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Steroids in Baseball - Its Not What You Think It Is

Updated on February 11, 2013

Take A Look

So the official list of Steroid/HGH related players stands at 124. This includes Implicated Players, Admitted Users, MLB Suspensions and others listed in the Mitchell Report (which overlaps the other lists). Why did I collect these names to present to you? To make the case that steroids/HGH really isn’t the problem people think it was in baseball.

On the Implicated List stand 8 players with some shot at the Hall of Fame. They are McGwire, Bonds, Ivan Rodriguez, Clemens, Alex Rodriguez, Piazza, Sosa and possibly Andy Pettitte. There are several others who are/were stars like Ortiz, Juan Gonzalez, Magglio Ordonez, Troy Glaus and Matt Williams.

On the Admitted List there is only one player with any chance at the Hall of Fame and that’s Gary Sheffield who was one of the highest ranked rookies of the late 80’s. Of the 27 MLB Suspensions only Rafael Palmeiro and Manny Ramirez have a chance at the Hall of Fame. Both of these players were highly regarded rookies. As for the other 47 players in the Mitchell report, there isn’t anyone with a shot at the hall. There are some good players and career years in here but not great careers.

So we can do the math here and see that of the 124 players that are at least implicated, only 11 have any shot at the Hall of Fame. While you can argue the morals and ethics of taking steroids or HGH, you can’t argue that steroids made players appreciably better. Look at the list of players. Beyond the cream of the crop listed above, the rest are hardly Murderer’s Row material.

By the common way of thinking, all of these guys would have great numbers. Look at the list. Really go through the names. The 11 players who are Hall-possible don’t compare at all to those who don’t. I’m not saying that steroids and HGH didn’t help everyone’s numbers. It did. But did it affect the numbers as much as people generally believe? I’ll take this a step further. Look at the Mitchell report list. There are some really good players there. David Justice, Mo Vaughn and Todd Hundley were really good players but they aren’t Hall-worthy. Even guys who came up as well-regarded prospects like Jack Cust and Larry Bigbie exist on the Mitchell Report but didn’t have Hall-worthy careers because of steroids.

You can look at all of the lists and find players who had some monster seasons like Bret Boone, Gary Matthews Jr., and Jason Giambi but there isn’t a great career among them.

Implicated (34)
Admitted (16)
MLB Suspensions (27)
Mitchell Report (47)
Mark McGwire
Gary Sheffield
Rafael Palmeiro
Ricky Bones
Barry Bonds
Jose Canseco
Manny Ramirez
Alex Cabrera
Ivan Rodriguez
Bobby Estalella
Jorge Piedra
Larry Bigbie
Roger Clemens
Jason Giambi
Agustin Montero
Jack Cust
Alex Rodriguez
Jeremy Giambi
Jamal Strong
Tim Laker
Mike Piazza
Armando Rios
Juan Rincon
Todd Hundley
Sammy Sosa
Benito Santiago
Rafael Betancourt
Hal Morris
Andy Pettitte
Tom House
Ryan Franklin
Mark Carreon
David Ortiz
Wally Joyner
Mike Morse
Matt Franco
Juan Gonzalez
Jim Leyritz
Carlos Almanzar
Rondell White
Magglio Ordonez
Paxton Crawford
Felix Heredia
Chuck Knoblauch
Troy Glaus
David Segui
Matt Lawton
Greg Zaunn
Matt Williams
John Rocker
Yusaku Iriki
David Justice
Manny Alexander
Paul Byrd
Jason Grimsley
F.P. Santangelo
Miguel Tejada
Shane Monahan
Guillermo Mota
Glenallen Hill
Chuck Finley
Juan Salas
Mo Vaughn
Marvin Bernard
Ryan Jorgensen
Denny Neagle
Randy Velarde
Dan Serafini
Ron Villone
Wilson Alvarez
Eliezer Alfonzo
Chris Donnels
Bret Boone
Humberto Cota
Todd Williams
Ozzie Canseco
Henry Owens
Phil Hiatt
Dave Martinez
JC Romero
Todd Pratt
Tony Saunders
Sergio Mitre
Kevin Young
Lenny Dykstra
Kelvin Pichardo
Mike Lansing
Dave Hollins
Edinson Volquez
Cody McKay
Brian Roberts
Ronny Paulino
Kent Merker
Jay Gibbons
Adam Piatt
Gary Matthews Jr.
Jason Christiansen
Darren Holmes
Mike Stanton
Rick Ankiel
Stephen Randolph
Scott Schoeneweis
Paul Lo Duca
Jose Guillen
Adam Riggs
Ismael Valdez
Bart Miadich
Todd Greene
Fernando Vina
Terrmel Sledge
Kevin Brown
Derek Turnbow
Eric Gagne
Rico Brogna
Mike Bell
David Bell
Matt Herges
Gary Bennett Jr.
Jim Parque
Brendan Donnelly
Chad Allen
Jeff Williams
Howie Clark
Nook Logan

Where are the Superstars?

So this is what we have so far. Lots of players but not an insane amount of production. If you really look though the names, you won't find players who had monster careers because of steroids. In the end, you really do need to know how to hit the baseball. For those players who were really good already, yes, steroids made them better because they were stronger but for the great multitude of players, steroids may have added a few home runs, some added batting average points and lots of extra salary but really that's about it.

All I ask is that you judge these players based on their actual performance. Remember that - you still have to perform extraordinarily well or performance enhancement means nothing - as it relates to Hall-worthy candidates anyway...

Extra Point:

I have completely ignored the Anthony Bosch Biogenesis stories for the purposes of this hub. Nothing has been proven yet and so far the only person to admit anything wrong is Francisco Cervelli - hardly a proponent for the "Steroids makes you a Hall-of-Famer" argument....


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    • dblyn profile image

      dblyn 5 years ago from Staten Island, NY

      That's my point exactly. Baseball is a game of skill, not strength. If you couldn't hit a baseball as the 98 pound weakling you likely can't do it as a 300 pound hulking brute either.

    • ib radmasters profile image

      ib radmasters 5 years ago from Southern California


      That was an excellent point.

      Steroids doesn't give talent, and it is not like they are given super human strength. Without talent, a batter with steroid buffed, great stamina and great power go just get the most exhilarating swinging strikeout.

    • DJProfessorK profile image

      Kyle Ilgenfritz 5 years ago from York, PA

      I think it's rampant, but not a problem per se. In the post-strike era, many of those implicated in the Mitchell Report, such as McGwire, Sosa, Bonds, Sheffield, etc. helped to revive the game of baseball in the hearts and minds of the American public. Without that boost, would baseball still be America's Pastime? I don't know...

    • billypetty22 profile image

      Billy Petty 5 years ago

      based on the last comment, letting everybody take steroids in baseball will still not level the playing field. Players take steroids to get an advantage, so if everyone used them no one will have an advantage causing players to go to new heights to achieve more leverage.

    • ib radmasters profile image

      ib radmasters 5 years ago from Southern California

      I agree that steroids is not the creator of superstars.

      Baseball is a game of skills, and you need to hit the baseball to crush it.

      I don't really care if the baseball player are on steroids.

      I don't even care if weightlifters use steroids.

      Let everyone take them and that will level the field, and then only talent will make the difference.