Mariners clearly less likely to be using steroids compared to Ryan Franklin

DMZ · August 3, 2005 at 1:29 am · Filed Under Mariners 

A brief response to pre-game comments by Dave Niehaus and Ron Fairly, who said that Ryan Franklin was the person on the team you’d least expect to test positive under MLB’s drug policy.

Jamie Moyer.

You can see where Moyer might benefit from some of the anti-inflammatory/recovery effects, but no, he’s clearly far less likely than anyone else on the pitching staff.

Everyone else I’d pretty much toss into a bucket and shrug. Pretending that we can guess at a player’s use of (or abstinence from) steroids based on how gritty they are, or what a nice guy they seem like, is as worthless as trying to base it by any other subjective measure.

Here’s the thing about this year’s testing — everyone seemed to have thought that it was the superstars who were using drugs, particularly the home run hitters. That may be true in some cases, but I would bet that if everyone turned over their cards at once and we could have a full and complete accounting, we would see that the vast majority of players who used performance enhancers fell into two categories:

  • Players who suffered a serious injury and were trying to come back before their time was up
  • Players on the margins of a major league job, where the difference between playing in Tacoma and even a short, modest major league career would be at least a million dollars

That doesn’t mean that there weren’t stars who did. But for every Jason Giambi, where use might be the difference between an MVP or a really good year, there are a dozen versions of his brother, guys scrapping for a job as a platoon left-fielder or first-baseman, and players who broke their shoulder or their leg and don’t have a roster spot waiting for them — for those guys, it could be the difference between a career and a decent pension and going home to see if the tire shop’s hiring.


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