDs without much valid support for that. The 10-hour daily workout is damning, but beyond that I just don't see how anything else in the piece that supports what I think is the author's suspicion.

Mike, but why would you read it that way?

I think it's just a nice recollection of past thoughts that sheds some light upon the past relationship between Clemens and McNamee. It appears as though they were really close and spent a lot of time together. Given this, why would McNamee lie under oath to throw a friend into the fire? He has everything to lose in lying, and lying AGAINST a supposed friend makes even less sense (if you were to take a risk, wouldn't you take it to protect a friend rather than accusing him?).
However I just take this piece as it is. It's interesting, it tells a tale of the past friendship between the two and explains to us a little more about Clemens. Any supposition is just a supposition at this point, as to what the author means or thinks on the PED issue.

This article clearly, and irresponsibly, tries to imply that Clemens used steroids by juxtaposing the Rocket against Ryan (who was merely blessed by God??) and Seaver, while making it seem like he was tied to McNamee's purse strings.

The story about the steak dinner is also a pathetic attempt to make Clemens look bad. What did Jordan want? An interview and an expensive meal? Give me a break. I am sure tons of writers would have lined up for the exclusive sessions with Clemens. I think picking up the tab for the meal is pretty standard in similar situations.

It's pieces like this one why athletes don't trust reporters, and why sports fans more and more look to bypass the traditional media by seeking out information direct from the source.

The unfortunate thing is that so many people are willing to make judgments when the evidence for steroids' effect on baseball performance is unclear, contradictory and quite obviously varies from player to player. (I am not sure how shoe size affects performance in baseball, even if that is true.) And the exaggeration of the freak show claims is nonsensical.

Steroid use is a bad thing because it is not healthy, and there is now a rule in baseball that deals with it. There is testing and penalties and the only remaining questions should be about its implementation and possible tweaking. Of course, seeing Leyland smoke in the dugout or being assaulted by happy revelers in beer ads or smiling actors in pharmaceutical ads is almost certainly far more harmful and dangerous to public health than are PEDs, but that is another issue. It simply points up the idiocy of the steroids hysteria.

As for past practice, steroids did not corrupt the game any more than did many other practices over the years, and given the fact they were usually used in conjunction with extensive training regimens, far less. As artificial enhancements, they were no more significant than TJ surgery or contact lenses, whose effect on baseball records is far more definite. And as condemnable as amphetamines, they are far less so given that the earlier generation did little more than pop pills to keep themselves going. Why are Aaron's and Mays's records not held up to public scorn?

As for cheating, the real cheating was done by players who routinely were out of shape and hung over, who in effect stole money from fans and owners by not playing the game at their best. The current generation were seeking to improve performance, and they did so in many and varied ways of which steroids were but one effort.

If you want to reexamine records, I suggest we all review the games of the first two decades of the 20th century. We know for certain that gamblers influenced how the players performed. How many records by Cobb (implicated in throwing games) or Speaker (also implicated) or Smokey Joe (self admitted conspirator in gambling) were bloated or depressed by gambling concerns. Gamblers actually appeared on the field before games to hawk their interests. Can you trust the results of any games before the Black Sox? If we know that Pettitte skirted the rules, how sure are we of the purity of Walter Johnson or Honus Wagner or Mathewson (who was an inveterate gambler and made it a practice to fleece rookies at card games). We know that every clubhouse with Hal Chase was a cesspool of corruption. And he was only the boldest of the cheaters. Now there are the frauds, and we know that and we know that the influence was direct and definite, unlike the fuzzier case with steroids.

I reiterate. Steroid use is a health issue, not a moral one, but it has been interpreted in the news as some sort of moral lapse. It wasn't; it was simply a legitimate effort on the part of players to improve their performance, a misguided effort because of the health dangers and the uncertainty of success, and a dangerous one given the legal status of many substances. Continued focus on who did or didn't only distracts from the real issue and puts players in the impossible situation of denying and being mocked, refusing to talk and being scorned or admitting, as if guilt were involved, and having to abase themselves before self-righteous prigs.

The experience of McGwire is instructive. He was exactly right when he told Congress he would not discuss the past, but he has since been demeaned as a coward. On the contrary, he was acting as any honest man should, refusing to contribute to the frenzied witch hunt for supposed cheaters, accepting the public scorn that followed and the attacks on his records. But the nasty little ferrets are not satisfied and so the gnawing and scratching continues for the lurid satisfaction of fans addicted to news about Paris Hilton, Brittany Spears and Anna Nicole Smith.

RS - I think we're in agreement. I don't mean to sound like I believe Clemens - I don't. But I just wanted to point out that I feel like the piece implied PED use, without much to back up that assertion.

Also - since this is a baseball Analysts site - I thought of an interesting analysis as I went to sleep last night. I cannot imagine that Clemens works out for 10 hours a day - it's physically impossible. Running generally burns about 100 calories per mile, I believe. So if he jogs 6mph (a reasonable pace for an older athlete), he'll burn 600 calories per hour. Calisthenics are probably similar to that rate. Maybe cut that in half for time on an exercise bike. And note that I'm using numbers I've seen in my experience - I weight 140lbs, and Clemens probably has 100 pounds on me and burns a lot more energy doing similar things.

In any case, 10 hours of working out probably burns a conservative 4,000 calories. Add in his base metabolism (energy to breath, keep his body at 98.6*, etc.), and you're looking at a minimum of 6,500 calories per day.

You cannot possibly intake 6,500 calories per day if all you're having for dinner is a steak and a bare potato. Clemens should look like a marathon runner if he did that kind of working out every day - and that's IF he cheats on McNamee and sneaks a chocolate cake every day. Instead, he weighs well over 200 pounds (230? 240 maybe?).

I remember Lance Armstrong saying in a commercial that he exercises for about 5 hours a day in training. Am I supposed to believe that Clemens does double that? Not sure why it matters, but just thought it was interesting to point out that Clemens couldn't possibly be exercising 10 hours a day, or anywhere near that, unless his eating habits are substantially different than we are led to believe.

Not to implicate anyone, but why is Nolan Ryan exempt from this whole steroids issue? His whole career screams "anomoly" and steroids were around by the '80s anyway.

Why does Nolan Ryan continually get a free pass in regards to steroids? His "I-can't-believe-how-good-he-still-is" years were from the late 80s to the early 90s, when he was 37-44. Jose Canseco was using steroids at that time, and he said others were openly using everywhere. Lyle Alzado was using in the 60s. Would it surprise anyone if Ryan was a user? Why is this not even touched upon? It's IMPOSSIBLE? It would probably even make more sense as to why Roger is kicking and screaming about this. His hero did the same thing but he is the one getting dragged through the mud -- and there is nothing he can say about it.

As far as steroids go, I go either way with Clemens. I never really like him: he was too good against my team (Mariner's). I always respected his ability. But really, it would not surprise me if he used. He has the hallmark of HGH use... he's developed a pronounced lantern jaw.

That being said, he wouldn't be the first, nor will he be the last player that tries to get an edge through means that the rulebook says "no" to. My only real issue with the article is calling Jamie Moyer a "junkballer." I don't deny it, I just resent it.

Great article. Very interesting read. Fascinating that someone with Clemens' personality would be so submissive. I'm more interested in how he got to that point to where he would cede that control over.

Well, I'm convinced now. Since Pat Jordan implies that Clemens used steroids, it must be true. Wait, who is Pat Jordan again?

The problem with steroids is that under many circumstances, they are legal.

Consider this case: a player gets injured. In order to rehabilitate, under physician's guidance, he is given some steroids. They make him better, they help him get well, and they are both legal and commonly used in baseball today.

That same player, seeing a performance drop, gets the same steroids from a Canadian pharmacy online. Still legal drugs, now obtained possibly illegally, and certainly in violation of baseball's drug policy.

And that same player, caught once using steroids, now turns to designer drugs for which tests have not been devised. HGH right now is in that category. Now we're talking illegal drugs, but we can only find abusers through testimony of providers, at least until testing improves.

It seems to me that when some of these drugs being legal may depend on shopping hard enough to find a friendly doctor, that the time has come to completely change the policies and the record books. PEDs come from advancements in medical science, and keeping them illegal is in my mind just as stupid as would be outlawing Tommy John surgery, arthroscopic knee surgery, laser eye surgery, all of which have made today's athletes able to compete better and longer than those 20 or 50 years ago. And plenty of old timers used uppers in the belief that they improved their game.

The consistent approach, IMO, is to make all these drugs legal, so long as they are prescribed by team physicians, monitored by team physicians, and subject to elimination. If a player starts showing symptoms of damage to his body, such as head swelling, or violent behavior like throwing a bat at another player, then cut back. If necessary, cut them out entirely, especially if the steroids are crossing the line between helpful (making the player able to compete more effectively) and damaging (destroying the liver and drastically shortening the player's lifespan).

Any players with levels of steroids beyond those know to be found with the prescrived dosage levels get suspended. When new tests come out, any players caught get suspended. If you can no longer compete without the juice, then you'll retire.

Yes, maybe Henry Aaron keeps his home run record. Maybe Roger Clemens doesn't reach 300 wins. Or maybe Joe Moderate Major Leaguer doesn't get a roster spot because he can't tolerate steroids, or doesn't have the work ethic to train ten hours a day in the offseason which steroids would enable him to do. But we eliminate what is to me the real risk to baseball. Roger Clemens doesn't scare me; okay, there was that bat incident. All right, Barry Bonds - no, wait, there were all those reported incidents of domestic violence. But maybe all that proves is that uncontrolled steroid use at the levels to keep players having some of the best seasons ever had while older than players should be during that season really is dangerous. Would a Bonds or a Clemens have accomplished as much on a lower, safer dosage? We'll never know.

But just as today's players, who live longer because they have antibiotics or statin drugs to keep their arteries clear while they are on high meat diets to promote muscle mass, should not be forced to give up the other advances in medicine, it makes no sense to me to allow steroid injections to reduce inflammation in a shoulder or elbow but not to promote better training.

I don't *like* the thought of a juiced home run king. But I don't want to give up all the other little things medicine gives our players, both as players and as people, in order to preserve integrity. Barry Bonds' records do not diminish Henry Aaron's or Babe Ruth's. But Ken Caminiti's death diminishes every fan of baseball. Better control and legal usage seems to me to be the appropriate middle ground. And if Alex Rodriguez can pass Barry Bonds without cream, more power to him. That won't make Bonds' accomplishments any less.

Two points.
1. The constant listing of names people suspect of steroid use is disgusting, or comical if that is your view of things. It is somewhat like 12 year old girls giggling over who they think "did it" and how far they went, using all sorts of tortured logic and little girl common sense to sort through the names and decide who had the symptoms that would identify them.

2. One of the more silly arguments to demonstrate who the users are is to ask the rhetorical question "how else can you explain such and such a performance, such as gaining so much power late in life." Among the many problems is that baseball is filled with unique players and accomplishments; in fact that is the point. Players like Bonds and Clemens are unique and their achievements mirror that.

For example, to mimic the questions, how many players lead the league with a .340 BA at age 20? How many 42 year old players go 23-7 with a 2.60 ERA (124 ERA+)? How many players win 511 games or have multiple no-hitters after age 40 or get 4000+ hits?

Or let's try another. How many players have their season high in home runs (47) at age 37? I know of one-Hank Aaron. Look at his home runs at ages 37-39: 47, 34, 40. Now here are the records of every other player with over 500 career home runs:
Ruth: 41, 34, 22
Mays: 23, 13, 28
Killebrew: 5,13, 4
Frank Robinson: 30, 22, 9
Reggie Jackson: 14, 25, 27
Ott: 1, 0, out of baseball
Ted Williams: 24, 38, 26
Banks: 32, 23, 12
Mantle: out of baseball
Foxx: 7, out of baseball
Schmidt: 35, 12, 6
McCovey: 23, 7, 28
Mathews: out of baseball
Murray: 27, 17, 21
Sosa: out of baseball, 21, ?
McGwire: 29, out of baseball
Bonds: 46, 45, 45

So Bonds and Aaron performed differently from every other power hitter in history. Does that mean Aaron is suspect? I know about all the caveats and explanations, but the point remains. Noting outlier events is very weak evidence of anything, especially with great players.

You're saying someone who goes from a personal best of 45, to a personal best of 47, is equally "suspect" as someone going from a personal best of 46, to a personal best of 73? Are you out of your friggin mind?

Someone did some math and found that Bonds hitting 73 HR at that age, given his career to that point, was 6 standard deviations beyond the mean expectation. I can't even find the probability of that, because textbooks don't have it. It's 0.

Outlier evidence is the basis of things like DNA testing, so you better believe it's strong evidence. I guess an outlier performance is not indicative of steroids in the absolute sense... it's either indicative of one of the most unlikely events in human history, or of a change in the true talent level of Bonds, or some kind of performance enhancement. And given that there's no evidence of a true change in talent in Bonds, and he's never provided an explanation for how he got so ridiculously better at baseball, I conclude it was steroids.

Great piece, Pat -- it certainly complicates some of the conventional wisdom about steroids and steroid-users.

Here's what I mean: I think we can all agree that the most repugnant thing about steroids is that they confer upon the user a shortcut, an EZ Pass, if you will, to athletic success. They subvert the very notion of hard work and fair play.

But when we look at the players mentioned by the Mitchell Report, two stand out as achieving more athletic greatness than any of the others: Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens. Where does their success come from? Is it because they used more steroids than anyone else? Or is it b/c they're among the most maniacally dedicated workout freaks in baseball history?

If it's the latter, doesn't that say that steroids are less of a big deal than we thought? And couldn't you argue that Clemens and Bonds benefitted more from old-fashioned virtues like hard work and perseverance than most people seem to think? After all, F.P. Santangelo and Ron Villone aren't breaking any records.

I realize, of course, that it's not as simple as I'm making it sound -- perhaps steroids take great athletes like Bonds and Clemens and make them greater, which still isn't fair. But I do think that Pat's piece exonerates Roger Clemens, to some extent, as a player, even if it doesn't do much to exonerate him as a human being.

This is not a discussion I want to continue, because as I have said, I do not care whether Bonds or anyone else took steroids or not, and I want no part of any outing of names as suspect.

But two points. First, I was not using those examples to prove Bonds did not use steroids, only to demonstrate that arguments such as claiming that older players cannot improve or maintain their youthful excellence are not legitimate. My examples indicate that, like Bonds, Aaron's late career performance was significantly better than any comparable power hitter.

Second, while you may be right about the statistical probabilities, there are numerous examples of players who have improved over their normal range in a given year at a rate close to Bonds's. Barry increased his best home run output by 27. Maris increased his by 22 and then never again got within 28 of that season high, a % increase similar to that of Bonds, while Yastrzemski increased his total by 24, a far greater % increase than Bonds's, maintained it in 2 of the next 3 years and then never got within 16 again, and that only once.

But again, Bonds may indeed have used steroids as part of his effort to increase his output. Everything players do to improve is artificial in some ways. The notion that they subvert fair play or are a shortcut cannot be sustained in the face of the clear evidence that these players worked harder at their training and craft than any players in history. The fantasy that they were like the Incredible Hulk or Spiderman, magically transformed into supermen, is plain silly.

There is no reason to impugn the character or achievements of these players whether they used steroids or not, and they certainly were no more cheating or using shortcuts than the pill poppers of earlier times. In fact, they were far more dedicated to hard work to achieve greatness, far less apt to abuse their bodies and then use the shortcut of amphetamines or Willie Mays's "red juice" to restore themselves to playing shape.

The only reason for the incessant outing of names is to satisfy the most prurient interests of the worst within us and among us. It is the love of scandal that motivates the interest in the investigations, the tell-all articles and the constant guessing at who else has "done the dirty deed". At least porno movies are honest about their intentions.

As far as hitters are concerned, I fail to see where exactly steriods are going to be a whole lot of help. The bottom line is you still have to hit the damn ball in the first place. And hit it exactly perfect. Ted Williams said that the hardest single thing to do in all of sports was to hit a round object that is coming at you 90+ mph with a round bat, and hit it squarely. And steriods do not help you even make contact in the first place, let alone make perfect contact. If you're off by just a fraction of an inch then you're hitting a groundball to secondbase or a popup to short. If you're off even less than that, you might hit the ball like a bullet shot out of a gun, but on a straight line right to the seconbaseman. (Willie McCovey, Bases Loaded, 2 Outs, 9th Inning, Game 7, 1962 World Series.) Still not the perfect contact needed for a homerun. Steroids are no help when it comes to actually hitting a pitch.

And don't give me non of this crap about how it's cheating, or it's not a level playing field, or it taints the games sacred records. When both the batters and pitchers are doing it, (most suspensions since testing began have been pitchers) how does it do any of the above? And why are any players who did use steriods, or have been accused of doing so, called cheaters, and nobody ever mentions guys like Gaylord Perry or Don Sutton, (who happen to be in the Hall of Fame) and way too many others to list, who are actually known of to do things to the baseball? How can steriod users be cheaters, and those guys not be?

And everyone says that Bonds holding the HR record taints Aaron's legacy. How? If that's the case, then Aaron holding it tainted Ruth's legacy. They just happen to have more career homeruns than Ruth. They were not better homerun hitters. No one is, or ever will be. Look at the numbers. Look at how many AB's it took Aaron and Bonds to get their totals compared to how many it took Ruth to get his. If Ruth had the same amount of AB's as Aaron, and homered at his career AB/HR ratio for those added AB's, he would have well over 1,000 HR's. Steriods or not, nobody will ever match Ruth's production.

Players may pass Babe Ruth, and now two have, but they will never be Babe Ruth.

Winning percentage!?! That is what this website has come to, WINNING PERCENTAGE!!! Remind me how much control a pitcher has over his winning percentage?

Also, Clemens throws in the mid 90s? I think I saw him reach back and hit 93mph a handful of times this season. But for the most part, he was working in the 89-91mph range. Essentially where he had been since the turn of the millennium. This, from a guy who was consistently in the high 90s.

I'm sorry, but aside from the personal anecdotes, this article was at best, pathetic. It has very little substance or factual evidence. A single case study comparing Clemens to a pitcher that was 15 years his senior and began pitching in an era where the work out regimines were negligible.

Please add some actual facts. How about comparing Roger to some of his contemporaries. Maddux or Glavine would make plenty of logical sense.

The two comments panning the mention of wins and winning percentage are misguided in that the author was simply using them as a *proxy* for pitching performance in a feature that was not designed to be a comprehensive statistical review of Clemens and Seaver.

Hi Rich (then Mike),
I understand the usage, but I guarantee the author was searching for a superior statistical explanation. If, as he mentioned he was simply using it as a 'proxy' it is an interesting-and seemingly meaningless-measure.

I am still curious as to how an article with such little merit, yet so much hidden agenda was allowed to be posted with out any factual evidence.

Have you ever worked an '8 hour day'? How many hours in an 8 hour day does one work? 7? Thats with a single lunch break and two coffee breaks. How about a 10 hour day which includes two meals-which were presumably very hearty and a slow ingestion.
Add to the fact that an hour of workout may be an hour of working out, but it isn't immediately followed by another hour of working out. That is, there is a transition period. Say 5 minutes to change location, 5-10 minutes to stretch, 5 minutes to rehydrate.
So we've chopped an hour due to meals alone, its very easy to chop another 2 by ways of 'transition'.

Thus, your numbers, while nice, need to be taken into context. Lets also remember that every person has a different physique. Comparing Clemens to Armstrong is like comparing apples to rocks.

Biology and physics apply to everyone. They don't take into account physique, mystique, or who is "unique".

I mean, you're kind of agreeing with me Brandon, right? My point was that Roger couldn't possibly work out 10 hours a day and eat what he supposedly ate. Forget being skinny, he'd be dead.

On a side note, look at an old picture of Lance, before the cancer. He was a bulkier, muscle-bound sprinter. Then he started busting his balls and his physique changed. Or look at an old picture of Clemens. Not skinny, but certainly thin. We're not born with a particular physique - it's a simple equation. Calories ingested = calories expended + weight change. Very simple.

Clemens doesn't have better hydrogen bonds than the rest of us. His electrons have just as much energy in them as the ones in my body, the ones in my desk, and the ones in both apples and rocks. Calories = energy = work. Think back to physics class - how many formulas did you learn that had a variable for awesomeness-at-baseball? Does F=ma not work for Clemens?

All I'm saying is that it just doesn't reconcile. Even with a hearty breakfast and lunch equal to his dinner, he's looking at maybe 4,500 calories. ingested. 4-5 hours of intense working out, tops. Probably less for someone of his size. I don't know what it proves - maybe Clemens just had a long workout day when Jordan was interviewing him, and pretends he does that all the time. Maybe he sneaks chocolate cake when McNamee isn't looking. Like, a cake a day.

Bob - Maris hit his HR peak at 26. Yaz at 27. This is normal. Granted, Maris' production was certainly an outlier. I'd guess 3 SD. Maybe 4. Orders and orders of magnitude different than Bonds. I'm done arguing with you. I just don't think you're finding very valid comparisons, and it's tedious to keep checking baseball-reference to point out that you're comparing Bonds to people who peaked at 26 and 27, or comparing Bonds to someone who bested their career HR mark by TWO in their mid-late thirties.

Anyway, why so many people asume Clemens is the best pitcher of this generation? I think the Clemens-without steroids-without HGH would be clearly inferior to Maddux.

Yes, Clemens has performed exceptionally well for his age...but it isn't physics shattering. As I pointed out earlier, it is incorrect to believe that Clemens' velocity hasn't declined with age; but he adjusted as many older pitchers do, by improving command, using guile, and adding a new pitch.

There are many pitchers over the years who have performed well in their 40's. Satchel Paige at ages 45 and 46 posted an ERA+ of 127 and 119, and he posted an ERA+ of 164 at age 41 (not to mention the possibility that he was actually older than the stated age). Tommy John put up an ERA+ of 140 at age 43. At age 40, Randy Johnson posted an ERA+ of 177 and finished 2d in Cy Young voting. (At ages 42 and 43, Randy Johnson is the most comparable pitcher to Clemens , according to B-Ref.) As a reliever, Woody Fryman had an ERA+ of 159 and 185 at ages 40 and 41. I could go on.

Clemens pitched one of the best years of his career in 2005...with steroids testing in place. HGH may be untested, but the evidence indicates that it is a placebo, if it has any effect on performance.

This whole thread ignores what everyone else seems to ignore--the most likely "benefit" of steroids/HGH is not super-performance it's the improvement in recovery from strenuous effort. These compounds make it easier to tolerate a rigorous workout regimen or the simple wear and tear of being a professional athlete and suffer fewer repercussions for doing so. Now I certainly can't speak to whether it's possible for someone to work out 10 hours a day, but I would guess that steroids make the prospect of recovering from that kind of workout easier. Arms and legs are less tired (and stronger--they work in tandem) and performance becomes more consistent.

I'm not going to accuse Clemens of taking steroids, but only point out that the 6 standard deviation question implies a bell curve distribution. If it's skewed it may not be all that off.

"eat what he supposedly ate"

You are referring to a window that elapses some 24 hours, you do know that, right? Simply because the author stats that in two instances Clemens was cautious with his eating, does not mean it applies to the day before or the day after. In fact, it is interesting that the author notes that Clemens had a 'dry potato', however fails to tell us the size of the steak he ate. Furthermore, he also fails to tell us how much he ate at the Mexican restaurant the following day.

That, and many other flaws in this article, is why I found it to be not only unconvincing, but poorly written.

Another note, while steroids/hGH make it easier to recover, they also speed up the deterioration process. Look at Cammenetti or Canseco. McGuire or Sosa. All of these players peaked and then fell harder then projected-its interesting people don't drop the standard deviation fact on these players, who I assume would go in the opposite direction but be equally as dramatic.

However, neither Bonds nor Clemens saw that insane drop off. In neither their abilities, nor their bodies. Bonds is just now beginning to show his age. Are you telling me that it took a decade of steroid use added with three decade of baseball to FINALLY break down his body?!?

In terms of working out 10 hours a day, I think that is, as I mentioned, a term that is similar to a '40 hour work week'. Very few people who have 9 to 5 jobs are actually working '8 hours', as mentioned, between breaks and lunches. I gather Clemens was putting in about 6 hours of working out during his 10 hour day. Which is still very impressive, however far from impossible.

Again, we all need to look at this for what it is, a person with a bias reporting against someone he doesn't like. This would be like me reporting to someone in South Africa about the Cleveland Indians, at the end of the day, they probably would assume the Indians are the best major league team in baseball history and will be for the foreseeable future. Take everything in context, unless the author gives you reason to believe that everything he is saying is accurate-which I doubt given the vast amount of errors and omissions in the article.

Mike, I respect your statistical analysis and your lack of interest in continuing the debate. I assure you this is not an effort to get in the last word. I simply want to clarify.

I have no intention to try to demonstrate that Bonds did or did not use steroids or HGH. I think the entire exercise is a waste of time and the 1000s of words written about it a colossal waste of space. Proving it or not has as much interest to me as an expose that Bonds wears boxer shorts with valentines on them.

My point has been primarily exactly that the entire exercise is stupid, useless and essentially unethical, and I probably should not have used my examples to demonstrate the fallacy of trying to prove anything about steroids as it distracted from my fundamental point.

Nonetheless, my Aaron case, for example, was only intended to demonstrate that great players (and sometimes not so great ones) sometimes do extraordinary things. If Aaron had accumulated his home run totals from ages 37-39 in the 1990s, I have no doubt that he would now be suspected of steroid use. And pointing out how dramatically better his home run numbers were at those ages than any other 500 club hitter in history would make that point all the more convincing to those so inclined.

We know that some players used steroids over a period of time. Until the union was pressured into negotiating testing and allowing penalties, there was nothing wrong with doing it. (I am not ignoring the legality issues but have dealt with it at length before and like you do not want to revisit it.) After that there have been procedures in place to catch and punish users, and so that should be the end of the discussion except insofar as people think there can be improvement in the rule.

You are referring to a window that elapses some 24 hours, you do know that, right? Simply because the author stats that in two instances Clemens was cautious with his eating, does not mean it applies to the day before or the day after. In fact, it is interesting that the author notes that Clemens had a 'dry potato', however fails to tell us the size of the steak he ate. Furthermore, he also fails to tell us how much he ate at the Mexican restaurant the following day.

That, and many other flaws in this article, is why I found it to be not only unconvincing, but poorly written.

It just doesn't get any more nitpicky than this. The size of his steak?

As far as the article being "unconvincing", I suggest you read it a bit differently. Pat Jordan had access to Roger Clemens and Tom Seaver in ways that most have not. He recounted some of those experiences. What you want to conclude from them is up to you. I don't think Jordan sets out to convince anyone of anything.

And "poorly written"? You are entitled to your opinion but you might consider Jordan's accomplishments and widespread acclaim before you throw critiques like that around as though you come equipped with credibility on the matter.

First, the guy gives an account of the Potato but not his steak. Call me a cynic, but why describe one item and not the other? He was obviously trying to make a point of calorie intake, so why did he stop at the potato? Are we to assume Roger was eating a very very large steak and that is why he was not to add anything to the potato, or are we to assume that the potato represented the bigger picture of how restricted his diet was? With that in mind, adding one detail and leaving out another is fishy in my opinion.

Second, with that in mind, why did he, of all statistics, choose winning percentage? This goes hand in hand with choosing to evaluate Rogers diet based on one item and not another. Why did he not look at K rate, GB%, or other? I mean, he already fudged the velocity factor, is leaving out those other obviously decreased statistics an admission that the numbers lie? Again, you can discuss his prior pedigree, but he didn't do much for himself in this article to prove a point.

Third, the reason why I claim it was poorly written, was because of the errors and obviously biased accounts.

Forth, his credibility and accomplishments are meaningless if he is going to produce an article that tries to prove a point with only beating around the bushes. To be fair, I understand how little credibility I own, I accept that in my personal blog as well as in my academic career. However, because of that, I ensure that in all of my work I maintain focus and direction. Jordan, despite obviously being a colleague and presumed acquaintance of yours, failed at that. With or without my own personal credibility, I am capable of pointing out obvious flaws in rational-presumably one who is known to have no credibility to could do the same (ie Jose Canseco and the Juiced book).

Lastly, you can debate the message in this article, in that it is not direct nor indirect. However, when an author leaves out facts, they begin to direct the reader into believing a certain way.
Take this for example. Today is January 8th. I live in Niagara Falls. Today was a beautiful day.
A person unfamiliar with the typical climate in Niagara Falls in early January may look up average temperatures and accounts of what is typical of a day in NF, and without telling them exact facts, I am most likely misleading them to thinking that it was a sunny day, with a crisp bite in the air. Quite the opposite, fact is, it was overcast today, however what made it a beautiful day was the mid 60s temperature it reached today and that rather then being forced to bundle up, I was able to wear a t shirt and walk around town.

So credibility and widespread acclaim aside, there is obvious reasons why the author choose a statistic that proves nothing to a person with an average baseball IQ and a fact that would leave anyone questioning, "so what?"

Like the steak comment, the win percentage comment is also a nitpick.

Jordan tosses out but one data point that Clemens was a better pitcher in the second half of his career than Tom Seaver was for his.

You can use ERA+, WARP, PRAA, K-Rate...whatever you want. Clemens maintained excellence more or less throughout his career, while Seaver played out his later years largely as an innings eating, above average starter.

That W-L is a sub-optimal barometer of pitching quality hardly diminishes the larger point.

Clemens has explained that, yes, McNamee injected him in the ass with lidocaine to relive arthritis. The only effect would be to numb his butt cheek. Same stuff the dentist uses when working on your mouth.

He's lying. Badly.

He'll never bleed blue, but his lasting legacy will be as a dodger.

He's freaking out. Maybe he should've been this outspoken when you were all lining up to stone Barry. Its not the crime but the coverup.

What IS going on with Anna Nicole these days...?

No, what got me riled up is the thought that fans don't care whether players are on something or not. They should; otherwise, they may as well follow Tijuana Jai Lai contests because that is about how much true competitive validity pro sports will have if we simply let anyone be on any chemical.

Also, yes, Bonds shoe size increase is documented (see Game of Shadows), and yes, drugs help players. I play with ex-pro guys who tell stories of players on drugs, buff, ripped, and stroking the ball; off drugs, they fall off the table. Example after example.

Drugs are used because they work. Recreational drugs are used, as Lawrence Taylor said long ago, because they feel good.

Also, how can anyone laud Mark McGwire for his silence and his pathetic appearance in front of Congress including his pitiful "steroids is bad" bungle?

Yes, it very much does matter who uses and who doesn't and it is up to each sport to keep the playing field as level as possible so that frauds don't alter the individual performances that affect pennant races.

Did Glavine and Maddux not maintain excellence? What about Randy Johnson? John Smoltz? Griffey Jr, while his numbers have fallen off, he is still posting numbers that far exceed his age expectations. How about Omar Vizquel, never great with the bat, but hasn't lost much and is still stealth with his glove.

Again, had the author used a meaningful stat, he would have had something. But he didn't. That is not to nitpick, that is to say he obviously did so intentionally.

Also, was the author not nitpicking at the plain potato? He was trying to prove a point, however the point would have been much more logical had he stated, "an 8oz steak with a plain potato". Don't you think?

Side note
Greg Maddux saw his winning percentage drop after his 30th birthday.

30 or Younger - 61.3
31 or Older - 62.3

This is my statistical backing, now if only I could find that Maddux eats too little, I could draw up my conclusion. All I would then need is some credibility!

Brandon, I know you are sure that you are making solid points. I can tell by your tone.

But please, take this up elsewhere. Blog about it or something. You're not even remotely coherent at this point.

This piece was one of the most widely read ever here at Baseball Analysts, mainly because influential people took a look at it, thought it was tremendous and linked to it. That in and of itself does not discredit your point (to the extent you have one) but you'd best come with better logic than you have thus far if you think you're going to wield even a minimal amount of persuasiveness.

Haha, okay.

This reminds me of the mid 90s when people were calling McGuire one of the greatest hitters alive. Funny to note, one of the greatest hitters alive is 0 for 2 in trying to get to the hall.

Again, logic is not agreeing with what a friend or something with credibility says. Logic is looking at facts and making a point. Looking at partial facts is not included.

Sorry for being a bother, you have lost a reader.