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Time to Stop Clicking on Some Stories

Updated on September 7, 2015

I’m just a little frustrated.

As someone who takes the journalism profession seriously, it angers me to see a certain type of “story” posted on the Internet. I can tell the difference between satire and something that is getting passed for the truth.

Since becoming a freelance writer, I’ve applied for jobs on various sites that allowed a story like the one I saw as I perused through my Facebook page. Nothing ever happened. OK, so I could be a frustrated writer, but I’ve been paid to write for over 20 years, so that’s not very likely.

From the comments under the post, I can see most of the names likely on the list of 10 baseball players who used steroids, but were never caught without looking at the story. Many of the comments named names, added some or wondered why a few players were not on the list.

It’s safe to assume that with the way the Internet works today that if I had clicked on this story that someone would have been paid. Maybe not a lot, but similar sites do pay for your work. If you are reading this story, I’m making money. Not much of course, but I am getting paid.

I don’t often criticize what people write because it is their right to express themselves, but I can no longer click on stories like this. Many of them I’ve unfortunately read over time have items that are based on conjecture and do not offer many facts. This is nothing new in the world of journalism.

The question asked in this case … Was it natural greatness or enhanced? What? Later in the Facebook post there is an admission of not knowing the facts about steroids and the players named, but there are suspicions. Really? But for those just looking at the photo and the headline, it could be convincing, especially for someone who is not a baseball fan aware of the fact that testing is prevalent to today's game.

Probably, the worst part for me is that there is a photo of Toronto Blue Jays slugger Jose Bautista. I do not know him, but we do appear to follow each other on twitter. I also do not know the facts about his personal conduct and steroids. Never heard anything, but in stories like this.

Makes one wonder where does a story like this come from? I really want to know. Is it based on that fact that Bautista went from 13 homers in 2009 to 54 the next year? He also played in 48 more games when he hit 54 long balls and walked 44 more times as well. How does that compute to performance enhancement drug?

It’s not like there hasn’t been improvement by players in home runs over the years. Roger Maris once hit 61 homers for the New York Yankees. Before he broke Babe Ruth’s single-season home run record in 1961, Maris hit 39 in 1960 as he won the first of two American League Most Valuable Player awards as a Yankee.

In 1959, Maris was an AL all-star for the Kansas City A's when he hit an “amazing” total of 16 homers.

How about a guy like George Foster when he was with the Cincinnati Reds? In 1976, he hit 29 homers.

In his 1977 National League Most Valuable Player season, Foster hit 52 home runs. The next year he hit 40. After 1979 when the Reds won the NL West, Foster never hit more than 30 long balls in a season.

I could list many more cases like this. It’s hard to say what makes a player more successful over time. A player figures out how to hit different pitchers better or changes his swing. In the case of Maris, people have said it was because of the AL adding expansion teams.

My take is that many times, it has a lot to do with the other players in the lineup with Bautista, Maris and Foster.

Maris had Mickey Mantle with his 54 homers and four other guys who hit more than 20. Foster had the rest of the Big Red Machine supporting him.

Bautista had Vernon Wells as a teammate in Toronto in 2010. Wells hit 31 homers and there were five other players who hit at least 20 homers.

So doing that math, that is seven of the nine players in the regular order who hit more than 20 long balls. So were all of those guys juicing and didn’t get caught? With the way players are tested now, I don’t think so.

I'm all in on reporting about the players who break rules. Get the facts and let everyone know, so they can make their own decisions about a particular player.

But in this case, please join me as I stop clicking on stories that are not supported by facts.

What do you think?

Are you tired of reading stories that suggest athletes are using performance enhancing drugs without facts?

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