Steroid Sluggers - The Major League Baseball Best Home Run Hitting Offenders
The Steroid Era In Major League Baseball
I'm not sure anyone can say with absolute certainty who the first major league baseball player was to use steroids, and so it can't be determined where and when it all started. I will say, however, that the steroid era in major league baseball got underway and on its feet in the year 1986, the year Jose Canseco won the American League Rookie Of The Year award. There can be little doubt Canseco's success influenced young Mark McGwire , as the very next year Canseco's new teammate won the Rookie Of The Year award himself.
Concerning the glorious 1986 major league baseball season, there was another guy who played his first full season that year, and the man was spectacular for many seasons before he likely ever used steroids, and were it not for the money and limelight heaped upon persons such as Canseco, Sosa, and McGwire, he'd maybe have never used them at all - and Barry Bonds never, EVER needed steroids to be a terrific player. Neither did quite a lot of the others who used and abused not just performance enhancing drugs, but the imaginations and outlooks of their young and impressionable admirers.
The thing about Jose Canseco and the 1986 season was this: He was featured with his brother Ozzy in a Sports Illustrated article, and the article went on and on not about how they were either great baseball players, but how far they could sometimes hit a baseball. Hitting a home run was no longer enough - the bar was raised, and now, everyone wanted to hit more, and further.
Again, when exactly the steroid era in major league baseball started is unclear, but will it ever truly end? No, sadly, the use of performance enhancing drugs is likely here to stay. There's just too much money to be made for a slugger in baseball for cheating with chemicals to die out. The real problem is the motivation to cheat, and the lack of a true stigma or punishment for it. It's a classic cat and mouse game in regards to drug testing; soon as one substance is banned and a test developed for it, a chemist or someone somewhere will find another substance not yet technically banned, or tested for, and so it goes.
These players listed here are the BALCO scandal big shots....big shots that hit long shots, and are now an even longer shot to ever make the MLB Hall Of Fame for having cheated.
The Godfather Of Steroids In Baseball - Jose Canseco
Juiced: Wild Times, Rampant 'Roids, Smash Hits, and How Baseball Got Big - By Jose Canseco
Jose Canseco - The Godfather Of Steroids In Major League Baseball
Whether or not you even like baseball is irrelevant, if you live in the USA or Canada, you know who Jose Canseco is. In a CSNBC news interview after retirement from the MLB, Canseco readily admitted to his entire career being a living steroids experiment. As for myself, I can certainly admire his candid honesty, after all, it's all said and done now.
Jose Canseco makes it plain and simple - he wanted to be the very best he could be, and he wanted to be the best in baseball. He knew other people were using steroids, and so in order to be the best, he felt he also had to use steroids. Just never mind the fact he virtually promoted their use, he was making big money, and the fans ate it up. He was a star, and he delivered what the people watching baseball wanted from him.
It can never be said that Jose Canseco invented the tape measure home run, that had been something of a myth to try for long before Canseco came around, what Jose Canseco did was make the tape measure home run something everyone was aiming for, and not just that - insane numbers of home runs became just the thing too. What is absolutely silly about it all is that a home run ....is only a home run, and it matters not if it traveled 375 feet, or 575 feet, it counts the same.
Another major Canseco accomplishment was the way he lured fans to the ballparks an hour or so before games were to start. You see, the spectacular home runs in batting practice were what folks wanted to see, and they saw them too. I certainly did. I recall a game I'd went with my family to see at the no longer there Arlington Stadium, and the Oakland Athletics had come to play my Texas Rangers. We got there early, and we saw the displays of power offered by Canseco and Mark McGuire.. I witnessed such things with my own two eyes, and with my ears, and whatever else I have, even. I plainly recall my dad, who was much younger and much larger than I am now; leaping for a Canseco batting practice home run...it hit his hand first, he almost had it for us, but the ball was hit too hard, and popped right out of his hand, and into someone else's.
So what did Jose Canseco accomplish, really? Well, quite a lot, he accomplished superstar to rock star status while playing major league baseball, he won a rookie of the year, a Most Valuable Player, and well, he used to date that hooker we call "Madonna." No, I'm not really trying to be so bitter or make fun here, what I'm doing, hopefully, is demonstrating how illegal drugs contributed to all those things, all those dollars, all those tickets and hot dogs sold, and all those posters hanging on the walls of teenage boys and girls bedrooms.
Oh yeah, sure, Jose Canseco was the first big leaguer to ever get 40 home runs, and 40 stolen bases in a single season, but it was all due to cheating, and the fact "everyone else" was cheating too, well, that doesn't make what Jose did any less what it was; and that was cheating. He's a farce, a has been, a cheat, a big negative, a bully, a sometimes violent criminal, he's NOT Hall Of Fame material.
In the end, Jose Canseco will forever be remembered as the man who fueled the disgrace of the MLB steroid cheating era, the guy who once let a ball bounce off his head for a home run and the guy who hit the longest home run ever seen in Toronto's Skydome.
Juiced On Steroids, Jose Canseco Hits One Into The FOURTH Deck At Toronto's Skydome
Mark McGwire -BIG MAC, The Record Home Run Ratio For A Career...Juiced On Steroids
If Jose Canseco was the teacher, then the student, Mark McGwire, truly learned all he had to teach, and then went on to reach far higher peaks of learning in the realm of steroid wisdom. Mark McGwire didn't just exceed Canseco a little, he exceeded Canseco's achievements by a mile, and he achieved them all juiced on steroids. Once, there were known as the bash brothers.-a modern day Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle, but on steroids instead of simply hard work and a natural skill.
When Mark McGwire played his rookie season with the Oakland Athletics in 1987, he was tall and skinny. Ten years later he'd look like he weighed another seventy five pounds, all of it solid as rock. If you watch baseball on television, then you're likely in the know concerning one of the biggest jokes in the game - the joke about the weight of the players as listed on the backs of baseball cards and in the programs or magazines you buy at the stadiums. Big Mac, aka, Mark McGwire's official size is listed at six foot five, and two hundred and fifteen pounds. Feel free to laugh. I'm relatively sure they weigh a guy in his fist season, and never bother with printing another weight again, regardless of how much bigger he gets.
In his career, Mark McGwire would hit a total of 583 home runs, and he'd achieve that total in fewer at bats than anyone ever had. He'd retire after the 2001 season due to problems with his vision, and I shouldn't have to tell you this was VERY likely due to the use of anabolic steroids, something he'd finally have to admit to using several years after he retired.
Mark McGwire Admits, Apologizes For Steroid Use
Game of Shadows: Barry Bonds, BALCO, and the Steroids Scandal that Rocked Professional Sports
Barry Bonds - Home Run King, Steroid User.
If there was ever a player in major league baseball history who didn't need to cheat to win an MVP award a few times, and make it into the hall of fame, then that player was Barry Bonds. Barry Lamar Bonds (born July 24, 1964 was easily one of the most talented men to ever play the game of baseball, and most likely, many of his early seasons of greatness were untainted by illegal drug use, however, he's forever going to be remembered instead as a cheater, a steroid user, and...well, the all time home run king.
Fourteen times Barry Bonds made the All-Star team. Seven times, another MLB record, Barry Bonds won the Most Valuable Player award; but all of that, the all time season home run record, and the all time total home runs record might not be enough to get Barry Bonds into the Major League Baseball Hall Of Fame. Roger Clemens, another steroid user, has a record number of Cy Young awards, but he and Barry Bonds were both left nowhere near getting voted into the Cooperstown, New York shrine in 2013.
Barry Bonds feels his exclusion thus far from the Hall of Fame is some sort of outrage. Maybe Mr. Bonds feels his 8 gold glove awards entitle him to the honor? One would think fielding wasn't influenced so much by steroids, right? Well, that would be false, as anabolic steroid use aids in a player healing quickly from injuries.
Probably no one but Barry Bonds knows the truth, but it is widely speculated Bonds started using steroids and other performance enhancing drugs in 1998. Why would Bonds start using then? Well, if you don't recall, the 1998 season was the year when McGwire and Sammy Sosa spent all Summer racing each other to see who would set the new season home run record,and both would eclipse the Roger Maris record by several. Plainly,Barry Bonds wanted in on the glam and the glory, and he DID get in, and later, would go on to shatter the steroid fueled McGwire record with one of his own. If you look at Barry Bonds' statistics from 1998 back, he's still a hall of fame player - but no matter how many times he's said he didn't cheat, we all know perfectly well he did.
Sammy Sosa - Steroids and Corked Bats
If there is anything more offensive from the steroid era than Barry Bonds refusal to ever admit to using steroids in the face of the mountains of evidence he did, then it is Sammy Sosa using not just steroids, but corked bats as well. The incident in which Sosa was busted on live television with a cork bat might be forgotten someday, but not by me. Sosa was taking cheating to newer and higher levels. Oh probably Slammin' Sammy Sosa wasn't the only big league player using steroids, human growth hormone, corked bats, and any other cheat they could get away with - but what was most insulting was Sosa's saying it was all just an honest mistake, and that he'd accidentally grabbed that bat, a bat he claimed he only used in batting practice.
"To be clear, I have never taken illegal performance-enhancing drugs. I have never injected myself or had anyone inject me with anything. I have not broken the laws of the United States or the laws of the Dominican Republic. I have been tested as recently as 2004, and I am clean." Sammy Sosa, in 2005 before the US congress.
It's deeply insulting how Sammy Sosa thinks we are idiots. Look again at the quote above, and consider how dumb Sosa must think we all are, he'd tested positive for performance enhancing drugs in 2003. Sammy Sosa finished his career right where he'd started it, with the Texas Rangers. He finished with 609 career home runs, and three seasons he hit more than the Roger Maris steroid free total of 61 in a season.
Rafael Palmeiro "I Have Never Used Steroids Period"
Lying For The Camera - Rafael Palmeiro
When Rafael Palmeiro first made the major leagues with the Chicago Cubs, he was never a person one would have thought would someday have over five hundred home runs and steroid suspicions hanging over his head; but that is what he became. I recall being very joyful when hearing the Texas Rangers had acquired Palmeiro, what a terrific hitter for my team to have!
The first couple of seasons I got to watch Palmeiro play, he was just what we needed, a left handed hitting first baseman who never missed a ground ball, and could always be counted on to hit line drives over the second baseman and shortstop's heads for singles or doubles. Palmeiro proved to be a great player for Texas, and then for Baltimore, and then again for Texas, and then again for Baltimore; but as his first stint with Texas was into it's later years, it became clear Palmerio was emerging as more than just a player with a sweet swing who could hit for a high average, no, Palmeiro could also hit the long ball, and with increasing regularity.
He just didn't look like a steroid user. His body never became a hulking mass of muscle, it just got a bit larger. He never had acne, he never had vision trouble, he never had roid rages. But after Canseco retired, he bragged he'd personally injected Palmeiro with steroids, and of course later Palmeiro tested positive for an anabolic steroid called "Stanozolol."
Rafael Palmeiro would retire after the 2005 season, and he'd do so after recording over three thousand hits, and five hundred and sixty nine home runs. He'd then take a job promoting another performance enhancing drug, but this one for a different kind of playing field, he'd become a Viagra salesman.
Alex Rodriguez - The Quarter Billion Dollar Steroid Man
ARod, or Alex Rodriguez
Alexander Emmanuel "Alex" Rodriguez (born July 27, 1975), often referred to as "ARod" is a man much like Barry Bonds in that he never ever needed a chemical cheat to become a MLB Hall of Fame caliber player, but yet he cheated just the same. It would possibly be sad for me to consider the career of ARod as possibly over at 38 years of age, but then I consider just how much money he's made, and I can hardly then think much sad about the life of Alex Rodriguez.
Money, money is what ARod will be remembered for, even more than he's going to be remembered for his spectacular statistics, or for his steroid use, admitted on national television....and just why did Alex Rodriguez even admit to steroid use? Well, he blamed it on the pressure he had for making so much dang money.
If you don't know, then Alex Rodriguez signed with the Texas Rangers for $252 million dollars for ten years in the year 2000. The next three years Alex Rodriguez put up statistically astounding offensive numbers, and played well on defense too. He'd win two American League MVP awards in a row, and in his third and final season with the Rangers, he put up even more impressive offensive numbers, but did not win a third strait MVP award; he instead went to the New York Yankees, where he'd soon raise his yearly salary from $25 million per year to $31 million per year.
What I think is this: I think Alex Rodriguez admitting he started taking steroids while with the Texas Rangers is likely true, the problem is he's basically implying that he stopped when he got to the New York Yankees, and that is likely untrue. Thing is, with the exception of Barry Bonds,and Mark McGwire, every player on this list at one time or another played for the Texas Rangers; and I don't think the Rangers have yet shouldered ANY of the blame for any of it.
So how good has Alex Rodriguez been as a player? Well, he's the youngest person to ever get to 500 home runs in a career, he's also the youngest person to ever get to 600 home runs in a career...but the last two seasons have seen a massive drop off in the career of Alex Rodriguez, and this year he'll get to play a half season at the very most. It could be his steroid use has caught up with him - and despite the rather lucky life he's led, and his cheating at baseball, I hope he does well in 2013 when he gets a chance to play, and then gets to have a complete and productive season in 2014.
After testing positive for the third time in his career for performance enhancing drugs, Manny Ramirez retired rather than serve a one hundred game suspension. Later, in 2012, Ramirez was arrested in a domestic violence incident, he'd been trying to make a comeback in the MLB.
Manuel Arístides "Manny" Ramírez Onelcida (born May 30, 1972) had strung together a huge number of years where he was easily one of the most formidable players in Baseball no matter what team he was playing for.
How good was Manny Ramirez? Well, he was voted to the All-Star team twelve times, won 9 silver slugger awards, 2 Hank Aaron awards, and a world series MVP. He led the American league in RBIs once, the batting crown once, the home run lead once, and lead the AL in slugging percentage three times. He finished with 555 career home runs, and 1831 RBIs.
How many years was he juiced? Only Manny knows.
Juan Gonzalez, Jason Giambi, Miguel Tejada
Juan Alberto González Vázquez (born October 20, 1969 was at one time the single best offensive player in all of baseball. I saw Juan on television at 19 years of age hit a baseball into the second deck in left field of the old Yankee Stadium, he'd hit one further than anyone had seen there in a long long time, and Juan probably didn't weigh but 180 pounds at the time. Oh sure, he was still a kid then, really, and he filled out quite a lot, his shoulders got wider, and he gained weight.
He became all on his own the best offensive hitter in all of Major League Baseball. In 1992 a thing would happen to Juan, a thing that seemed awesome, but wasn't. Jose Canseco was traded to the Texas Rangers. Now exactly when Gonzalez started using steroids is unclear, but as Jose Canseco flung Juan's name around all through his "tell all" book, it is possible, though I dare say likely, that Jose turned Juan on to steroids.
The very sad thing is Juan, like Alex, like Barry, like Rafael, never needed steroids.
Maybe Juan Gonzalez trained harder than even Canseco, he certainly appeared even larger and stronger than Jose. But after the 2001 season, the never ending injuries took their toll not just on Juan, but the fans that expected so much from him. He'd finish his career where he started it, in Texas, 434 home runs, and over 1400 RBIs, and two AL MVP awards later.
It's my opinion that Gonzalez had more raw talent than even Barry Bonds had, and I think Juan had more talent than Josh Hamilton too. If there is a lesson in all of this, it is that Barry Bonds was maybe the smarter of all these guys - he started taking steroids much later in his career than the others.
Jason Gilbert Giambi ; born January 8, 1971) is another case of a guy who put up outstanding offensive numbers for several consecutive seasons. He's also another guy who will likely never be forgiven by the baseball writers'association, and those are the guys who determine by vote who does and who doesn't get into the Hall of Fame.
While Giambi never led the AL in home runs, he did win an AL MVP award in 2000, he also lived in the limelight playing for some big franchise teams and in a lot of post season games. He charmed youngsters with his tattoos and his heavy metal star looks. For all the world he seems like a very nice guy, and he had a terrific career too. He finished with 429 home runs, and over 1400 RBI's.
Miguel Odalis Tejada (born on May 25, 1974, won an MVP award in 2002 simply because nobody wanted to see Alex Rodriguez win three in a row. Oh his team was great that year, and the Rangers were not...other than that, Tejada was a good hitter and a terrific fielder who wouldn't have likely been involved in steroid scandals were it not for Rafael Palmeiro snitching him out like a bitch.
Nelson Cruz Faces Steroid Use Allegations In 2013
The faces and the names just go on, and on, and on. I could never list them all here. For any international sporting event anywhere in the world, the officials just have to not just double check, but triple check the test results on any American athletes involved. Hell, US athletes ought to be tested four or five times minimum when competing internationally in anything. Does the United States more reward cheaters, or punish them? If you're looking at the money these people collected rather than earned, it's easy to conclude the entire culture of the United States of America rewards a cheater, but all the while, publicly shuns the act of cheating.
Truth is, it's all one gigantic hypocrisy - we only are ever bothered by cheating after someone gets busted for it, but if they can get away with cheating and excel for a while, can we get an autograph already?
We might as well as a nation accept that American exceptional-ism is a thing of the past if it ever existed at all. The USA is a country that lies as a rule with its mass media, and the crap sold on televisions, in newspapers, and on billboards across the country are nearly always planned obsolescence garbage - things meant to replaced in no time at all by the persons selling them to begin with. We as a nation need a hero, and we need an honest one. Don't look to the White House either, two face wasn't just a character on a Batman film.
Can anyone in the USA say with any degree of honesty they were surprised to hear of Lance Armstrong's performance enhancing drug use? If so, that person seriously needs therapy, American professional athletics is nothing but a dope house, and even if the substances aren't officially illegal, they're still performance enhancing drugs.
Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio, our nation turns its hypocritical bent on cheating eyes to you.
Just as sure as the Sun rises, more and more are to come. In regards to Baseball, we've been talking about steroids here, but that is only the tip of the iceberg. Manny Ramirez's third bust wasn't for steroids, it was for a female fertility drug - a drug given to steroid abusing men who seek to restart testosterone production in their system after finishing a steroid cycle. Steroids, while the major vehicle for cheating in baseball, is hardly the end of chemical cheats in baseball either. Baseball has an amphetamine problem, and even a Ritalin problem too.
When our sporting heroes are all cheats, and rewarded monetarily for it to extremes most of us could never imagine, how then could we expect as a culture more or different from politicians and business leaders? Oh those subcultures are absolutely cheating in every way possible too, and you know it, I know it, everyone knows it.
Will it ever matter to players if they don't make it to the Hall Of Fame after they've earned a hundred or more million dollars in their career? HELL NO! Who's kidding who here? I'd tell the writer's association to keep their damned Hall of Fame plaque and ceremony, myself - it's all about the money, and until the money stops following the cheaters in baseball and in life around, things won't change. And so it goes.