Wednesday, March 16, 2005


STEROIDS: MARK MCGWIRE, RAFAEL PALMEIRO, SAMMY SOSA AND OTHERS ARE UNDER SUSPICION... WHY?



Certain baseball players are under suspicion of taking steroids during the careers. Ostensibly, the players who have been accused, suspected or whispered about taking performance enhancing drugs are the ones who have hit a lot of homeruns in the 1990s and 2000s. Let's take a look at the statistics of a players and try to figure out why some players raised suspicious eyebrows.

We'll examine in important statistic; At Bats per Home Run according to how old a player was during a particular season (140 games played, minimum)

RAFAEL PALMEIRO
Yr - Age - HRs - ABs/HR
1988 - 23 - 08 - 72.5
1990 - 25 - 14 - 42.7
1993 - 28 - 37 - 16.1
1995 - 30 - 39 - 14.2
1999 - 34 - 47 - 12.0
2003 - 38 - 38 - 14.8
2004 - 39 - 23 - 23.9

SAMMY SOSA
Yr - Age - HRs - ABs/HR
1990 - 21 - 15 - 35.5
1993 - 24 - 33 - 18.1
1996 - 27 - 40 - 12.5
1998 - 29 - 66 - 09.7
2003 - 34 - 40 - 12.9
2004 - 35 - 35 - 13.7

JASON GIAMBI
Yr - Age - HRs - ABs/HR
1996 - 25 - 20 - 26.8
2000 - 29 - 43 - 11.9
2003 - 32 - 41 - 13.0

MARK MCGWIRE
Yr - Age - HRs - ABs/HR
1987 - 23 - 49 - 11.4
1991 - 27 - 22 - 22.0
1992 - 28 - 42 - 11.1
1997 - 33 - 58 - 09.3
1998 - 34 - 70 - 07.3

JOSE CANSECO
Yr - Age - HRs - ABs/HR
1986 - 22 - 33 - 18.2
1991 - 27 - 44 - 13.0
1998 - 34 - 46 - 12.7

The above players best years for hitting home runs came between 1998-2000. Many of them were much better home run hitters in their 30s than they were in their 20s. The players home run frequency declined after 2000 and for some players, dropped noticeably in 2004 which was the first year of drug testing for Major League Baseball.

When Willie Mays hit the age of 36, he was never the same in terms of home run production. Hank Aaron hit the wall when he was 39 (making sense since he is the all-time leader). Frank Robinson's last great year came when he was 34 years old.
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