Monday’s show featured a lot of discussion and e-mail exchange about Chris Davis and his 31 home run season…and whether or not it’s *ahem* being done purely on physical skill.
My answer yesterday was the same answer I gave a month ago, two weeks ago, etc. It’s also the same answer I’ll continue to give whenever someone asks me if I think Chris Davis is using PED’s or doing it all “naturally”.
I don’t know.
I do know this. He’s been asked about it – via Twitter – and flatly replied with “No” when the question of “Are you on steroids?” came up from a follower of his.
So, Davis says he isn’t.
Then again, I wouldn’t expect him to say, “Yeah, you know what, I’m glad you asked…because yes, I am.”
But Chris Davis doesn’t really need to justify to anyone how or why this magic season is happening to him in 2013. He only needs to justify it with Major League Baseball a couple of times a year when he takes his drug test. But, other than league formalities, Davis doesn’t have to justify to anyone how he’s hit 31 home runs so far.
Just like I don’t have to justify why I reply “I don’t know” when someone asks me if Chris Davis is “on something”.
For the last 15 years, at least, baseball players have used performance enhancing drugs.
Testing for PED’s began in 2003. Since then, roughly 40 major leaguers have been suspended, along with nearly a hundred minor leaguers.
And, remember, Barry Bonds and Alex Rodriguez are NOT on the list of the suspended players because they didn’t fail a drug test.
So, for a decade now, the players have been failing drug tests.
I don’t believe any of them anymore.
No offense. I’m not mad. I just don’t believe any of them. As has been the case for the better part of 20 years now, baseball players (and athletes of all kinds) will always be ahead of the game when it comes to PED’s. There are most certainly players in the league right now who are using, peeing in a cup, and coming up “clean”. And when asked if they’re using PED’s, they’re saying, “Did I fail a test? No, I didn’t. What’s that tell you?”
I know ESPN went out of their way on Sunday night to show Chris Davis’ swing after that 2nd inning home run and John Kruk broke it down and analyzed it for a couple of minutes. Davis, I agree, is “in a zone” right now and his swing is very effective. That’s exactly what Barry Bonds was going through from 2000-2004 when he had the best five years of any hitter in the world. His swing was “great”. He was “in the zone”, too.
In other words, just because you work out a lot and have your swing perfected for some period of time…it doesn’t mean you AREN’T on PED’s.
Again, I’m not saying Chris Davis is using anything.
Far from it, in fact.
I am saying, though, that just because a baseball player says “I’m not using anything” doesn’t automatically indicate he’s telling the truth.
That’s what baseball has done to me over the last 15 years. And I’m not even angry about it. I still go to games. Still watch the games. Still take my little boy to Camden Yards. Still love the Orioles.
But when someone asks me if (any player) is using PED’s, I have the same, stock answer: I. Don’t. Know.
In closing, ESPN showed a great graphic on Sunday night when chronicling the 2013 season of Chris Davis. The graphic included the top five MLB players EVER with the most home runs prior to July 1:
Barry Bonds (37), Carlos Gonzalez (32), Chris Davis (31), Albert Pujols (28), Alex Rodriguez (27).
That’s an interesting list.
By the way, Jose Canseco turns 49 today.