Reaping what You’ve Sown

Is anyone following this Ibanez thing?  A blog post half-heartedly concluded that the 37 year old slugger’s renaissance is at least a little suspicious given the era of PEDs.  The ensuing controversy is utterly insane, especially considering the mild tone of the (non)accusation in the original post.  After pages of good statistical research, the writer concludes:

Thirdly, it’s time for me to begrudgingly acknowledge the elephant
in the room: any aging hitter who puts up numbers this much better than
his career averages is going to immediately generate suspicion that the
numbers are not natural, that perhaps he is under the influence of some
sort of performance enhancer. And since I was not able to draw any
absolute parallels between his prodigiously improved HR rate and his new
ballpark’s hitter-friendliness, it would be foolish to dismiss the
possibility that “other” performance enhancers could be part of the
equation.

Sorry Raul Ibanez and Major League Baseball, that’s just the era that we are in — testing or no testing.

Whoa, there big boy.  Slow down.  What is this steroid “era” you are referring to?  Don’t go overboard with your condemnation or anything. I’m shocked at the mud you slung. </sarcasm>

Clearly, this was a reasoned piece by a guy who started out trying to defend Ibanez.  He didn’t say Ibanez used ‘roids.  He said there is no other essentially obvious statistical reason for his sudden power surge, and hey, it wouldn’t be the first time.  I don’t see how that is even a vaguely debatable conclusion.  We live in a day when the PTI
guys ROUTINELY say things like, “I just don’t know about anyone
anymore” when it comes to baseball and steroids, but when a blogger has
the temerity to look at some stats, and in the most MILD way possible,
says, “Gee, I don’t know, it does look fishy”, there is a massive controversy?  Bizarre.  There was nothing cheap about that.

From those mild beginnings a firestorm erupted, made worse as the result of another mainstream media clown, who is apparently illiterate,
going after the blog for no real reason.    The alleged pro said:


Then JRod dismissed all the evidence of opportunism, pivoted like a
second baseman turning a double play, and fired his conclusion into the
mitts of conspiracy theorists and amateur drug testers everywhere

Wait, what?  JRod listed as a third possible cause for Ibanez’s performance the fact that lacking any other clear explanation a reasonable person must at least be suspicious, and the Philadelphia Inquirer comes down in all its wrath saying he “dismissed all the evidence”.  I’m sorry; I actually read what he wrote, and I didn’t see that at all.  Apparently, reading comprehension isn’t a requisite skill to work at a big daily paper.  How is doing research and concluding that the stats don’t clearly back up the hypothesis (which was: Ibanez is not on drugs) akin to a “cheap shot”?  There was a cheap shot, for sure.  It was not delivered by “JRod”.

Let me be clear. I’m not defending JRod out of some ‘blogger loyalty’ code.  I’ve scrapped with CHFF, BBS, and any one else on line or off that I disagree with.  I swear if half this country wasn’t so bad at math, we wouldn’t have these kinds of debates.  Some people just let their eyes glaze over when it comes to numbers and look for easy answers like “you’re a hater”, “you’re a blogger”, “numbers don’t tell the whole story” , or simply “Tom Brady won three Super Bowls, end of story!” (sorry, I couldn’t resist).   

Finally, I have some advice for Ibanez…save your moral outrage for your own
effing union.  You and your brethren conspired to hide the truth about
‘roids from the fans for more than a decade, and you have now reaped
the whirlwind as a result.  It was the players who stone-walled testing.  It was the players who injected the drugs. Now, a purportedly clean player like yourself has left the fans with no option but to question you.  You and your MLBPA cronies wanted the money that came with the drugs, and now you live in an environment where no one is free from suspicion.  Deal with it. 

I have no idea if he is clean or dirty.  Neither did the original author of the piece.  He merely looked at the numbers and shrugged.  What I do know is that I’ve never heard Raul Ibanez out in front of the steroids issue, naming names of dirty players and calling for stiffer testing rules.  I’ve never heard him verbally slam Donald Fehr or anyone else over the PED’s.  He doesn’t have the right to be angry that he’s questioned.  It’s his own fault. Not because he used drugs, but because he participated in a system where many stars did and most of the rest did nothing to fight it.  The old tactic of deny, deny, deny, and smear the messenger is time honored and successful.  It’s the same one Bonds and Clemens have employed. 

I’m sorry Raul.  I hope you didn’t use drugs, but either way, you are not innocent.  You and the MLPBA brought this on yourselves.  I hope you like the house you built.  Go live in it, and stop throwing stones.

Links:
18 tops a top 100 list.  It’s a BS list, but for the record, there are 4 Colts in the top 50.  Wayne is low at 41 (just ahead of Wes Welker) .  Freeney and the Zombie also come in between 20 and 40.

Did Ken Rosenthal even read the original post?  Sad.

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