The Curious Case of Raul Ibanez: Steroid Speculation Perhaps Unfair, but Great Start in 2009 Raising Eyebrows

Update: On Wednesday morning, Raul Ibanez responded harshly to the post below in the Philadelphia Inquirer. Follow the link to read a detailed description of Ibanez’s response and our response to Raul Ibanez and the general debate about steroid speculation in baseball.

Heading into this year’s fantasy baseball drafts, there was one name I was targeting more than any other as a mid-round steal: Raul Ibanez. I was not alone in this assessment either. Ibanez had been flying totally under the radar in Seattle, where he had quietly become one of the most consistent #2/#3 fantasy OFs in baseball. Look at his numbers from the last three years he was in the Great Northwest playing in pitcher-friendly Safeco Field:

  • 2006: 33 HR, 123 RBI, 103 R, .289 BA, .869 OPS
  • 2007: 21 HR, 105 RBI, 80 R, .291 BA, .831 OPS
  • 2008: 23 HR, 110 RBI, 85 R, .293 BA, .837 OPS

That is just solid and consistent production all the way around.

With Ibanez moving to the much more hitter-friendly Citizens Bank Park by way of his signing with the Philadelphia Phillies in the offseason, most fantasy prognosticators had Ibanez penciled in as the type of grizzled veteran who could see a slight bump in his already good numbers by playing half of his games in a ballpark more conducive to offensive production and all of his games in a better lineup.

I knew heading into my draft that if I came out of it with Ibanez as my 3rd OF, drafted somewhere in rounds 8-10, that I would be feeling pretty good about my team.

In the league I pay the most attention to, my first five picks were OF Carlos Beltran, 3B Evan Longoria, SP Roy Halladay, OF Jason Bay, and 1B Adrian Gonzlez. Obviously each of those guys has had a great start to the season and are primary reasons why my team has been in first place all year…until I got waxed this week and fell to second, 2.0 games behind the league leader.

But my best pick in terms of value was nailing my pre-draft target and getting Raul Ibanez in the 9th round. As all baseball fans, fantasy or otherwise, know by now, Raul Ibanez has been off to a torrid start in 2009. Just look at the numbers:

  • 2009 (55 games): 19 HR, 54 RBI, 46 R, .329 BA, 1.062 OPS

In fact, the 37-year old Ibanez has been so good that it has led to the inevitable speculation that his improvement may be attributable to factors other than his new lineup, playing in a better ballpark for hitters, or additional maturation as a hitter. In this day and age of suspicion at any significant jump in numbers, even over small sample sizes, it is what it is – and such speculation is to be expected.

In fact, this morning I woke up to the following message board post in the league in which I own Ibanez. (FYI, my team name is Hitting Crean-Up, hence the reference to “crean”):

sorry, crean, but i must call bullshit on raul ibanez. you’re an objective man so i am sure you’ll love it while it lasts, but do not intend on it lasting forever. of course crazier things have been sustainable.

where have we seen this before? a recent 37th birthday is celebrated with a career year in home runs??? prior to this year ibanez has a career high of 33 home runs in one season and no other season of his 14 played with greater than 24 home runs!!! during his previous career year ibanez hit a HR roughly every 19 at bats and this year his pace is roughly every 11.

i thought they were testing???

My initial reaction was to get defensive and reply by saying that Ibanez’s numbers in 2009 were based on what I assumed were significant differences in ballpark factors between Citizens Bank Park and Safeco Field. Ibanez, I surmised, a left-handed hitter, was simply taking advantage of the lefty-friendly dimensions of Citizen’s Bank Park that had helped to make Ryan Howard such a beast.

However, I resisted the urge to fire back a gut-reaction retort and decided to do a little investigation. I figured that before responding I should put together my case that there were perfectly logical reasons to explain Ibanez’s breakout that would help counter any steroid speculation.

First, I looked at the dimensions of both Citizens Bank Park and Safeco Field, courtesy of BaseballFanatics.net. Here they are:

Ballpark Dimension Comparison

Park Left Left-Center Center Right-Center Right
Citizens Bank Park 329 355 401 357 330
Safeco Field 331 375 405 365 326

As you can see, Citizens Bank Park has shorter dimensions to every part of the park expect down the right field line, where it is four feet longer than Safeco. Clearly, these dimensions are part of the reason why Citizens’ Bank Park is considered such a great hitters’ park.

However, I have to say that I was surprised when I looked at the Park Factor rankings on ESPN.com. I expected Citizens Bank Park to be among the top 5 best hitters’ parks in baseball, just based on reputation. That is not the case, at least according to the park factors metrics used by ESPN (which are explained if you click the links below).

Below is a park factor comparison (for runs and HRs) between Citizens Bank Park and Safeco Field. 1.000 is average; higher than 1.000 means the park favors hitters, lower than 1.000 means the park favors pitchers.


Park Factor Comparison

Park Runs HR Overall Rank
2009      
Citizens Bank Park 0.981 1.023 15
Safeco Field 0.840 0.876 27
       
2008      
Citizens Bank Park 1.029 1.022 15
Safeco Field 0.932 0.900 24
       
2007      
Citizens Bank Park 1.034 1.418 13
Safeco Field 0.948 1.002 19
       
2006      
Citizens Bank Park 1.063 1.201 8
Safeco Field 0.881 0.888 27

Conclusions? For me, I was surprised that Citizens Bank Park did not rate higher. Clearly it is a better hitters’ park than Safeco Field, but the differences in the HR factor do not account for the significant jump in Ibanez’s HR totals now that he has made the switch.

From 2006-2008, Raul Ibanez’s ratio for AB/HR was 23.8, including his career year in 2006 when he hit 33 HRs. In his home games this season, Ibanez has hit 8 HR in 93 AB, which is a HR every 11.6 ABs. Based on the four-year averages of the HR factors of Citizens Bank Park (1.165) and Safeco (0.9225), we would expect Ibanez’s HR rate at home to increase 21%. It has improved much more than 21% however, more than doubling so far in 2009.

But Ibanez is not just taking advantage of his home ballpark.

In his road games this season, Ibanez has hit 11 HR in 126 ABs, which is good for a HR every 11.45 ABs. So his HR rate is actually slightly better on the road, which I did not expect since my gut-reaction thinking was that Ibanez was simply enjoying the more hitter-friendly home cooking at Citzens Bank Park.

So in actuality, and in opposition of my initial hypothesis, through the relatively small sample size of 55 games it is impossible to say that Ibanez’s prodigious jump in HR/AB has been solely a factor of his new ballpark.

What else could explain Ibanez’s bump in power? Considering that 11 of his 19 HRs have come on the road, perhaps we should explore the ballparks where those home runs have been hit. And to do that, I visited a site that will be fascinating for other stat geeks like me: HitTrackerOnline.com. I sorted the Phillies’ 2009 HRs by name to do a closer analysis of Ibanez’s HRs this season.

Here are the ballparks where Raul Ibanez has hit HRs this season, with their current 2009 HR factor in parentheses.

  • Citizens Bank Park: 8 (1.021)
  • Nationals Park: 4 (.808)
  • Yankee Stadium: 2 (1.563)
  • Great American Ballpark: 2 (1.182)
  • PETCO Park: 2 (0.736)
  • Coors Field: 1 (0.943)

As you can see, Raul Ibanez has enjoyed success at three of the most notorious hitters’ parks in baseball: the new Yankee Stadium, Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati, and Coors Field (though the overall HR numbers at Coors are down this year). Nationals Park and PETCO Park have always been known as more pitcher-friendly, and considering that 6 of Ibanez’s HRs have come at these parks, it seems to balance out the effect of his 5 HRs at NY, CIN, and CO.

But let’s again take a closer look. These are the pitchers that Ibanez has hit HRs off of at Nationals Park and PETCO Park, with their season ERA in parenthesis:

  • Daniel Cabrera (5.85 ERA)
  • Scott Olsen – twice (7.24 ERA)
  • Saul Rivera (8.49 ERA)
  • Josh Geer (5.60 ERA)
  • Joe Thatcher (4.50 ERA)

So Raul Ibanez has feasted on terrible pitching, even in parks that are tougher to hit home runs in. What does this mean? I’m not really sure. Most hitters obviously will perform better against bad pitching than they do against good pitching. But over the small sample size we’ve seen through 55 games, perhaps Ibanez has seen more than his normal share of bad pitching and has taken advantage of it. I don’t have time to dig into this any more this morning, so I’ll just leave that hanging there as a potential explanation for a portion of Ibanez’s HR and OPS explosion.

And even though Ibanez’s aggregate numbers in 2009 are incredible, there are signs that he is starting to slow down a bit. So far in June, through 32 ABs Ibanez has 2 HRs. This rate of 16 ABs per HR is a little bit closer to his career average, and to the improvement we might have expected based on the differential in HR factor between his new home park and his old home park. While it’s a terribly small sample size to draw too many conclusions from, but it is one more piece of data we can look at.

I also wondered whether Raul Ibanez was historically a fast starter, and perhaps that was helping to contribute to his fast start. Look at Ibanez’s career splits, however, and you see that this is not the case. Ibanez’s career pre-All Star break HR rate is 1 every 23.9 ABs. His career post-All Star break HR rate is 1 every 26.0 ABs. So he has slightly more power during the first half of the season, but the difference is not significant enough to explain his torrid start in 2009. Besides, his BA, OBP, SLG, and OPS are all slightly better during the second half of the season.

Now that we have gone ’round and ’round with all of these stats — my attempt to be an “objective man” in response to the message board comment from this morning — what can we conclude?

First off, we can conclude that I made one hell of a draft pick. Whatever the explanation for Ibanez’s great start, I’m just glad it’s happening on my roster and not on somebody else’s.

Secondly, we have to acknowledge the obvious caveat that 55 games is not a full season and is still a relatively small sample size. Ibanez could very easily slow down and finish with 30-35 HRs (which is actually my expectation for what will happen), which would still be an above average season based on his career stats, but certainly not as eye-popping and outside the mean as the pace he is on right now. The truth is that even I, the most ardent Ibanez supporter heading into 2009, do not expect him to maintain his current 600 AB pace and hit 52 home runs.

Thirdly, it’s time for me to begrudgingly acknowledge the elephant in the room: any aging hitter who puts up numbers this much better than his career averages is going to immediately generate suspicion that the numbers are not natural, that perhaps he is under the influence of some sort of performance enhancer. And since I was not able to draw any absolute parallels between his prodigously improved HR rate and his new ballpark’s hitter-friendliness, it would be foolish to dismiss the possibility that “other” performance enhancers could be part of the equation.

Sorry Raul Ibanez and Major League Baseball, that’s just the era that we are in — testing or no testing.

Personally, I am withholding judgment until we see a full seasons’ worth of stats. Many players put together terrific runs of 150-250 ABs in the midst of otherwise normal or just slightly above average (based on their career numbers) seasons. Ibanez’s terrific 219 AB run since Opening Day is just magnified right now because it came at the start of the season.

Maybe he was energized by joining the defending World Series champs.

Maybe he is seeing better pitchers by joining a lineup that includes Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Jimmy Rollins, and Shane Victorino.

Maybe he is in the midst of a run of good luck in which he’s seeing good pitches to hit at above-average hitters parks and finding himself facing terrible pitchers even at the tougher hitters parks he’s played in.

Maybe Raul Ibanez is simply a “freak”, and has been a late bloomer with a career track that refuses to follow the norm, as explained in this Bleacher Report post.

Maybe the 37-year old Ibanez trained differently this offseason with the pressure of joining the Phillies’ great lineup and is in the best shape he’s ever been in.

And maybe that training included…

Well, you know where that one was going, but I’d prefer to leave it as unstated speculation. However, if Ibanez ends up hitting 45-50 homers this year, you can bet that I won’t be the only one raising the question. And judging by my buddy’s message board post this morning, and questions like this in public forums, people already are.

For the record, Ibanez has denied ever using steroids. Back in 2007 when former Mariners OF Shane Monahan said that the clubhouse culture in Seattle led him to use steroids, Ibanez and Jamie Moyer came out and publicly lambasted Monahan while denying that steroids had ever been a presence in the Mariners clubhouse. Of course, as well all know, explicit denials of steroid use don’t really mean a whole hell of a lot these days.

It will be a wonderful day when we can see a great start by a veteran like Ibanez and not immediately jump to speculating about whether steroids or PEDs are involved. We certainly are not at that point yet, however.

And whether we ever get there remains to be seen.

But whatever the reason for Raul Ibanez’s oustanding run this far in 2009, I hope to see it continue. Regardless of why it’s happening, it’s happening. And like I said before, better that it happens on my roster than somebody else’s.

Update 6/9: At Philly.com this morning, John Gonzalez takes me to task a bit for firing what he deems as a “cheap shot” at Raul Ibanez. Here is an excerpt from his article, and the link if you want to read it all.

The MSF post, written by the previously undiscovered poet “JRod,” noted that Ibanez has bashed the majority of his 19 homers at hitter-friendly parks like the new Yankee Stadium, Great American Ball Park in Cincy, and Citizens Bank Park. It also conceded that Ibanez has taken advantage of some really terrible pitchers – guys like Daniel Cabrera, Scott Olsen and Saul Rivera, all of whom have badly bloated ERAs.

Then JRod dismissed all the evidence of opportunism, pivoted like a second baseman turning a double play, and fired his conclusion into the mitts of conspiracy theorists and amateur drug testers everywhere: “Any aging hitter who puts up numbers this much better than his career averages is going to immediately generate suspicion that the numbers are not natural, that perhaps he is under the influence of some sort of performance enhancer. . . . Maybe the 37-year-old Ibanez trained differently this off-season with the pressure of joining the Phillies’ great lineup and is in the best shape he’s ever been in. And maybe that training included. . . . Well, you know where that one was going, but I’d prefer to leave it as unstated speculation.”

Yeah, except when you put the words “under the influence” in close proximity to “performance enhancer,” that’s not really “unstated speculation.” That’s pretty much an updated version of the old “Hey, pal, have you stopped beating your wife yet?” trick.

In response, I don’t believe that I “dismissed all the evidence of opportunism.” I actually set out to disprove the speculation that Raul Ibanez’s great start was somehow PED-induced. And my conclusion was that it was impossble to conclude that from a simple examination of ballpark factors and lineup improvement, and that the reality of Major League Baseball today is that the unfortunate logical progression takes us all to the place we don’t want to go: thinking that an aging hitter putting up career-high numbers across the board might be chemically enhanced.

Fair for Raul Ibanez? Absolutely not. Just look at the title of my post. But fair for Major League Baseball overall based on its past? Absolutely.

In fairness to John, I think his primary point was more about the rapid speed with which a story like mine, fraught with speculation, can take off in today’s day and age. And he’s right, even though so far only 300 people had even read the post, which started out as just a response to my buddy in a fantasy league.

I wrote John a quick email after reading his post, thanking him for the recognition and explaining my perspective a bit more. Here is the end of that email, as I think it is the best way to sum up this post before I move onto something else for today:

I set out trying to disprove that there was reason to speculate, but the past 15 or so years has made it hard to do so. I always defended Manny Ramirez and he made me and a lot of other people look like a fool; and honestly, that re-opened the floodgates to me erring on the side guilty until proven innocent, as opposed to the other way around — as it should be.

The truth is that I sincerely hope that Raul Ibanez and every other major leaguer is clean. And there is no way I could look him in the eye and tell him I think he’s on steroids — nor was that my conclusion. But I think it’s also true that Raul Ibanez would have a hard time looking baseball fans in the eye and saying they have no right to speculate. Through no fault of his own, but through that of his peers past and present, steroid speculation is now as much a part of baseball as the MLB Network.

Sad is definitely the most apt word to describe it.



About Jerod Morris

I love words. I write for Copyblogger and founded MSF, The Assembly Call, & Primility. I practice yoga, eat well, & strive for balance. I love life. Namaste. Say hi on Twitter, Facebook, & G+.

Comments

  1. You spent a long time talking about the ballpark and only gave a brief mention of the improvement in the lineup. I’m a Mariner’s fan and can tell you firsthand that Ibanez never had any protection in Seattle. Ichiro leads off and then what? That’s been the story for years. Ibanez gave us some pop hitting 3rd or 4th for a number of years but he had to create that all on his own. He usually had Beltre hitting behind him. Now he is sandwiched between Howard and Rollins. And earlier in the season he hit behind Rollins so there were probably guys on base at a higher rate than in Seattle. Not sure that you can find these numbers but I bet you’d find that Ibanez had a lot of one run homers in Seattle but now he’s getting them with runners on base.

    Great article.

    • @Adam, thanks Adam. And great point by you. Honestly, I would have liked to have spent about 2,000 more words and another couple of hours researching this article but just did not have time this morning before work started. The more I think about it, the most I do think that the improved lineup has played a significant factor in Ibanez’s explosion.

      I still think it is hard to say that the ballpark and lineup can make THAT big of a difference, but we’ll see how Raul does over his next 200-300 ABs.

      • @JRod, Not having time to do research is not a valid excuse for defamation of character. Way to be a “professional writer”

        • @Libel, I would not call this “defamation of character” in any way. JRod admits that his research time was limited, and made attempts to balance the obvious suspicion (that I’ve heard before this article) with what statistical evidence can be found right now.

          @JRod, I heard about your article on ESPN’s Baseball Today podcast, and then decided to check it out after seeing the link on ESPN.com. You have done a great job of couching both opinions, and I hope that people will take the time (though unlikely) to read the article and see that you were not defaming Ibanez, but trying to look at the statistical evidence and provide a terrific explanation for his hot start. I feel (and hope) that the fact he has face low-grade pitching in good to fair hitters parks in a small season sample is the best explanation until found otherwise. I just hope he doesn’t send you his poop.

        • @Libel, Jerod IS NOT A PROFESSIONAL WRITER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He wrote a blog. And a good one at that!!!!!!! Read it please

        • silviomossa says:

          @Libel, I agree. This kind of stuff if simply irresponsible.

        • Kathy Stice says:

          @Libel, ditto from me!

    • @Adam, While the increase in runners on base caused by hitting in a greater lineup is certainly helpful to Ibanez’s RBI totals, studies have shown lineup protection to have little to no effect on a hitter’s core skills, which his home run rate would count as. Check out The Book for a very in depth discussion of this topic.

  2. TripNines says:

    Phillies Latino Connection

    Prior to pitching for the Red Sox, JC Romero had a 4.60 lifetime ERA. Just prior to being released by the Sox he was pitching well and his ERA was 3.15, did they suspect something? He was then signed by the Phillies and compiled an ERA of 2.17 with them. He was rewarded for this with a 50-game suspension by Major League Baseball for using performance enhancing drugs.

    Raul Ibanez has gone from a good player with a lifetime BA of .287 and 20 HRs per 500 ABs to a player hitting .330 with 19 HRs in only 219 ABs. He is a leading all NL outfielders in his quest to make his first all-star team at the ripe old age of 37.

    Pedro Feliz, a lifetime .254 hitter is currently Batting 52 points higher at .306.

    Carlos Ruiz, a lifetime .247 hitter who batted .219 last season, is currently hitting 90 points higher this season.

    • @TripNines, interesting statistics, but what is your overall point? That Latino players who go to Philadelphia start playing better immediately, coincidentally or otherwise? Or, based on the Romero example starting it off, are you implying something more?

      • TripNines says:

        @JRod, one might assume that I am implying more, but it may be that all it is, to quote you, is “interesting statistics. The fact that you and I consider them to be interesting is reason enough to post them.

        It is made all the more interesting, in my opinion, that Romero, having shown such great improvement upon joining Manny’s Red Sox, was released despite his effectiveness. That he continued his new found effectiveness with the Phillies and was subsequently suspended for 50 games. And that this was followed by Ibanez, Feliz and Ruiz having such great and unexpected starts to their 2009 season.

        Note: Feliz had a mediocre season last year so your “improved lineup” theory does not work for him nor does it work for Ruiz who is a product of the Phillies farm system.

        Everything I stated is undeniable fact. These improved performances may be little more than a synergistic effect of three latin players bonding and, in the comfort of their native language, discussing baseball in all its nuances. It will be interesting to see if their performance continues through the entire season.

        • phillyphaninchi says:

          @TripNines, I’m a lifer Philly fan. In case you don’t remember, Feliz just so happened to need surgery on his back this off season. I can almost guarantee you that as the season wears on and his back starts to hurt again he’ll fade.

          As for Ruiz, you probably didn’t watch the world series. Carlos tore $#!t up at a .375 clip. The only guy who hit better was Werth. This is a carryover and if you’ve followed his career he’s hitting the ball the same way he did in the postseason. If you look at his hitting charts you’ll see that he’s spraying the ball all over more and has less pop outs which means he’s just driving the ball more.

          JC is a head case. His post suspension numbers will tell us everything.

          Just wanted to clear that up since Chooch should get way more love.

          phillyphaninchi

        • TripNines says:

          To phillyphaninchi,

          Prior to this season, Carlos Ruiz has been little more than a mediocre catcher. An article by Paul Hagen, late last season, compared him to Chris Coste and Coste stats showed him to be marginally better.

          Offensively his .217 BA last season speaks for itself. As for the world series, I watched. Two seeing eye dribblers accounted for .175 of that .375 BA. Also his biggest hit was a misplayed 40′ “swinging bunt”

          I also watched the entire post season in which Ruiz committed two errors, was charged with two passed balls (should have been 3 or 4) and allowed five wild pitches, one of which was on a swinging 3rd strike that allowed the Dodgers to mount a 3-run comeback.

          In the post season Carlos tore nothing up! His BA was a modest .267 with the two infield dribblers and a more Ruiz-like .222 if you discount them

  3. Wow, way to throw Ibanez’s great season under the bus like that Jrod. The guy works hard and is just in a groove right now, why bring up steroids and HGH? He has no history of this and they don’t help you track the ball better from a pitchers hand. There is no reason to believe that he or Ruiz is juicing. It’s not like Ruiz is crushing the ball out of the park. Both of them are just seeing the ball good and are in a groove, i’m sure they will slump this season too but just because a guy is having a good season doesn’t mean that they should be automatically in the performance enhancing discussion. I just think that’s irresponsible especially with no evidence to back it up.

    • @Nate,

      Thanks for the comment Nate. Your perspective is appreciated.

      My original intention was to debunk the speculation that I had heard elsewhere, which is why I tried to look deeper into the stats for objective reasons for Ibanez’s great start. And as I state, I hope and I think he is clean — and am withholding any judgment about Ibanez until we see a full body of work.

      But the point is that the speculation is out there; and while it is certainly unfair to Ibanez (look at the title of the post) it is warranted based on the track record of the MLB over the last 15 years. I understand why some may be upset at me for even bringing it up, but Ibanez and his fans should be more upset at all of the players who have denied using steroids or who we thought would never use but then later failed tests or were strongly implicated. And some of the venom should be saved for MLB and the union, who waited way too long to act.

      We’re in an era where any performance greatly above the mean by a player of Raul Ibanez’s age and experience is looked upon with suspicion. We can continue trying to blame the messenger, but that’s placing the blame on the wrong parties. Remember how so many people blamed the media for not digging deeper when Big Mac and Sammy were chasing Roger during that “magical” summer? We can’t really have it both ways.

      For the record, I don’t think Ibanez is using and would be surprised if it comes out later that he did or is. But to avoid the speculation is pointless. It’s there, it will be there, and the cloud of steroids isn’t leaving the MLB soon.

      It’s sad and unfair, but unfortunately, it’s reality.

      • @JRod, Avoiding speculation and promoting it are completely different things. You say your original intentions were to debunk the speculation but all you succeeded in doing was to throw gasoline on the fire. Promoting negative and false characterizations on individuals is the very essence of libel.

        • @Libel, you are grossly mischaracterizing what @JRod wrote, and repeating your hyperbolic allegations doesn’t increase their credibility. Simmer down and try reading for comprehension instead of skimming.

  4. Frank Joyce says:

    Hey Jrod…interesting read…I was going to link you to the Philly.com article but you beat me to it…I am a Philly fan but have always been impressed by Ibanez. I spent some time in Seattle and it’s a wonder anyone in that lineup drove over a hundred runs, let alone 3 years in a row…this guy has had good raw talent and power since he broke in, driving in 103 his first full season in Kansas City. Up until this season, he’s played in small market underachieving places. The chance to play in such a great fan driven town like Philly and the chances he’s having this year in such a great lineup are probably doing wonders for his confidence, motivation & enthusiasm. If you had just signed possibly your final contract & were gearing up to play for the reigning World Phucking Champions, I think that would help a little to motivate and play at your highest level of ability. I also hope he keeps it up…just imagine what he can do once Jimmy Rollins gets back in his groove. Good research & good reading my friend…BTW, Philly repeat all the way.

    • @Frank Joyce, thanks for the comment Frank. You were much kinder that some of your other Philly brethren have been in emails…but it’s understandable and actually quite entertaining.

      And you are right about Ibanez. It is entirely possible that I spent way too little time developing the lineup angle of this story and that being surrounded by Utley, Howard, Rollins, Victorino, and Werth has had a huge impact on Ibanez. Combined with the new park and the excitement of playing with the defending champs, maybe that does explain his torrid start. I hope it does. I’ve always been an Ibanez fan and the last thing I want to see is him the latest in the endless line of great stories that turn out to end badly.

      And whatever the reasons for his turn around, he needs to keep it up. My fantasy team depends on it!

  5. Are you considering the talent gap between the two leagues? The American League has, statistically, been a tougher league than the National League for a number of years now (records in All Star games and interleague play being among the indicators). Moving from the AL to the NL has proven to be a boon for a number of players.

    So Ibanez not only has the benefit of going from a pitchers’ park to a hitters’ park, but he’s going from a pitchers’ park in a tougher league to a hitters’ park in a statistically weaker league.

    And, of course, home run paces can be misleading. He’s only hit two in the last two weeks after hitting 17 in the first month and a half.

    • @brian howard,

      You are certainly correct that his pace has slowed…and I have two tough fantasy weeks to show for it. I addressed that very point above, and it is why I said I was withholding judgment. He very well may have had a hot 225 AB stretch that was magnified by the fact that it came at the beginning of the season.

      And your point about the difference between the AL and NL is one I had not thought of. Here are the Interleague records and a stat comparison over the last 5 seasons:

      2008: AL 149-NL 103 (.591)
      2007: AL 137-NL 115 (.544)
      2006: AL 154-NL 98 (.611)
      2005: AL 136-NL 116 (.540)
      2004: AL 127-NL 125 (.504)

      Interleague comparison
      Statistic AL NL
      BA .275 .251
      Runs 1,249 1,014
      ERA 3.69 4.55

      Source:
      http://nbcsports.msnbc.com/id/30874255/

      So, objectively, that is certainly another factor that could play into it…and one I wish I had thought of myself. Great point.

  6. Another well thought-out and reasoned defense against Ibanez’s numbers being PED-induced can be found here:

    http://baseballmusings.com/?p=35466#comments

  7. I just want to let you know that I think this is absurd. You’re basing this on pure speculation, as you stated, but it’s pretty clear to me that you had never seen Ibanez play before he joined the Phillies. I was ecstatic that we signed him, because he has been an extremely consistent hitter virtually his entire career, and unfortunately in ‘small markets’.

    And a couple points regarding who he has hit his HRs off of:

    1) They’re all major league pitchers. Period. Hitting a baseball (a homerun, at that) is the hardest thing in sports. Whether it’s off of a first ballot HOFer or an end of the roster ‘scrub’ he’s still hitting it out off of a professional pitcher.

    2) He also has homeruns off of: Andy Pettitte, Aaron Harang, Javier Vazquez (x2), oh, and some guy named Johan you might’ve heard of. Those aren’t exactly scrubs.

    Go Phillies!

    -Jeff

    • @Jeff, I am beginning to think that people are not even reading the article before commenting.

      I tried to make it very clear that my original aim was to find objective reasons to exonerate Ibanez from the steroids speculation that I had heard elsewhere. And I think there is probably a good chance that I did see Ibanez play, considering the fact that I explained in the article that he was my top sleeper heading into this season. So I expected him to improve.

      I’m not sure what point you are trying to make with your comment about pitchers. I brought up the pitchers he has faced — who are Major Leaguers but substandard Major Leaguers as opposed to Ibanez who is an above-average to great hitter — as a potential defense against him being juiced, thinking that perhaps he’s just hit a run of good luck that accounts for him doubling his career HR rate.

      The point is this: if the baseball world of public opinion where a court of law, Raul Ibanez would not be convicted or steroid use, because clearly there is reasonable doubt. However, there clearly is enough circumstantial evidence, based on his career averages and the PED trends in baseball over 15 years, for him to reasonably be “brought in for questioning” to extend the metaphor. That’s all I was getting at. I was trying to disprove my buddy who strongly implied that Ibanez was dirty. I wanted to find enough statistical evidence to explain a doubling of Ibanez’s career HR average. I didn’t find enough, at least for me, to totally and completely dismiss PEDs as some ridiculous notion.

      Never once did I accuse Ibanez of using steroids…I only said that the league he plays in means that his great start will have an unfair cloud of suspicion whether he did or didn’t, but that the cloud is warranted based on the MLB’s history with PEDs.

      So Jeff, while I appreciate your comment and perspective, you might want to read more than the headline and a couple of paragraphs before commenting. That is the impression I got from your comment. But thanks for visiting, and hopefully Ibanez keeps it up…for your team and for mine.

      • @JRod, you are falling victim to the success of the internet: it has been encouraging steadily-reduced attention spans that now seek to encapsulate enlightenment into 140-character snippets. People don’t have the patience for lengthy, detailed pieces like yours, and they’ve become allergic to inconveniences like “context”.

        Yes indeed, “sad” is the word.

        • @Texrat: Additionally, Philadelphia sports fans are largely the most belligerent, nasty, moronic fans out there. Expecting them to read an article instead of simply reacting to it is an exercise in futility.

  8. Danielle says:

    Hey Jeff,

    I indeed have read through your article and am sadly disappointed.You know( or maybe not)that in this day and age of MLB -even raising the specter that someone who is using PED’s stains them. AS well, to correct another reponse from someone regarding JCRomero-he used an over the counter supplement after he asked MLB players union if it were ok and was labeled as PED user.

    Raul Ibanez would consider it a disgrace to use a PED. He does not follow suit of other players that have abused PEDs. If , in fact you did not know the truth about Raul-that he doesn’t use steroid, then you really should n’t have speculated ( probably to get ratings forthis blog).As I said , the specter has now been raised. Ibanez prides himself on being a person of good character because HE IS a person of good character. You article is pointless.

    • Why wouldnt we speculate that he did PEDs. I sure as hell did, he needs to blame his fellow players instead of a blogger.

      Im tired of the TEST MY BLOOD defence…HGH cant be tested for….soooo

      • @steve, sorry bud. HGH can be detected through blood tests, but not urine. Right now urine tests are allowed through the CBA, but not blood tests. That’s why he said he’d take any test. For instance, the IOC has always req’d blood tests, and when HGH became detectable in the early 2000s, they were nabbing athletes left and right.

    • Think Blue Crew says:

      @Danielle, His name isn’t Jeff, his name is JRod. I doubt you even read his article, if you didn’t even read his name.

      • Danielle says:

        @Think Blue Crew,

        I most certainly read this trash( disguised as concrete journalism).Unless you have proof -don’t speculate .Raul doesn’t use HGH or PED.

        Blue Crew-I don’t care if his name is JROD , JROLL, JLO or MUD-which it is where I come from.

        Raul is a decent person. Keep your slander to yourself.

        • @Danielle, Do you know anything about baseball?? Because your comments don’t reflect it. NO ONE said Raul wasn’t a descent person. Goodness me. READ THE ARTICLE so you can post an intelligent comment.
          Not sounding good now

  9. JRod,

    I appreciate your well-thought out analysis. As a lifelong Phillies phan (and blogger), I am having a hard time not letting my passionate, undying loyalty for the Phils cloud whatever objectivity I might have in this case. In all honesty, my gut reaction is to get really mad at YOU for posting this speculation – and it’s pure speculation at this point. That, however, would be intellectually dishonest of me, giving the era in which we live.

    However, you write multiple times in the comments section that you were simply responding to the speculation that is already “out there.” Well, I gotta tell ya, your article was the first I’ve heard of it. Doesn’t mean people weren’t thinking about it or perhaps talking about it over beers at a bar somewhere, but I have heard not one iota of speculation in the blogosphere or media until you brought it up. In my opinion, I don’t really think that a comment in a message board from a rival fantasy team owner qualifies in any way as “speculation.” My interpretation of that guy’s comment leads me to believe he may actually have been joking. Perhaps if, say, comments like that were all over the message boards for weeks and weeks, then it would be a different story. But one guy – against whom you’re competing – ribbing you a little bit for making what turned out to be an incredible fantasy selection? Sorry. Doesn’t really pass the “speculation” test to me. So I would find it helpful if you could cite or even link to some places either online or elsewhere that have been addressing this (non-)issue before your article.

    Thank you in advance for that, and for your exhaustive research (seriously, it was very interesting and informative).

    • @Dan, thanks for the comment.

      You are correct, my post is probably the first actual blog to post about it, but I’ve seen reference to the discussion on numerous message board-type sites, including:

      http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20090523143723AAZYydZ

      http://bleacherreport.com/articles/182858-raul-ibanez-is-a-freak

      http://slumz.boxden.com/showthread.php?t=1247537

      And as I said, my original goal was to try and debunk my buddy and these other commenters. But when I was not able to do so, at least from an objective standpoint I was comfortable with, I let the speculation hang there — while stating that I personally was withholding judgment on it.

      Your questions are certainly valid, and whether or message board and blog comments suggest an “ongoing debate” is itself up for debate. To me it did, which is why I set out to the do the post in the first place. As a baseball fanatic, I was honestly disapppointed to find out that I genuinely could not ignore the speculation I’d read and that was in my own head.

      It’s no so much an indictment of Raul Ibanez (although it’s been taken as such, and I can certainly see why) but more a description of a microcosm of the bigger issue, which is a general lack of trust in the great performances we see in baseball.

      I hope that answers your question.

    • PhilsFanForLife says:

      @Dan, What planet are you living on as “a baseball fan” and “a Phillies phan” that you had not wondered or heard others speculate as to whether or not PEDs might have something to do with Ibanez’ recent surge? Honestly. After Romero, ARoid and then Ramirez. Could any reasonable person really not validly raise the question? You probably think Roger Clemens is a man of his word. You must be living in the same land of denial in which the MLB, the Team Owners and the Players Union have been living in over the past 15 years. The same state of denial and self-imposed ignorance that has allowed the MLB to become a truly fraudulent enterprise. I hope as much as anyone that Raul is clean. And that Griffey is clean. And Ryan Howard. But who in their right mind can trust any of these guys so long as the Players Union, the Owners and the MLB refuse to implement a rigorous drug testing protocol, including random blood testing and major punishment, including lifetime bans for second failed test. The NFL does it and it has worked. You would think that if Raul, Howard, Griffey and others are clean, now would be the time for them to step up and push the Players Union to agree to accept a tough drug-testing protocol so that the truly clean players in the league could, over time, separate themselves from the “taint”. If that doesn’t happen then I guess I will have to continue tempering my “enjoyment” of sharing the baseball experience with my 3 young sons (8,6 and 4) with continual lectures on how it is wrong to cheat, lie and and use drugs and that baseball heroes should never be seen as role models because you just don’t know which ones have truly earned their status. – - Frustrated Phils Fan

  10. It’s a good thing your not from Philly. What a crock of #$*@ this is.

  11. “JRod”,

    I want to try to keep this as professional as possible. But this article is poor journalism. Let me explain why.

    1) Awful Title. Okay, that might be nitpicking but from one journalist to another, it’s way too wordy and doesn’t flow. It gets your point across that the speculation may be unfair, but that’s not necessarily the place to make that point.

    2) Very irresponsible. You say in your comments that the more you think about it, the lineup likely is the major effect, and that you wanted to research more and write more, but you didn’t have time this morning. If that’s the case, you cannot publish your article. We, as journalists, can cause a major effect on a large number of people–which is one of the most beautiful things about being a journalist. But at the same time, it is quite dangerous and we must be sure to be responsible and hold ourselves to a high moral standard. As you see, your article has caused a major uproar because it soils the name of a great man.

    3) Subpar objectivity. While you do good research on the parks, you seem to shrug off the difference in the parks. Okay, CBP isn’t what you thought it was, but at the same time, Safeco is in the bottom 5 (or close) almost every year, where as CBP is in the top half each season. That, my friend, is a significant difference. Again, the lineups were mentioned. This is the first good lineup Ibanez has every played in. Not in Seattle, nor in Kansas City has he ever been able to see the kind of pitches he does in Philly. Surely, that will change as he’s destroyed opposing pitchers thus far. And using poor pitchers in big parks should only further the evidence that Ibanez isn’t using PEDs, right?

    4) Your conclusion. You concluded that nothing could be accurately concluded from this evidence. So, to be frank, what the hell was the point of the article? To start speculation? To say “he could be, but we don’t have a damn clue”? Alex Sanchez. Jorge Piedra. Elizer Alfonso. That’s all I have to say.

    You’re probably sitting there, wondering why the hell this article has caused such a ruckus. I bet it’s not even your most controversial piece you’ve ever written. But let me tell you something, many times it’s the pieces we least expect that have the greatest effect.

    Hopefully, you’ll keep this in mind from now on and write more responsible articles and think about each article before you publish it.

    • @Jason,
      Forget it Jason. This joker’s not a real journalist….

    • @Jason, you nailed every flaw in this article. spot on. JRod continues to say he was trying to defend any allegations but the title of the article already says the opposite. The headline should lead into the article, not mislead. The whole article is nothing but a collection of empty sentences, frankly.

  12. Honestly, I don’t think that the numbers put up by Ibanez are that surprising. A poster on a message board I frequent posted,

    “He went from Seattle to Philly which are opposite ends of the spectrum in terms of pitching versus hitting. And the Phils have had a disproportionate amount of games versus the Nationals. 6 of his 20 homers came at the expense of the Nationals.

    So, Raul has had two homers at yanks, two at cincy, 4 at washington, 2 vs washington, one at colorado.

    So to me, it speaks to not looking at what actually happened. He has 8 at home (hitters park) 12 away. Only problemis 5 of those away dingers came at extreme hitters parks, and 4 came at the expense of the nats. So given hsi skill set and where he has played thus far, it seems reasonable to think the league switch is what helped him.”

    I really think that the league change and hitters park he now plays in is the only explanation for his numbers. Raul is an upstanding player, one of the most humble players I’ve ever been around and/or followed, and I find it extremely hard to believe PED’s had anything to do with it, let alone the fact that he has passed every test thrown his way.

  13. Congrats on your 15 minutes moron!

  14. Im sure your aim was not to start this whole thing and if it was to get your 15 minutes of fame then shame on you…but unfortunately when you say something online now it gets blown way out of proportion so you just gotta keep an eye out for what you say…Ibanez has always been a good hitter throughout his career and its obvious that having a good lineup around him now is allowing him to hit like this and not the PEDs that you are suggesting are doing this so check your facts first bud

  15. your an idiot…. I hope he sues you for slander. Sometimes guys just have a good year you moron. maybe someone should poke around your world to see what you do.. You are whats wrong with sports. You and the morons that listen to you.

  16. I’m glad you did research on your column to give it authenticity, however your entire column is misleading. You’re column should be about how he has taken advantage of a new League and some horrific pitching to inflate his numbers.

    As someone that actually lives in the Philadelphia area and has watched most of the games this season, he has had the privilege of playing th Washington Nationals a dozen times this season. High School baseball players could put up Ibanez-like numbers against Nationals’ pitching.

    If you used some common sense in your article, your article would have been about him taking advantage of bad pitching rather then a half-assed attempt to link him to PED’s.

  17. RAuuuuul says:

    Dude, Really?

    You are entitled to your opinion, that’s fine. But honestly, you epitomize all thats wrong with blogging sports. Now I challange you to take accountability. Man up, you are being called out by the man you questioned in the first place. He deserves a public apology by you.

    The man has been a class act in character since his career started. He has a couple of good months and you throw him under the steroid bus? And then back it up with weak statistics. Whats wrong with you?

    The worst is you make this accusation and then take the stance of “Im not saying its true, but it could be.” If your gonna call him out at least take a hard stance. Your obviously not a journalist, but as a baseball fan and someone who claims to love the game you have serioulsy dissapointed me.

    Ugghh! Really dude? Now Raul has to field these questions for the rest of the year. Its already on ESPN.com. And over what? Field dimensions and something you spent an hour researching because you self admittedly had to go to work.

    Take into account lineups, pitching, hard work, swing, heck, short porches aren’t the only reason some parks give up alot of long balls. Look at new Yankee stadium. They’re blaming it on the weather among other things.

    SO DISSAPOINTED, I hope you got what you wanted when you started this blog, recognition. Be careful what you wish for.

  18. your an idiot and an ass. cool you write a blog, prick

    • @Matt, you tell em matt. when the midwest matters at all let us know….crawl back in your hole you ass.

  19. Have fun in court! I hope you lose everything you own. Out there running your mouth like you know something. What a horrible article, guess its why you don’t have a real career and never will.

    • @Raul, You are running YOUR mouth like YOU know something. Go read the comics if Jerod’s article was too much for you. I don’t think that this is Jerod’s career. He is just a blogger with an opinion. Do you even realize that???? What a stupid thing for you to say that you “hope he loses everything he owns”. Wow I have to say you sound like an idiot!!!!!!!!!

      • @Jordan, No, he’s definitely not. You’re just backing up someone who’s using a shitty named article to gain recognition at something that’s not true. You’re just backing up the no-talent ass clown like your life depends on it. You sure do sound like a MO-RON

  20. I think the only thing you’re guilty of here is a poorly chosen headline. Unlike most commenters here and on ESPN.com, I actually took the time to read your post and thought it was very fair. From the tone of the post, you almost sound resigned to talk about the possibility of PED use, but it is indeed a necessary evil in the climate of baseball these days. All of the commenters foaming at the mouth about this are being completely unreasonable.

    I understand why Ibanez is upset — he doesn’t want to have to deal with this, and if he’s clean like he says he is, he shouldn’t. I find his willingness to be tested as thoroughly as possible very refreshing and I hope he puts his money where his mouth is. Not because I think he’s guilty, but because I bet he isn’t. I would react identically if I were in his position.

  21. How about you find a REAL journalism job instead of hiding behind an anonymous sports blog? There are other ways of getting attention than trying to ruin someone else’s career. Grow up.

  22. I remember back when journalists were required to research facts and proof before running their mouths. Thanks to blogs every two-bit hack can spew out garbage any time they want. Nice job.

  23. JRod:

    You won’t find a bigger Phillies fan than me. I’m pissed off for hours… sometimes days when the Phillies lose. But I think you have done a valuable service by raising this obvious question. I know we Phillies fans are wondering about it. Who knew that Raul Ibanez was capable of hitting 50 home runs? Who knew?

    There is nothing that would upset me more if one of the Phillies were found to be juicing. Yeah, I know, JC Romero, but I think they would have won anyway without him.

    It’s an obvious question, which some media members should be asking Ibanez. Now you’ve asked it, and we have gotten the denial. I am happy that Ibanez’s response is angry, well good. Maybe he’s not juicing. Now that I’ve heard him vehemently deny it, I can relax a little bit, and enjoy his good season. But the question had to be asked.

  24. If you truly believed that Ibanez never used steroids, then there is absolutely no reason to even post this article. While some reactions may have been harsh, Raul’s wasn’t. Take the time to research and look at how he prepares before AND AFTER games. Yes. Preparing after games for the next day. Seeing what may have been wrong with his swing. etc. There aren’t many others that work anywhere near the amount that he does in order to play the game correctly. You contradicted yourself many times. It could have been worded differently and you would have avoided this whole fiasco.

    Keep it up Raul. Go Phils.

  25. YO JEROD IM FROM PHILADELPHIA AND YOU ARE A COMPLETE ASSHOLE TO LET THIS BLOW UP LIKE THIS AND YOU BETTER WATCH YOUR ASS CAUSE PHILLIES FANS ARE FUCKING NUTS AND WILL FUCK YOU UP IF THEY SEE YOU… I DARE YOUR LITTLE NERD BITCH ASS TO COME TO CITIZENS BANK PARK YOU FAGGOT… PLAYERS ARE TESTED OUT THE ASS EVEN MANNY GOT SUSPENDED SO DONT EVEN BRING THIS SHIT UP BITCH PEOPLE ARE PISSED AND ARE GONNA KEEP AN EYE OUT FOR YOU

    • @Frank, OH YEA JEROD BY THE WAY DIDNT YOU EVER THINK OF THE FACT THAT HES BEING MANAGED BY CHARLIE MANUEL… A PURE, GREAT HITTING COACH WHO TAUGHT MANNY HOW TO HIT AND NOW HAS RYAN HOWARD ABOUT TO BE THE THE QUICKEST TO 200 HOME RUNS AND CHASE UTLEY WHO WAS A MEDIOCRE 2ND BASEMEN BUT WILL START 2ND AT THE ALL STAR GAME?? NO YOU JUST WANNA TRASH THE GUY CAUSE HES PROLLY GOT MORE JACKS THEN WHATEVER GAY TEAM YOU LIKE HAS TOTAL.

      • @Frank, Chase Utley a mediocre second baseman until manuel took over… come on now that is a bit over the top. he would probably be good either way. Everyone is getting so pissed about this subject, so lets see ibanez take a test and the results be shown to the world. if he tests positive, j rod will need some serious apologies, and if he tests negative, then everyone has a right to yell whatever they want. Bottomline, no one knows, so lets bring the matter to an end with some open testing

  26. Way to get railed on ESPN. Please shut up you waste of space.

  27. Bernie Brewer says:

    If this is all it takes to get on ESPN OTL, then blogging here I come!

  28. Fletchlives says:

    As someone who understood the point your post made – that in the modern era of baseball, without foolproof PED testing, it is impossible to determine if career years, especially for older players, are the result of on-field factors or off the field ‘aid’ – I applaud you for systematically analyzing the various possibilities that have contributed to Ibanez’s outstanding start. Your post contains a deeper statistical breakdown of Ibanez’s start than 95% of the articles that I read from ‘traditional’ journalists.

    Perhaps we are too cynical about athletes’ accomplishments, but the sport and its fans have been burned too many times in the past by lying players to not turn a dubious eye towards unprecedented results. This is the world that players created when they decided to make steroids a part of the game. It’s unfair to the players that never used, but it is petty of them to blame fans for questioning their credibility.

    On a somewhat unrelated note:
    Fantasy owners around the country have no doubt made the “David Ortiz needs to get back on the juice” joke this year. Why has this not caused a public outcry, as well?

  29. JRod,

    I think the analysis you do here is interesting. I disagree with a lot of the people screaming here and elsewhere that it was a hit-job. Much to the contrary, I think that you spent a fair amount of time exploring a lot of alternatives. What you missed, though, is a thorough discussion of sample size. Given that we are only 55 games into the season, a significant variation from career numbers would still be well within reasonable likelihood. I would be interested to see what typical standard deviation is for AB/HR, given the number of at bats so far this season. If Ibanez’s numbers are within two standard deviations of what we would expect, it could likely be explained by random chance as well as some of the other factors you mentioned (park effects, stronger lineup, weak opponents, etc.).

  30. Way to not look like a douche bag on OTL

  31. Nitetrain says:

    Nice job on article and on Outside the Lines, especially with a couple crusty journalists fighting you. That’s part of the problem with baseball are the journalists who prefer to keep their heads in the sand instead of dig for the truth. Is Ibanez on roids? I don’t know. The fact fans have to speculate at all is not your fault. Time and time again the liars Arod, Manny, Bonds, Clemens, et al lack the courage to tell the truth. I’m tire of that more than I tire of speculation around performance enhancing drugs. Clean up the game and the discussions become moot. Don’t harbour these ball playing millionaire criminals.

  32. Sorry: your rationalization for the article, if sincere, is just plain wrong-headed. You remind me of the sleazy politician who campaigns by saying, “I’m certainly not going to be one of those who campaigns on innuendos that my opponent is a drunk, cheats on his wife and is a secret agent of a foreign power! I will not stoop to such accusations!” Those un-named people who “speculate” in print that a player of unimpugned character must have broken the rules and the law because of one HALF a season that is unusually good (or bad: see David Ortiz)are engaging in blatantly unfair character assassination based on nothing that even vaguely justifies the consequences to the individual of such an accusation. This is “Big Lie” methodology, and you contribute to it by engaging in a detailed “defense” of a player who needs no defense. “Everybody’s guilty until proven innocent” is an insideous concept cooked up by steroid cynics who want to excuse Bonds, Clemens et. al. on the ethically atrocious grounds that “everybody did it,” even though everybody DIDN’T. Quite simply, everybody in a profession will not share the same values, respect for their profession, integrity, level of greed, honesty and willingness to cheat. This is unfair to Ibanez, you say, but fair to baseball. Huh? Then criticize baseball, but leave Ibanez alone until there are at least some puffs of smoke beyond half a great season. The guy moved from a bad team to a good one, from a pitcher’s park to a hitter’s park, from a strong league to a weak one, and he’s still got half a season to go! That’s NOTHING. You might as well write a “defense” of why Frank Robinson’s Triple Crown in 1966, or Carl Yastrzemski’s Triple in 1967, were “probably” not based on steroid use. Of course they weren’t—any accusations that they were would be idiotic, vicious and unfair, and giving the semars the benefit of a serious “rebuttal” just dignifies them and gives them substance. That’s what you did to Raul Ibanez, and you owe him an apology.

  33. KingFelix says:

    Congrats on getting linked on ESPN, which caught my eye.

    Raul never got this angry at the speculation that he was hiding an injury from the Mariners blogosphere. That’s more likely to be the reason for his increased performance rather than PEDs.

    Look at his defense, specifically. I’m sorry, but you don’t go from a guy who flails after easy fly balls, watching several drop, to a guy with a solid UZR. Not even with steroids.

    Oh well. I thank him for the two draft picks he netted the Mariners with his Type A production at the plate.

  34. Speculation?? Really? One guy in your fantasy league makes a joke about Raul being juiced up and you call that speculation? I beat one of my buddys last week and made a rotten joke about my mother. Now am I going to go out and research the “facts” of his “speculation” and post them on my POS blog? NO. Ya know why? Because that is not speculation that is a response from someone who is pissed off that you beat him.

    I hope you enjoyed the spotlight. Now go call your lawyer.

  35. “If Raul Ibanez, or any other player who is speculated about for putting up great numbers, is upset at the speculation, the majority of their anger and venom in my opinion should be directed towards their past and present peers who used steroids and PEDs” -JRods response, as posted on ESPN.com

    So you think that, in order to not bring such negative publicity upon themselves, legitimately good players should “underpreform?” They should put up good, not great numbers so this type of heinous slander doesn’t happen to them? Maybe juicers should “vary their play,” in order to fly under the radar and continue to use PEDs?

    You’ve opened a whole can of worms and more, JRod. With the city of Philadelphia and ESPN on you, I wish you luck in your future journalistic endeavors. Your credibility has forever been altered.

  36. ITS CHARLIE TEACHING HIM HOW TO HIT… LOOK UP ALL THE PEOPLE CHARLIE TAUGHT AND YOULL REALIZE ITS HIM… PHILLY IS GONNA GET YOU FAG-RODDDDDDDDDD

  37. First I want to say that I appreciate you bringing up the subject. This is a hot subject in the baseball world. Ken R. acts like your the only one that can see what is going on. Everyone watching has the same feelings or at lest that little thought. Keep up the good work and look forward to reading in the future.

    • @justin, fuck you justin there isnt shit going on so what the fuck are you talking about the man is hitting in the most powerful lineup in the big leauges you have to throw strikes to someone and they arent going to throw them to utley howard or rollins dumbass

      • @Frank, not gonna pitch to rollins… thats a great idea cause he is simply amazing this year considering through 60 games his batting average is a whopping .217 and his obp is .254. Hell, i would walk him every time he comes up and pitch to a person with a slight chance to win the triple crown… u r simply a genius

  38. Thank you for writing your opinion. I agreed with some points and disagreed with others. Frankly, I find it hypocritical of those who are giving their opinion in the comment boxes. When I read a blog I read it for little nuggets of information from an opinion that is not mine. I encourage you to continue writing.
    What I want to see is the same people come back to this post and write you an apology 3-5 years from now when the evidence comes out that he indeed use. Sorry, but I can’t ever look at any baseball players with good numbers and not think of the possibility of using PED. You can blame all the others who already got caught for setting the stage for distrust among the fans. Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me; fool me thrice? People will continue glorify and defend imperfect human beings. Imperfect human beings will let you down every time, especially when there is financial gain to be had.
    Lastly, the people who keep defending “journalism” are just old and need to move on. I group journalist in the same group as baseball players. Journalists have their little sector of PED equivalent in the political sector. How dare you accuse this man of bad journalism when the most profitable sector of journalism is the overly bias political writers who treat their readers like sheep by spoon feeding them so called facts based on self serving “credible anonymous sources.” Please spare me, real journalist are as much speculators as a blogger. The great thing about reading a blog is that I can choose to accept or decline the author’s opinions without feeling robbed by having to pay 75 cents for paper that I will eventually have to throw away like the trash that it is.
    This is my opinion! Remember that.

  39. JRod:
    You are an idiot!

  40. joe black says:

    fucking bitch

  41. spencer says:

    raul ibanez, if you do your research has a srict work out regime with yoga, palates eating right etc. He was always a good hitter, who had played in a huge ballpark in the cold northwest. Not to mention he was in the american league were the pitchers throw more off-speed pitches like curve balls and change ups working wiht finess to get batter out, while the national league is more of a fastball, throw as hard as you can and hope they don’t hit it. these are he factors for raul’s amazing start:

    1. Smaller ballpark
    2. Better proteciton in the line-up
    3. No pressure of being the best hitter on a the team.
    4. Fewer curvballs more straight down the middle fastballs ( home-runs are easier to hit off fastballs)
    5. Worse teams, worse pitching. Raul get to not face the Yankees, Red Sox and all the other powerhouse American league teams. plus the american league is generally considered to be the tougher league ( all-star games anyone/ look up inter-league records)
    6. Big contract, playing for a winning team. Raul is probably energized to be on a winning team and to be making more than he ever has been.
    7. Finally, hes out of cold and dreary seattle were no one knew who he was (except me bc hes been on my fantasy team last three years)

    thats it! if he has taken steroids before this year he would have surely been caught with the testing. Raul is a professional hitter and its possible that hes just having a really lucky season were hes seeing the ball well and his years and years of playing ball have honed his skills and have made him a hitting machine. Rember, you don’t need superhuman strength to hit a homerun. Have you ever seen how skinny Ted Williams was? Its about bat speed, timing and location more that strength. SO WHY DONT YOU ALL GET REAL AND REALIZE THAT HES JUST HAVING A REALLY GOOD SEASON!!!! so quik to point fingers!!!!

    • @spencer, glad you’re defending Ibanez, but he actually is facing hard teams. Funny how the 2 AL teams you mention are the Yankees(won 2 of 3 there, where Ibanez homered) and Red Sox(come to Philly this weekend). Also, homered off Johan Santana yesterday and Philly split with LAD, best record in baseball. NL isn’t a joke

  42. I think you do a ncie job of pointing out where your article fell short (the hitters surrounding Ibanez), but to be honest, it’s a blog post and not a piece for the New York Times. Yes, all articles and posts should be as well-researched as possible before being published, but the negative feedback you’ve been receiving is really uncalled for. You’re stating what many people have been thinking and trying to debunk it. In the greater context of the Steroid Era, is this really so out of line?

  43. I applaud you more for keeping players accountable. Most beat writers don’t have a spine nowadays to accuse any player of using PEDs. Whereas, we as fans can set up blogs and hypothesize on something that everybody is thinking in the back of their minds.

    As fans WE can make these players accountable! Certainly not the commissioner, journalists and especially that crooked MLBPA. MAKE THEM SQUIRM! Blogs allow US FANS to have more power and make these lying players accountable. I love love baseball, and I want to see this game more clean.

    • @John, you dont need a spine… they are tested there is no fucking questioning anymore if he was on PEDs he would have been suspended easy as that what is there to question…. youre a fuckin joke john

  44. JoePadre says:

    If anything this is an indictment against Philly fans themselves, as 90% of their responses seem to be nothing but a blind desire for harm and revenge against an imagined enemy. Your article did nothing but condense statistics gathered from multiple sources and allow the reader to come to a conclusion on their own. Any Philly fan who believes that you are accusing Ibanez of PED use based upon your article must have come to that conclusion on their own, as nothing in your article leads the reader to believe that he is or isn’t. It is a sad day when sports fans cannot spitball in an informal forum without bloodthirsty and self-absorbed fanatics insulting participants. There was a time when fans of the game could speak in an open manner about their favorite players and villains of the game. Yes, in this day and age even a blog can reach the national spotlight, but for baseball fans to blindly ignore eye-popping seasons is exactly what we did with Manny, ARod, McGuire, Sosa, Caminiti, Palmero, etc. We have been faithfully buying tickets for years and have been deceived by the players union (and players themselves, as well as owners and managers) for years many many times. For anyone to declare that we, as fans, have no right to even mention “PED” by wielding some self-righteous “how can you judge anyone” generic argument from atop their Philadelpia soap box is the most naive and destructive thing that can be done. We have every right to openly discuss the matter without making accusations. Thank you your work.

    • RAuuuuul says:

      @JoePadre, what? Are you serious? Did you read the title and then the speculation. What? Really? This is a joke right? Oh I get it, for a second I thought you were serious. THanks for the laugh.

    • it shouldnt even be brought up cuz now look at it its all over espn n shit too its 2009 asshole people are so obsessed with shit like twitter n these losers that blog (apparently a 42 yr old that lives in his moms basement according to Raauuulllll hahahaha you fag jrod) but they test for this shit so theres no point in going around accusing people of shit or even speculating

  45. RAuuuuul says:

    Last year when the Phillies signed Pedro Feliz they SPECULATED that he would hit 30-40 home runs based on the 25 he averaged in San Fran. Quite honestly, given Raul’s last three years in Seattle combined with all the other variables I’m shocked your that suprised.

    And Im shocked you play in such a pathetic Fantasy baseball league. Thats the real story here. You boys in the midwest have nothing to do but talk bad sports, hold bad drafts and assault farm animals.

    I cant believe they put you on ESPN. Im also starting a blog. Who can I say is on steroids? That Michael Phelps had a pretty good year, he’s juicing. Johan santana hit a double last night, hes on roids, and Texiera must be on roids as well, he’s killing the ball. It has nothing to do with batting in front of Arod (who ironically is on roids). Thanks for ruining my day JFRAUD

  46. Hang in there Jerod.

  47. YOO JFRAUD Y DONT YOU WRITE BACK YOU LITTLE BITCH IM SURE YOURE GETTING ALL OF THESE ON YOUR SWEET IPHONE OR TWITTER OR WHATEVER YOU FUCKING GEEK

    COME ON DEFEND YOURSELF BITCH FUCKING MIDWEST ANIMAL FUCKER PIECE OF SHIT

    • @Frank, How would you like him to respond to all your intellectual arguments? Um, I’m calling the police, or maybe you’re a crazy psycho and need help.

    • @Frank, take your meds. Please.

      • @Texrat, yo Texrat you look like a fuckin pedophile im gonna make a blog calling you one and say you have little girls locked up in ur basement cuz you look like one… thats wat jfraud is doin haha

        Phillies. Repeat. 09.

  48. Dude just give it up. You accused him of PED’s and then he totally punked you to a REAL journalist in a REAL publication!

  49. John from West L.A. says:

    So… using your logic, anyone who has a breakout year “raises eyebrows” about the possibility of steroids?!?!? Give me a break! That is SO unfair to anyone who improves himself in the off season.

    I posted this on the MSNBC website earlier:

    The problem is, has and continues to be the REAL media outlets that choose to air this stuff because it is sensational. Shame on ESPN, MSNBC, CNN-SI or any other (legitimate media) outlet who quotes bloggers. They are not required to be answerable to anyone and pretty much say whatever they want. Then an outlet grabs it and says “This was posted on loserkidinhisbasement.com…” as if it is coming from a legitimate person just because there is a dot com in the title. Cripes, any loser can pay $3.95 a month for a website.

    Again, there’s nothing wrong with having a board where a bunch of guys shoot the crap about sports, but jeez… don’t try to call this ridiculous, unfounded, unresearched, unprofessional banter journalism.

    • @John from West L.A., I thnk the article was disgraceful, but your distinction between “real journalists” and bloggers is sentimental and naive hogwash….especially in regard to sports writers. “Legitimate” sports writers still write about how the batting order effects hitting performance, which is 100% nonsense. They mis-use or misunderstand stats, they don’t check facts. They make unsubstantiated claims routinely, and they are frequently under-educated, undisciplined, and petty. Just because they are “professionals” doesn’t mean they act professionally. Increasingly, they don’t.

  50. My brother is going to be an antagonist and hero to many, wihout desire to be either. Joe Padre makes an excellent point stating that %90 of these people have blind desire to contort Jerod’s words and bash him for the wrong reasons.

  51. Interesting article. My intent here is to prove that you are a credible, responsible journalist.

    Point 1-You write for a blog, not a valid newspaper. One could speculate that you don’t have talent, but…

    My intent here is to prove you are a credible, responsible journalist.

    Point 2-You do provide limited research that works in your blog. They say that 99% of all stats are made up. One (even you) admit you could have looked up more research but wanted to get the article out. I could speculate that you didn’t do your research, but…

    My intent here is to prove you are a credible, responsible journalist.

    Point 3-You work on the internet on a routine basis with your blog. You follow baseball. You must know the POWER of the internet. Clearly, one could assume that you are at the very least IRRESPONSIBLE, but I don’t want to go there. Remember…

    My intent here is to prove you are a credible, responsible journalist.

    Based on my findings, it’s fair to say you are not credible, not responsible, and not a journalist.

    Sorry, but that wasn’t my intent.

  52. I caught the OTL segment this afternoon BEFORE reading this article. Now, I’m wondering if Ken Rosenthal didn’t do the same thing. He repeatedly tried to transform the conversation into an attack on your journalistic integrity, which seemed bizarre at the time and now seems flat out wrong. I think your article offered up just about every other less sinister explanation out there for Ibanez’s jump in production, and your comments about Ibanez playing in an improved lineup actually went a long way to exonerating a man that I had personally already convicted as the next in a long line of MLB PED abusers. I think Ken needs to climb down from his pedestal in order to put this article, the modern blog, and the role of the mainstream media into proper perspective.

  53. I watched you today on “Outside the Lines” and first, I must say it was good to see a journalism debate on ESPN. More importantly, I believe that discussion and your blog post are examples of the dilema that sports writers and bloggers will be faced with for some time: is it right to accuse players of taking PEDs just because they are on a hot streak? A similar situation came up recently in the Chicago Sun-Times. Rick Telander wrote a column about Ryan Theriot’s new-found home run power. The column had a similar message: it’s unfair to accuse players with no tangible evidence, but in this era of baseball, how can we be sure anyone is clean? If I were Ibanez, I’d be upset too, but a lot of the blame falls at the feet of men like Bonds, McGwire and Selig. The media just can’t make wid accusations, but they also can’t stop trying to find the whole truth about steroids in baseball. Baseball has created this era of suspicion, so now players, fans and bloggers/writers all have to live with stories such as this being written.

    • @Joe, WHAT debate? “Is it right to accuse players of breaking the law and the rules based on a couple of months of superior play?” Of course not. It’s neither right, fair, or logical. It is, in fact, reckless, sloppy, mean-spirited and stupid. Just because some reckless, sloppy, mean, stupid peoplethink they are right to behave outrageously doesn’t make a debate.

      • @Jack Marshall, JRod never accused Raul. He said there is reason for speculation and if you disagree with that you’re either naive or watching espn classic.

  54. Greg Pickel says:

    Excellent article!

    I saw your interview this afternoon on ESPNs’ Outside the Lines, which is where I first learned of your website, and the specifics of this story.

    It is unfair and irresponsible journalism on the part of John Gonzalez by not providing the full article, and instead only picking and choosing what he wanted to use to get a “story.” You addressed many topics in this piece, and it is sad that he chose to pick what he wanted to see and report.

    Finally, Ken Rosenthall needs to get over himself. I could feel the anger building inside me as I watched him attack you repeatedly. You should have told Mr. Rosenthall that not everyone in the business can get a tan, put on their pretty suit, and spit out information for one broadcast a week on FOX. Sometimes you need to be a bit more provocative to get a story, and that is exactly what you did.

    Cheers to you for going on the record to defend yourself, and believeing in your story!

  55. Jared’s words were twisted. Read the original blog (above) and all he says is that there’s going to be speculation. He doesn’t actually say that he is using PED but points to the ballpark as the reason for the improvement.

  56. To even speculate crap like this is undermines all the hard work of someone who has always been deemed a professional hitter (at least since he was 30). Raul isn’t exactly hitting moon shots either if you took time to watch a game and not just look at stats you would see over half of his HR’s BARELY clear the wall and are line drive type HR’s. Whether this is CBP or just the ability to swing a little harder knowing you have half the 2009 allstar team hitting around you I’m not sure. But you have some balls to even but an ounce of speculation into steroid use and base it on the fact that the play for myself, manny being manny, 25 million is not enough man took steroids. I think I’m going to speculate your a rapist because I know other rapist from the Midwest, think I’m gonna go blog about it…. only fair right?

    • @Rob M, “To even speculate crap like this is undermines all the hard work of someone who has always been deemed a professional hitter (at least since he was 30).”

      Raul can thank those before him that paved this path of lies and lack of trust. Those are the ones that undermine all of his “hard work.”

      • @Scott @ WFNY, you know rapist from the midwest? You should tell the police and then get some new friends.

  57. aberylka says:

    Jerod
    I think you’re taking heat from sports reporters not because of the way you presented your case but more because they don’t like the idea that because of the internet anyone can become a journalist now. They feel threatened and are afraid to say the truth because they fear they will be shut out of interviews with famous sports athletes.The same way that Conseco was ostrasized but no one has proven him to be wrong yet, have they?

  58. As a former journalist myself, I think your post does a fantastic job of providing the factual information as we know it and lets the reader draw their own conclusion. You offer the steroids as a potential cause because–let’s face it–ignoring that possibility would be ignorant in this era. At no point do you state that you believe he took steroids.

    The evidence for his performance you presented is inconclusive. You admit as such.

    You are merely voicing what others are thinking. No one is convicting Ibanez.

    Great post, and a fantastic job of stating the case without bias. If only the actual baseball media presented arguments in this fashion. How can Gonzalez defend Ibanez? Does he know for a fact Raul didn’t juice? If he were an actual journalist, he would acknowledge that your post has merit.

  59. Brockmeyer says:

    Thanks for writing this, Jeff. Whether Ibanez is in fact on steroids or HGH, the fact of the matter is that THAT conversation exists among fans. We are having these kinds of debates about players who suddenly start drastically outperforming their career indicators. The speculation is all the more intense when it’s an aged veteran that does so, and such speculation IS warranted after MLB opted not to have any drug testing procedures up until a few years ago and after so many prominent players have since been exposed as cheats.

    Your column is an accurate reflection of what the fans are talking about and therefore gives voice to them. People like Ken Rosenthal and John Gonzalez are out of touch and imperiously think that the only thing that counts is what journalists think, not fans. Thanks for recognizing otherwise and keep up the good work.

  60. Anyone from phili who is pissed off and leaving comments, your word is about as meaningful as swinging wood at a fire.

  61. Just wanted to say to Jerod, in hopes that he’s still (or eventually will) read all these comments, that you might be interested to hear this meta-story is a topic of conversation outside of the sports world and sports fans. That shouldn’t be too surprising because (at least from my perspective) really this is not about steroids or Ibanez, but about “the media” in all it’s forms. I am an academic researcher in technology and telecommunications fields, and some colleagues and I have been discussing all day about how this phenomenon happened, the chain of events, and people’s different interpretations of it all.

    I’m not a big believer in the power of comment fields to make or sustain a compelling argument, but I’ll try.

    I, unlike many of the comments here and in other news media, don’t see your article as being irresponsible. Speaking solely for myself, I take from your article that the tone was initially, largely, and in the end *in defense* of Ibanez’ numbers, and the amount of research you did in an attempt to disprove your friend’s argument attests to the amount of personal, and possibly professional, responsibility you took in writing your article. An irresponsible act would have been an off-the-cuff “yeah what he said” response chiming in on your friend’s open-ended accusations. However, it is this very act of responsibility that makes the accusations of irresponsibility so compelling, because, by presenting the research, your article cannot be dismissed as mere unreasoned ranting or the like. It becomes more authoritative and more likely to draw criticism. If there is an area where you demonstrated irresponsibility it is in not (as yet) updating the post to take into account subsequent contributions others have added in terms of the NL vs AL’s talent pools, better pitching in the AL, a deeper analysis of the effect different hitters in the lineup have played on Ibanez’ numbers, etc. Many people will talk about Ortiz, Ibanez and others in personal conversations and on in various formats online.

    What I see as really missing here is an understanding of media channels. As McLuhan said, “the medium is the message,” and the arguments that this post is “irresponsible journalism” are very problematic. For us media studies folks, the issue here is not whether something you wrote is/was irresponsible, but what the definition of “journalism” is. Blogs, like newspapers, magazines, TV shows, and personal conversations come in all shapes and sizes, so it’s not productive to say “all blogs are this” or “all newspapers are that.” Readers need to (and most people usually do) consider multiple pieces of evidence about not only the content of what they’re reading, but also the medium/channel and ascribe, among other things, legitimacy to the claims made therein. Your post is NOT a newspaper article, or a magazine editorial. You are NOT a professional journalist nor acting on behalf of an official news organization. I don’t say that to belittle you or your work, but rather to highlight the fallacy others make when they try to hold you or your work to the prescriptions and standards of those other media channels and professions.

    To me and others in the media studies world, to say this post is “irresponsible journalism” (or to even say you are a “journalist” for that matter) shows a misconception of blogs as a medium and bloggers as a personal and/or professional activity. This misconception is understandable though because of the broad range of authoritativeness with which different blogs assume or are presumed to have. It makes knowing what expectations and standards to have for a blog or blogger difficult, and certainly not uniform. As an example, I could log into my Blogger account right now and post that I think a player is on steroids, but that is very different from Buster Olney writing it on his ESPN.com blog, and few people would accuse me of journalistic irresponsibility. The problem is for people like you who lie somewhere in between. Is it a reasonable expectation that you accurately gauge how much reach you have or how much authority with which people take your work? If you’re Buster Olney or me, I think it is, and you can criticize us when we irresponsibly fail to meet that expectation. (I.E. How foolish would it be if Buster said, “but I never thought anybody would read that” or I said, “why won’t people take my allegations seriously?!”)

    I just wanted to chime in that amid all the angry comments here and contrary to Ken’s remarks on OTL, there are a bunch of people who not only defend your post against claims of irresponsibility, but see this as an issue less about you, Ibanez or steroids and more about the vague, shifting expectations we as readers have for blogs and bloggers, and the roles they take in our contemporary media landscape. I sincerely hope you, and possible other commentators here, can move this discussion beyond an interminable debate about this particular instance which is not likely to resonate for much longer on the national scale it has reached, and onto a broader discussion of media and blogs as media channels. That might have some utility for the next time something somebody says on a blog causes the next great debate about “responsibility” and “journalism.” Will Leitch would agree.

    • @ED, That was intelligent commentary. And it’s also one of the things that’s happening here. An interesting read, thank you!

  62. I thought you did a good job of defending yourself on OTL. I also think the article, in and of itself, was well thought out and written. In this era of steroids, nobody is above suspicion. NOBODY. I admired Raul’s hustle and attitude in Seattle for a long time, and I can tell you that he was the best player on awful teams for many years. Now that he has protection, and plays on a good team, it’s not a surprise that he is doing well…except for the fact that he is 37 YEARS OLD!!!

    The story was interesting and the question needed to be brought up. I don’t think Raul is on PEDs, but nothing would surprise me anymore.

    I’ll hazzard a hunch and say his numbers won’t sustain their rate the whole season, that they will eventually balance out. MLB pitching is horrible on average and Raul is in a good situation in Philly.

    BTW I am a former sports writer who understand a thing or two about libel and slander as a journalism grad, and if you asked me if this story passed a litmus test for either of those to claims to be proven, I would say NO.

    You have a valid opinion based on reasonable research, and a past history of players in that age range losing productivity, yet you show multiple ways in which he could indeed be playing ‘clean.’ you might have ‘bent’ the rules a bit with your wording, but you left it for the readers to decide based on your ‘evidence.’

    Frankly, because of baseball’s inability to clean up the sport when it should have 10 years ago, this is where we are today. Good job, Bud Selig and the MLB player’s union! You happily traded greed for integrity.

    Good story. The fact that Ibanez claims he is clean means nothing. Anyone remember a fella named Palmero wagging his finger at Congress and LYING about PEDs. How about Manny? Sammy? et al? Just wait until Pujols gets caught. If he’s not on PEDs, then I don’t know who would be. He looks like McGuire’s twin at the plate when he was at his peak. Something does not seem right. Will I face libel and slander for expressing that opinion? Last time I checked, we had the freedom to debate issues and have ‘opinions’ in this great country.

    Nobody is above suspicion in MLB. Someone should test whether Selig has been on dope that past decade!

  63. one factor you can figure is that many of the pitchers hes been playing against have never faced him. switcching al to nl is like bringing over a skilled 37 year old rookie.

  64. This man did a great deal of research into trying to communicate effectively and accurately. In no way should the author be criticized. As for you, Raul Ibanez, I say this…I too was/am suspicious of PED pertaining to you and the statistics you have been putting up this year. However, it was good to see the way that you reacted to the article. It shows that you are even willing to let them test your poopy to prove that you don’t use PED’s. That is commendable. May this matter rest in peace. Raul you the man if you aren’t using PED’s. You have been one of the more consistent players in baseball over the past 10 years and have gotten minimal recognition for being as good as you have been. I could say a lot more but I’ll end on this…Tell anyone you see using steroids or PED’s that they aren’t really professional talent (they are cheating and taking away opportunities from players like myself). Clean up your act MLB. If you had sooner then maybe this wouldn’t all be happening today.

    Sincerely,

    Steven Baldassari

  65. I am so envious of you J Rod, Appearing on Espn, getting a huge article wrriten about you in a major market newspaper, getting your own caption on rotoworld, whats next for you big guy? Have you been asked to appear on next seasons dancing with the stars? I thrive to be just like you, thats why I am going to create my own sh*tty sports blog, give it a regional name and then fabricate some defaming story about a professional athlete in hopes that I can become a big shot like yourself

    • Ryan Russell says:

      you ARE jealous, and merely pretending to be facetious. i think the psychological term would be “projection” via “sublimation”. Must stink to be you…. for real.

  66. JoshFerre says:

    I just saw your spot on ESPN talking about your article. Then I came online and read it to get the whole picture because I felt there may have been some resentment from the main stream media because you were getting so much press as a blogger. Although I agree on the fact that the speculation of steroids is there for fans who watch and see Raul doing so well as an aging player, it is a completely different thing to build a case that basically ‘implies’ PED use for a player that has never tested postiive. Not only that, but you admitting that you didn’t have the time to fully research ALL aspects of the article is pretty ridiculous. Any baseball fan who knows his stuff will tell you a player batting in a line-up where he’s getting help to see better pitches will go a LONG way. For you to dismiss such statistics and points on your “opinion” is irresponsible, esepcially when it’s unproven.

  67. you suck says:

    You are a moron. I can make stuff up to.

  68. As a responsible writer with my own site, I believe your article to be not only inaccurate, but unfair and irresponsible. As a subscriber to both AP and Getty Images for the use of their photographs, I wonder if you have the rights to the photos you use on your site. If you want to be in a position to write such things, you must be prepared to take the criticism that comes with it and must also be prepared to pay up financially for the right to use other people works and photographs.

  69. I honestly hope Raul ends up suing the crap out of you. People must be held accountable for defamatory words posted in an open forum. And please don’t tell me this is freedom of speech. This is defamation, pure and simple. You are finished.

    • Ryan Russell says:

      @jc,

      you are wrong… and you are stupid.

      sue me.

    • @jc, have you reaad the original article?? If so you would see there is NO DEFAMATION. READ BEFORE YOU SPEAK PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • TheOtherJRod says:

      @jc, Public figures, like Mr. Ibanez, are held to much higher standards as to what constitutes libel/defamation of character. The only way that this article is libel is if Jerod wrote the article intending to harm Ibanez’s character, and I think we can see from Jerod’s responses to the many comments here and his appearance on OTL that he never intended to harm Ibanez in any way. Raul can go ahead and sue him all he wants, but he’s not going to win.

      • @TheOtherJRod, “The only way that this article is libel is if Jerod wrote the article intending to harm Ibanez’s character”

        wow, is reading comprehension really that foreign of a concept for you morons? Saying that Raul’s performance this season is an aberration, and attributable to ped’s is not going to harm his character?!

        • @jc, JC wins this round

        • @jc, So you call somebody a moron and THAT’S not defamation? No… that’s an insult. So let me insult you, you filty piece of foreskin. Stop posting moronic posts and just STFU or I will sue your ass for being retarded.

  70. Forget Ibanez. Considering his ubiquitous angry posts, I think we should start seriously considering whether Frank may be on steroids.

    • @K, fuck you pussy we’re angry cuz of loser nerds like jfraud making accusations WHEN THE PLAYERS ARE TESTED. oh yea did you see the biceps on raul? theyre huge……… well not really but they still put that changeup outta Citi Field hahahaha fuck the mets and fuck you K

  71. Jon Murray says:

    I’m a huge Phillies fan and have every reason to jump to the defense of my team and it’s players. I want nothing to taint our success. The sad reality is that the same thought about Ibanez has occurred to me, and it’s a statement about the times in which we live. I think it’s fair for Jerod to verbalize what everyone is saying and thinking, and I think it’s a joke that this has been so ridiculously blown out of proportion. Why should he not have the right to voice the opinion of many. My friends and I – devout Phillies fans – have commented that it’s natural to think I guy who is on pace to double his best HR production in his career at age 37 be linked to so many others who have done the same and were proven to be guilty – even after making statements as strong as Ibanez did today. We’re not saying he’s done anything wrong – just acknowledging what is the obvious question.

    I have to say, I think Jerod’s right that his article was completely mis-characterized. I hope Ibanez sues him – I’d love to see it. Jeron made no such claim, just a commentary on the sad state of the MLB. When I saw the article on Philly.com, I expected a MUCH different blog post. This has become laughable.

    And come on, he runs a blog, not the NY Times. I think we have to be a little more realistic about his responsibility to the world. If he had said “Ibanez used HGH”, I’d get in line behind you, but he made no such statement.

    • @Jon Murray, Exactly. Hell, Raffy Palmeiro wagged his finger at Congress and said he never used steroids, period. Got suspended like a month later. And hey Pete, for the record, what exactly are the implications of THAT?

  72. Hey Jerod, just came across this story on ESPN. First off, great article, and way to hold your own against Ken Rosenthal :). In regards to this post, I totally agree with your blog post. As a sports fan, when I see someone’s numbers such as Ibanez’ in his late 30′s, I have the same suspicions. That’s what baseball has come to these days. Hey Ibanez, don’t blame the fans, blame all the others before you that have lied in our faces.

  73. Sean McVeigh says:

    I have to say that Ken Rosenthal’s reaction to this article is ridiculous. To say that the article was bad because a columnist from the Philadelphia Inquirer took offense (and he took offense) is a circular argument. This is a good bog post, an interesting read and so what if Raul Ibanez takes offense, it’s a fair question to ask in this steroid era.

    Anyone that more than doubles his home run pace at age 37 is doing something that will raise suspicions. If we gave him a spinal tap and found HGH, would he give all his money back or is that off limits?

    Philadelphia citizens, in my experience, are the rudent humans on the planet and as it turns out their columnists are not only rude but stupid, as well.

    That being said, I have lots of friends from there that are cool, but I have never seen such angry, rude people as I have on my visits to Philly. Parisians could learn a thing or two from them.

    • Mighty Mary says:

      @Sean McVeigh,

      Rudent is not a proper word. Even if you meant to type rudest -it should be most rude. You perceive us as rude. Hmmmm…..so…..you expect the red carpet to be rolled out when arrive in our city ? Maybe we aren’t rude .Maybe we just don’t like pompous asses like yourself who choose to make such comments on a blog about us being rude.

  74. So… when’s Ibanez gonna get tested?

    moe.

    • @unclemoe, I’m sure he has been. Some people hit their stride at different times. Plus CBP is a hitter’s park.

      Look up Jimmy Morris idiots

  75. I watched the ESPN OTL spot with you and the other two writers on it, and I whole heartedly agree with them…There is a difference between bickering with friends and other online buddies about certain players in private settings, but when you write an entire article on a well read web site, its going to blow up in your face. The fact is, you obviously f*cked up. It might have been unintentional, but you still f*cked up. You can argue all you want and say, “ohhh I meant this and didnt mean that”,”I technically didnt say that he was on steroids,” bla bla bla. Saying you meant to say something different doesn’t take away the fact that all of baseball nation is talking about this right now.

    Even if this article is mis-characterized, the thing was written vaguely. Have you ever heard of implications? You can say something loud and clear without ever saying it. No matter what you mean to say, people are going to interpret it. And when you write an entire article, where in the f*cking title you mention his name and steroids, what do you think is going to happen? People are going to make some assumptions as to what youre implying. Even if theyre wrong, you have to realize that they’re still going to happen, and use discretion in your writing.

    Also, when you include facts and stats in the article that you said were supposed to help build your case in defending Raul, but instead bolstered the other sides arguement, and proceeded to write the majority of the article about your “raised suspicions”, its going to be confusing as to what you might think. Get a clue, buddy.

    • @Pete, Have you read Juiced? Or maybe I should give you something more respectable (oops even though Canseco was proven to be right multiple times – and by the way, I was one of his bashers at first). Like… Game of Shadows?

      I’ve read both books. In Game of Shadows, Barry Bonds’ name is included along with steroids… in the same sentence. More than once. I can assure you.

      Implications? Are you f*cking kidding me? You’re telling me Jerod writing this article is going to imply some global catastrophe revolving around a baseball player? Your implications are the biggest load of B.S. I’ve ever read (and just so MY implications don’t confuse you, B.S. here does NOT mean “Bachelor of Science”). Jerod is just writing a blog. He’s not the commissioner and he won’t suspend Ibanez. I’m betting you if Selig read this even he would laugh privately (while lambasting Jerod, of course, because he should side with the player and because he’s such a hypocrite). If all that was said about Barry had any implication, it was that he was the most hated player of our time. That was IT. And don’t give me no BS about him facing federal charges now, that was an investigation into BALCO which evolved into individual investigations into each of the star athletes. And the detective in charge of Bond’s investigation is full of himself and his sudden stardom because of his position in the investigation.

      Open your eyes buddy. You talk like an old man. Pretty soon you’ll be irrelevant if you keep this up.

      • @Tino, lol you actually read Canseco’s book? Haha, you truly are a moron.

        • @jc, I am a moron because I read Canseco’s book? Well when I bought it I thought it would be just another he-said, she-said kinda thing. I was tempted to believe McGwire had done steroids, but no one else. Lo and behold, Raffy Palmeiro gets suspended just weeks after his fingerwagging at Congress. His name was in Juiced. McGwire did not want to talk about the past. Sammy Sosa forgot the English language in the hearing. Ivan Rodriguez was also mentioned, and recently he told a reporter who asked him whether his name was on the list of 114 positive steroid tests from the survey testing “Only God knows”. And Ivan’s a hero here where I live. Who do you think we can trust in this day and age?

          And by the way, try to post something intelligent the next time. Calling me a moron does nothing to defend whatever point you might have.

          Unless that point is to insult people. In that case, I commend you to read a few books and learn a few insults besides “moron”.

  76. Ibanez is a great player and ripping it up, but I wouldn’t be surprised at all if the allegations of PEDs were true.

    Either way, congrats on all the attention your blog has received from this ridiculous story.

  77. Also, I agree that its a good subject to talk about, and needs to be talked about. but I think the article was extremely vague and poorly structured, and as a result, was taken out of context. If you want to make a point about how every player is going to be under scrutiny because we’re unfortunately playing in the steroid era, here’s an idea…Write about it in a general sense and NOT ONE PLAYER.

    Heres an article on comcast.net about the same subject of the steroids era in baseball and how it affects players today, take a few notes JRod.

    (The article was written by a Philly sports fan, who is a good and fair writer and not a “rudent human”, as the obviously brilliant Sean McVeigh stated.)

    • @Pete, You don’t get it. What’s the point in writing in general when there is an 800 pound gorrilla staring you in the face… and his name is Raul Ibanez. More specifically, Raul Ibanez’s 2009 stats, which are somewhat (to say the least) not in line with his career lines.

      A GAZZILLION PEOPLE WROTE MUCH WORSE SMACK ABOUT BARRY BONDS AND THERE WAS VERY LITTLE OUTCRY. Read those words over and over Pete. I can almost here you gasp – “How could that be?” Well yes it happened. Why is that not so bad as this? Because Barry’s black, rich and famous, AND owner of the most hallowed record in sports? So he should be strong and take all the heat, while if Jerod here writes about the POSSIBILITY (read: posibility means that it MIGHT be) that Ibanez is using steroids, it’s such and outrage?

      I think celebrities (and that includes pro sports players) should not be angry at anything you say or write about them unless it is such outlandish slander that it is impossible not to react. That is the price to pay for getting paid millions to play a game. We the fans basically pay you. So put up and shut up. End of story.

  78. What stands out, when you look at Ibanez stats is his numbers with men on base. Ibanez historical numbers with men on base (2006-2008) are almost the same as his current numbers.

    Ooops, you missed it.

    Here are the historical numbers.

    http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/players/splits?playerId=3504

    Add that to the size of the park, and the improved lineup, and well, you wonder just how good Ibanez would have been if he had better players around him in Seattle.

  79. JROD

    I think your article perfectly captures the cynical mood of today’s Baseball fan. I live and work in Boston where baseball is a frequent topic of conversation. Sadly and unfortunately, PED’s, HGH, BALCO & Steroids, as well as who “Might be on the Juice” are now a regular part of that conversation.

    If Raul Ibanez is honestly “Clean” then he shouldn’t be angry with you for writing this article but instead he should be taking issue with the players who cheated by using steroids. If he wants to know why anyone would suspect that he might be using Steroids then he should ask Bonds, Arod, Clemens, McGwire, Palmeiro or one of the “Cheaters” why they decided to ruin the game for all of the “Honest” players.

    I’m Sorry but I’d have more respect for Raul Ibanez if he came out & publicly blasted Manny Ramirez for tarnishing his profession instead of feigning “disgust” at a writer for stating the obvious.

  80. TheOtherJRod says:

    It’s really unfortunate that many people are jumping to conclusions about your ethics without even having read your post (looking at you Ken Rosenthal). Great job on OTL today, it’s unfortunate that journalists continue to feel threatened by bloggers and feel the need to tag team up against them. If Mr. Rosenthal took the time to read what you had written and not based his opinion solely on what was excerpted in the Inquirer maybe he would’ve realized you were not accusing Ibanez of anything and in fact making the case against him using PED’s.

  81. I haven’t read all the comments so I apologize if this has already been posted. But, I think these stats are very relevant to the discussion:

    -Ibanez has seen 64% fastballs this season (compared to 59.8%, 63%, and 61.2% the previous three years)
    -22% percent of Ibanez’ swings have been at pitches out of the strike zone (compared to 26.4% and 23.9% the previous two years)
    -He has swung at only 42% of pitches this year (his lowest since that data has been kept)

    To me, it sounds like a lot of Ibanez’ success is based on the new park he plays in, his position in the lineup and the new lineup he’s in, and that he’s been more selective at the plate. Will he hit 50 home runs? Probably not. But 40-45 is not out of the question even without steroids. The guy has always been a great hitter.

  82. What’s interesting about the response to this post is that it highlights how hypocritical people are for lambasting baseball beat-writers for covering up or ignoring the steroid abuse in the late 90s. If someone then had written an article detailing their suspicions, well, this would have been the response, but only about 20x worse.

    • @paul zummo, Exactly. These people, and especially the two guys in the interview on espn, are so hypocritical… You can’t have it both ways. You can’t have supposedly open discussion and then “BOOM!” a blogger gets roasted nuclear for writing a piece. Just a bunch of hypocrites.

  83. Hi Jerod,

    I just saw the espn interview you did. I think those two guys are the ones out of touch with the times… Keep up the good work, and don’t let these media bozos bring you down. They’re just jealous they didn’t come up with the story.

    Speculation is speculation and everyone is entitled to it, written or not. What the hell, are they gonna come after me if I write smack about Ibanez in my myspace or facebook? They seem not to realize we live in America and one of our greatest priviliges is the right to free speech. So disregard these people who obviously just want all the glory for themselves.

    You were the most honest person in that interview on espn and you just gained yourself a new fan.

    Take care,
    Tino from Puerto Rico

  84. joe ariza says:

    why pick on Raul, he is probably as clean as can be. Pick on the players union, they wouldn’t let him test individually no matter what!

  85. Just watched the Outside The Lines clip. Rosenthal’s performance was a disgrace.

    • @TheSportsHernia, indeed. He lost my respect.

      • PhilFanForLife says:

        @Tino, Funny that it took a courageous blogger in his mom’s basement to expose Rosenthal and the rest of the sports media as the hypocritical asses that they are. They deserve their share of blame for having consciously turned a blind eye to rampant PED abuse in MLB. Stay strong Jerod. And for the record I am from Philly, am a huge Phillies fan and a fan of Raul (assuming he is clean). So there is a little brotherly love out there for you . . .

  86. This is great! Very well written… and I can’t believe the media attention that this has brought.

    He even replied himself, crazy!

    Anyone want to debate this at Sports2Debate.com?!? :)

  87. Bob Abernathy says:

    Jerod

    Ibanez and others are entirely justified in criticizing your blogging on steroid rumors.

    You keep protesting that you were only providing an argument to counter such rumors. But that’s not how your original piece comes across.

    His performance raises eyebrows? Whose eyebrows? Are you speaking to those eyebrows? Are the eyebrows unreasonable?

    Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. Just not their own facts.

    I’ve heard that some people don’t think men actually landed on the moon, instead whispering that it was staged; and that some people still deny the Holocaust occurred, even the President of a country who thinks it was only a scheme peddled to justify the creation of a new country 60 some years ago.

    Are these raised unibrows onto something about moon-landings and the Holocaust, despite not only their completely faulty “facts,” but also the overwhelming cascade of legitimate evidence to the contrary clearly debunking their rants? Why would you even want to give these nuts the time of day?

    If you, or the eyebrows, have some facts about Ibanez and PEDs then please share them.

    But you, or they, don’t. And he hasn’t failed a test — which, if he had, we would’ve heard about weeks ago when Manny was suspended, or at least by now.

    So you’re really only perpetuating these unfounded rumors whispered by paranoid ranters.

    The stats you provided in your original post suggest that he’s legit, but whatever argument you claim you’re trying to make is diluted by the eyebrow raising headline and your implication that nobody would really be astonished to learn that any player had used — and by that you mean Ibanez.

    If you were genuinely trying to rebut the PED-usage rumors your headline would have read “Wackos Dead Wrong About Ibanez and PEDs and Here’s Why.”

    It’s like Fox News, and you’re on the TV saying you’re very “concerned” about all of these rumors about the surprisingly strong performance of that new Philly. You didn’t say he did anything wrong, but the rumors have been dutifully passed along.

    This is a serious matter for any ballplayer, especially today.

    We live in a cynical and gullible age, laced with veins of graceless bile and slothful reason. You and others who communicate have a duty to tread carefully as we all slog through this epoch.

    You are either being disingenuous in your follow-up responses regarding your original intent, or you were sadly and grievously sloppy.

    No matter which, you should be ashamed. And you should apologize, again and without equivocation, to Mr. Ibanez.

    • @Bob Abernathy,

      Or he could be a man and stand by what he wrote.

      Raul Ibanez is not immune to steroid speculation, and he shouldn’t be. Considering that we just got done discovering that another mid-30s outfielder who pumped out gaudy numbers was on steroids, people are absolutely justified in at least raising the question of whether or not Ibanez is using any kind of performance-enhancer.

      He wrote the article because he had seen speculation about possible steroid use by Ibanez floating around the Internet. Though he doesn’t think that Ibanez is using, he decided to look into it so he could debunk it, but once he began researching the topic he realized that it isn’t completely unwarranted to at least be suspicious considering how well Ibanez has been hitting this year compared to previous years.

      Ibanez should really be disgusted with the players that have ruined things for him (if he’s clean, which he may very well be) and all the other clean players in MLB. Considering that almost all of this era’s “great” hitters have turned out to be linked with steroid use in some way, fans are justified for being suspicious of guys that put up such great numbers so late in their careers.

      What JRod did was not irresponsible. It was a little sloppy, yes, but not unwarranted. If Ibanez really is clean, then he go out and prove his doubters wrong. That’s the quickest way to end any speculation – prove everyone wrong.

      • Bob Abernathy says:

        @Zach,

        Zach, thanks for the level-headed response to my post. Wrong, but at least it was polite.

        Wild, unfounded rumors don’t prove anything, and they certainly don’t permit someone trying to be perceived as a credible baseball analyst — since I assume Jerod has long ago climbed out of his Mother’s basement — to perpetuate them as anything other than unsubstantiated nonsense.

        It is flat out wrong to tarnish an otherwise unblemished reputation with fools’ speculations. Okay for barstool blather, I suppose, but that’s it.

        You said: “Though he doesn’t think that Ibanez is using, he decided to look into it so he could debunk it, but once he began researching the topic he realized that it isn’t completely unwarranted to at least be suspicious considering how well Ibanez has been hitting this year compared to previous years.”

        But, Zach, that’s exactly what Jerod, in his follow-up comments, said he didn’t do. He whined he was misunderstood, claiming he never actually expressed suspicions about Ibanez. But Jerod did.

        You also said: “If Ibanez really is clean, then he go out and prove his doubters wrong. That’s the quickest way to end any speculation – prove everyone wrong.”

        C’mon. Guilty until proven innocent? That’s the standard you want to start applying. For everyone? Really?

        So let’s test Ibanez’ former teammate, Ichiro, since he just had a 27 game hitting streak. Aren’t you and others raising eyebrows?

        I would suggest that the same Spring Training testing that nailed Manny would have snagged Ibanez by now, wouldn’t you think? So why does he have to prove anything to you.

        Adrian Gonzalez has more home runs, should we get him to start studying for a test?

        It is, in fact, because there have been players busted lately — or as good as busted like Bonds and McGwire — that we all bear a clear responsibility to be careful and, more importantly, have the goods to back up our claims.

        Since we’re, many of us, cynical about performances these days such wild speculation and brow-raising does more actual damage to the innocent player.

        Really, even Jose Canseco would blush if he was trying to peddle this rubbish about Ibanez.

  88. Excellent job, Jarod. Thorough and impartial.

    First of all, I saw the Outside the Lines video today. Rosenthal was such a prick. So arrogant.

    I disagree with them that we all (non-media) have a responsibility with what we write. It’s our opinion and it’s called Freedom of Speech. Social media is not the same thing as ‘the media’.

  89. JRod,

    Saw your OTL interview today and I have to say I was really embarassed for Ken Rosenthal’s brash, inappropriate attempt at skewering you. What he and Gonzalez simply don’t understand is that you weren’t accusing with your post, you were simply stating that there was speculation. Even after you had said this multiple times on the show they still tried to take you down simply because they didn’t listen, or didn’t want to. Unbelievable. Maybe they were just nervous you’d take their jobs…

    Your responsibility is to represent the fans. If they’re speculating, you have to put it out there. They need to understand that.

    –Goose

  90. First off, regarding Ken Rosenthal’s criticism of this blog – he is completely incapable of understanding how much the traditional media of the past 10-15 years have failed to do its job.

    Perhaps if they were a bit more investigative in nature, they would have dug deeper into what fans had been talking about for some time, steroids and peds.

    My message to Ken Rosenthal is this: You are no better than a low-level employee of major league baseball. Like many of your fellow media “experts”, you have much to gatin personally ( i.e. financially) by having baseball be popular.

    Why would we trust the media who has so much at stake in the popularity of the baseball?

    There was NOTHING in this blog that was written unfaily.

  91. Fuck You says:

    Rosenthal took your sad retarded ass behind the fucking woodshed and exposed you as just another dumb fuck with a computer.

  92. This was on ESPN:

    http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/columns/story?columnist=bryant_howard&id=4158199

    That’s an article on David Ortiz’s struggles this season – and doesn’t mention steroids. Fast forward a few days and this came out:

    http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/columns/story?columnist=bryant_howard&id=4163281

    The fans were outraged that Howard Bryant didn’t include steroids in his original article. So what does he do? HE WRITES ABOUT IT AND PUBLISHES IT. Which is kinda like what Jerod did. Except Bryant’s on ESPN and is read by millions. Jerod has a blog. So much for “responsibility” on the part of Howard Bryant.

    • @Tino, excellent point, and thanks for bringing these two articles into the discussion… my favorite quote from that second article comes from a reader’s email to the ESPN author:
      “I am a fan of your work, but was troubled by your latest piece. I find it irresponsible that you wrote such an in-depth piece on David Ortiz and failed to even mention the possibility of PEDs. While everyone is innocent until proven guilty, it is foolish for us to continue to turn a blind eye to how MLB was run over the past 15 years.”

      So it’s irresponsible for a columnist to NOT INCLUDE speculation about a player’s use of PEDs there. Here, it’s irresponsible for a columnist to INCLUDE speculation about a player’s use of PEDs. Wow.

      • @ED, Exactly my point. You can’t have it both ways. And people seem to miss that. Ken Rosenthal is stuck with late 90′s thinking, he admits he was wrong in not noticing the growing problem but yet he doesn’t want anyone to write about it. He has lost my respect and I’m sure the respect of alot of other people with his attitude, because it was precisely that attitude that got us to this point.

  93. Selig should hire this guy, Rosenthal.

    http://sports.espn.go.com/stations/player?id=4223788

    In other news, Ken Rosenthal is named as succesor to Fidel Castro in Cuba…

  94. Would anybody really be surprised if Ibanez tested positive for steroids?

  95. Raul Ibanez is souding a lot like Roger Clemens. Why is he getting so Pissed off over some Blog? If he’s clean he has nothing to worry about right?

  96. Public figure – tough stool. Stupid response. Go get the tests – no one really wants your stool.

    And, when I called the Phillies, they declined to provide such stool.

  97. Tee Gee says:

    Character is the key…Raul Ibanez has more character than you will ever know….something this little dinky website lacks Greatly!

    It is easy to throw accusations at somebody…I think they should throw a lawsuit…im sure they will

    • @Tee Gee, This “little dinky website” that YOU are visiting. Next time you say anything that is not glowing about another person, I hope they slap YOU with a lawsuit. Wow since when are we in a country where you have to be afraid to speak your mind. Think about it but dare not share your thoughts with anyone. Go away Tee Hee we don’t want you here.

  98. Go F yourself says:

    You’re a douche. Period.

    • @Go F yourself, very intelligent response. Please come back and visit real soon. Love having you!!!!!

  99. Christian says:

    JRod,

    I have noticed a few things, and I’m sure someone else MUST agree with me, including you:

    One: You tried your absolute hardest to provide reasons beyond the numbers that Ibanez DIDN’T use steroids. You literally went through every measure, every stat in every way to provide evidence that this was bound to happen to some extent. You went as far as to say that you SAW a monster season from Ibanez coming anyways, via your fantasy interest in him.

    Two: Because you created such a coherent, sophisticated analysis of Raul Ibanez’s performance, people got upset at your post. That is, if Ken Rosenthal and John Gonzalez saw a very poor blogger posting an entry like this,

    “Z0MG RAUL IBANEZ HITS HRs d00d HE MUST USE PEDs!!!!!! WUT A CH33TER;”

    It would be totally disregarded. But the fact is that according to what Rosenthal and Gonzalez were upset about-the mere fact that you brought up speculation-the two would actually be more upset at this blogger. But they don’t mind to bring up these types of bloggers. Why? Because they are neither articulate nor attractive writers.

    Three: Why should they care? What Ken Rosenthal and John Gonzalez tried to do is strip your FREEDOM OF SPEECH. You should post MORE things like this. Who cares if Raul Ibanez gets upset? Take it as a compliment. All he can do is take all the tests put in place and disprove speculation. It’s impossible that you and your buddy were the only two people in America who speculated. We live in a country where you CAN STATE YOUR SPECULATION!!! Even if you wanted to, you could say that he probably did steroids!!!!!!!

    Thank you for your wonderful post, and I appreciate the time you took to lay out all the possibilities regarding surge in numbers.

  100. 37 year olds NEVER had career years until the steroid era. Bonds is the prime example.

    Am I suspicious of Ibanez? You bet. And he ought to back up his talk with some action. Provide a blood test to an independent testing agency and have them release the results.

    I’m sick of these guys getting all pissy when someone raises an eyebrow. We’ve been duped too many times, now, and I don’t believe them anymore. They can bemoan the suspicious all they want, but facts are facts: Ibanez is a 37 year old having — by far — his best season ever.

    That doesn’t add up.

    • @John, Exactly. We got duped into believing it was all weight training and diet and just science making athletes better as they got older…. bullshit. They were using science all right, the science of steroids. And I had been wondering about Iba~ez too, though given the ballpark and the lineup I wrote it off as just him going from Death Valley in the American League to a matchbox. Jerod’s blog makes the case that this is not the complete picture, though. And since there is no test for HGH, how could we be sure?

      • Altagracia says:

        @Tino,
        Why can’t you just admit that you would never defend Raul because he is of Cuban descent ?.Everyone knows that Boricua and Cubanos don’t like each other.

        • @Altagracia, I actually did not know that. I’m actually part Cuban on my fathers side (no BS) so if anything I’d defend him. I don’t think he’s on the juice but I wouldn’t be surprised if he was caught. I wouldn’t be surprised if Ivan Rodriguez was caught either.

          I like Cuban baseball and it was a dissapointment they didn’t come here this last WBC. First time around they played exceptionally. Gourriel is a good player and Frederich Cepeda is a beast.

  101. Pathetic!! The guy is off to a hot start with really good, but not other worldly numbers and you have to drop the “S” bomb? No proof, no aligations, no mention in a book, just you and your “statistic analysis”. If you really were intending to prove he wasn’t on, then you might want to look into your analysis skills, because he has had hot streaks like this before. You claim to be a baseball fan and want Ibanez to do well. Then why did you write the post and make unfounded accusations? Yea, you didn’t necessarily say he is on steroids, but you might as well have. Baseball is hurting enough without hacks like you spitting this venom.

    • @Mike, “Baseball is hurting enough without hacks like you spitting this venom”? Then why don’t YOU ask yourself why?? You are blaming a fan for wondering about PED’s when there is so much dirty laudry on the line? Get your head out of the sand and pretend to have a brain.

      • Pete Dumas says:

        @Jordan,
        JRod is more than a fan, he is a fan with a media outlet. Do you know what would happen if word got out that even in this “economic downturn” people making next-to-nothing compared to professional athletes are the one’s who keep it all alive. They essentially are hiring millionaires to entertain them.

        • @Pete Dumas, and your poin is what? You have the same outlet if you choose. All Bloggers have a voice……..just like you now have a voice.

  102. What I find the most hilarious about this whole situation is how the Philadelphia Inquirer cites this blog, and then later the PI Writer that did that explains how dangerous and how careful you need to be because the lines between traditional and new-age media are blurred. This PI Writer guy is a complete jag if he believes what he said.

    On one point he agrees that it’s o.k. to be skeptcial, but that it should not come out on paper. THEN WHY THE HELL DID YOU CITE THE BLOG? You know damn well it’s because someone beat you to what you wanted, but couldn’t write. You just don’t have the stones to write it yourself.

  103. Here’s what is funny to me. All the fans rushing to the defense of Ibanez as if they “know” any more than the blogger himself. Amateur “journalism” accusations made by people playing amateur lawyer…lol.

    This also seems eerily familiar to what happened with guys like Big Mac, Sosa, etc. The supporters of such players going ballistic about “unfounded” suspicions until suddenly the defense is weaker and weaker and the defenders start thinning out as the cloud of suspicion grows thicker.

    Now, this is not to say Ibanez has done steroids, just that we DON’T KNOW (which I’m pretty sure is all the article was trying to convey in the first place). This isn’t a journalist speculating without fact, it’s a blogger musing about such things. He actually presented more information to counter the notion he does steroids. He simply stated that it was unfortunately not enough to put such speculation to bed IF (and he did offer disclaimer) such a high level of production continues throughout the year.

    Of course, the “professional” (John Gonzalez) ignores that and like most sensationalist journalism today, focuses on a few lines rather than the sum of the piece itself, thus making it bigger than it is. The best part is, everyone jumps on board as well and reads the blog out of context, or better yet…not at all.

    Ironically, the hyper-sensitive fans, ESPN, and Ibanez himself gave this blog more credence than it actually deserved anyway. It was an interesting read, but that’s about it. I certainly didn’t come away from it on high alert or anything. It’s everyone BUT the blogger who made this an issue.

    And Rosenthal can blast off all he wants, but it’s entirely hypocritical (he’s admitted as much too, actually, on Mike and Mike) as I’ve heard him speculate (and he’s actually a professional journalist)and say essentially the same thing as this writer said…there’s an undeniable cloud of suspicion. On top of that, if guys like him were following their so-called “journalistic integrity” to begin with, it wouldn’t have taken a tell-all book from a Juicer to break such news in the first place.

    I just find all the self-righteous outrage to be hilariously hypocritical is all. It’s a blog (a seemingly well-written one, at that), not a column. And the point remains. Until it’s no longer an issue, there will be speculation. You can thank Bud and MLB, the players who cheated and allowed cheating to continue, and the spineless journalism that followed the whole charade.

  104. JRod,

    I want to post another comment in support of your article. Was it perfect? Probably not. But was it (a) on a subject that deserves to be discussed (and, yes, in print); (b) soberly written; and (c) well-researched? Yes. Certainly you could have made more of the differences in line-ups and the change in leagues, but to me that does not make the entire article a bad one. And your tone was very professional throughout, so I see nothing wrong there.

    As for the first point, about whether the subject needs to be discussed or not, I strongly believe it does. I should say that I, myself, am a big Phillies fan, and everything I’ve read about Ibanez so far makes me think he’s a good and stand-up guy with a strong work ethic. However, his numbers this year do invite some questioning. I do think that they’re probably justified, but I can’t fault anyone for wondering. The argument that if you don’t have proof you shouldn’t speculate doesn’t hold water. If that were the case, then the only articles ever written would be equivalent to court reports. And the police would never arrest anyone unless they had a guilty verdict from the court already. But no: if there’s enough evidence to suggest wrong-doing, there should be a discussion. If there’s no discussion, then we’re doing ourselves a different disservice, as we did in the late ’90s and early ’00s when McGwire, Sosa and Bonds were obliterating the record books, but we simply stood by and ate it up. And the mainstream journalists were among the parties at fault then (more on the likes of Ken Rosenthal below).

    Here’s the problem I see: the evidence of wrong-doing is mainly that of MLB in general, rather than Raul’s in particular. And it’s MLB that has thrown some of its better performers under the bus, not the folks who simply call a spade a spade. As far as I can see, the only spade you called out in your article is MLB. It is a FACT that many prominent (and some less prominent) major leaguers have used PEDs over the last couple of decades, so if anything it’s this fact, not your blog post, to which players like Ibanez should take exception, because it is this fact that creates this discussion and taints their own seasons or careers.

    Regarding your article, perhaps if you had stated more clearly that your thesis is that the steroid culture has created a cloud over players’ performances, and then used Ibanez as a case study, this may have helped appease some folks who now think you’re merely going after Ibanez unfairly (which, in truth, you are not doing– you are neither going after him, nor are you treating him unfairly). But either way, what bothers me the most is the mainstream media’s reaction to your post– at least as far as the Inquirer’s John Gonzalez and ESPN’s Ken Rosenthal are concerned– as it is a little hypocritical and self-righteous. There have been some not-so-well written and poorly researched articles that lead to idiotic conclusions on ESPN, too, but Ken Rosenthal still assumed the holier-than-thou attitude of “you’re not a pro like us, and shame on you for not knowing the proper journalistic etiquette”. And the fact that he actually laughed at you and shook his head during the espn.com interview is certainly no example of professionalism on his part, even as he was lambasting you for “not” being professional yourself.

    So, I think you were right to write about a thorny issue; I think, and hope, Ibanez is clean; if, indeed, he is clean, I feel sorry for the guy because his numbers this year do invite speculation and disbelief, which is unfair to him– and he is not alone in this, but merely the most recent example of (probably) good guys who have to defend themselves against things they’re (probably) not guilty of; but I do not think this speculation and disbelief was your doing, nor do I think that the better response is to hide our heads in the sand.

    Best,

    Demetri

    • Pete Dumas says:

      @Demetri,
      So, it is fair to suspect all Middle Easterner’s as terrorists too?
      Or, homosexuals as having AIDS, or Hispanics as illegal, or policemen as corrupt, or politicians as liars, or priests as pedophiles, or…
      Go ahead, say it. Since it has happened like this in the past to some, we should suspect all!

  105. Very well written blogs, keep up the intelligent blogging even if it isn’t appreciated en masse…

  106. Re: “Jon Heyman Is A Hypocrite When It Comes To PED Speculation | Rays Index said”:

    Great point. Ken Rosenthal and John Gonzalez’ stance on an espn.com interview with JRod (the author of the “offending” blog) that the blogger does not understand the power of the written word and is being irresponsible to speculate in writing about Ibanez is clearly debunked by the countless instances during which mainstream journalists have speculated about Sosa, McGwire, Boone and others, as you say.

  107. Heard about the the controversy last night on PTI, and decided to read the blog today for myself. I think the blog is generally pretty fair. I think JROD does a fairly reasonable job of exploring the issue, and would have been faulted for not bringing up the PED side of the case. Ibanez seems a little bit naive to believe that his great start should avoid the speculation that is aimed at all of Major League Baseball. I think that most fans who have been aware of the start that Ibanz has had have at least considered that maybe is not all natural, JROD is just the first to put those thoughts in a more public forum.
    Great blog, I will certainly be a return reader.

  108. I saw the interview on outside the lines… just wanted to drop by and get the full story. Your respect for the subject, and the time you put into forming your opinion are commendable.

    In my opinion, somebody in the “real media” couldn’t come up with a good story on his own… so he generated a little rage by pointing to you and crying foul. Your general point about the unfortunate suspicion that hangs over the game of baseball is totally correct, and you should be applauded for how you framed it.

    Context is everything, and the two guys who attempted to tag team you on national television just didn’t get it.

    Keep up the good work.

  109. Great post…I live in DC and saw him hit some bombs when he played the Nats. Also had him on my fantasy team LAST year and couldn’t believe the jump in production. I think he’ll slow down as the season goes on as well, but agree that suspicion is just a sign of the times these days. But again, great post!

  110. magnusdopus says:

    I can solve this debate real fast – Pat Burrell, the guy who Ibanez is replacing. Burrell’s production has dropped significantly after leaving the Phils. This season, Burrell has 1 HR. Last season, prior to May 11 (Burrell’s last game), he had 11 HRs with the Phils.

    It’s not the juice.

  111. Don Knight says:

    Your speculative insinuations in the ‘article’ are calculated to sensationalize, much like the gossip trash a tabloid rag spews out. It’s neither fact nor test based – so it must be taken in the same shady and scurrilous motivated light that the ‘article’ was written – and dumped in the bin labelled, ‘brainless musings’. For that is the true measure of its worth. I don’t have to defend Raul – his stellar and untainted career and character does that far more eloquently than words can ever hope to. What you have done is akin to tossing a lighted match and then proclaim innocence (in your TV interview) in ever starting the fire that attempted to sully a man who has never had so much as a whiff of steroid-related scandal about him.

    • @Don Knight, did you read the article Don?? I think the Philly Inquirer lit the match. Get a life would you please and MOVE ON!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  112. BBNorth says:

    Don Knight you need to chill out a little bud. The blog doesn’t say Ibanez is a cheater. Jarod just points out that in today’s post steroid age, anyone with the this kind of uncharacteristic hot start will draw some attention and PED speculation. Part of being paid big money to play a sport is dealing with the media and the rumors that surround you. Deal with it and move on.

  113. Pete Dumas says:

    So, I did some quick checking and I think to be fair you should pose the same article about some of the past players with similar anomalies. Like: Babe Ruth, Honus Wagner, Mickey Mantle, Ty Cobb, Pete Rose, Rogers Hornsby, Stan Musial, and Hank Aaron, to name a few. All of whom had one or two year spikes of over .045 in their batting averages compared to their career averages, some as high as .070. This is statistics man, you can make anything look what ever way you want as long as you back it up with numbers. If you really want to know the scientific reason for Raul’s explosion, you would have to compare a pitch by pitch breakdown of Raul’s past to his present, ie: type of pitch, speed of pitch, ambient temperature, bat speed (this one is key), pitcher’s throwing hand, weather, and so on. The variables are long, but to say it is fair to pose the question pf PED use without scientifically comparing all the variables is simply a lazy man’s way of making the numbers he looked at, say what he is saying. Don’t get me wrong, I’m in your boat on wanting to believe Raul isn’t on PED’s. But, don’t say you did your research either. Sorry for the run-on, one last thing. I take it, from your slant, that MLB is not doing their job in testing? Because if they were, we should be able to believe that all non-suspended or active players are clean and not pose an, “Is he, or isn’t he?”
    PS. I like your passion, but don’t ruin our heroes before they ruin themselves.

    • @Pete Dumas, good idea. let’s turn our heads the other way, and continue to shell out hundreds of dollars a game to watch our heroes. Lets keep our finger crossed and hope we don’t get any more bad news

  114. Ken Rosenthal lost any and all credibility he ever had with me. Just saw the video on espn. You have every right to post this kind of blog, and even to make an accusation (which you didn’t).

  115. Frank Pacheco says:

    Sorry you are a clueless person who is probly just a Phillies hater. Yes it is a steriod era but you cant say things like this without proof next thing you know you will be saying Utley and Howard are on roids. All I can say is worry about the teams and players(Pujols)out were your from and dont worry about the teams and players here!!!!

  116. RICHARD says:

    Great web site, hittrackeronline.com
    I took a quick visit here and what i saw, is that Ibañez is averaging 410 foot every HR he has hit this season. I wonder what the average distance of his dingers was before he arrived at Phily.
    I know this cannot be taken as THE factor, but it should be an important one to take into consideration.
    And by the way, only 1 of his 8 homers in Citizens Bank Park has gone a distance BELOW 380 ft, so i don’t think the park’s dimensiones should be any factor in his numbers’ increase.

  117. What is all the hooplah about??? MLB brought this about themselves. Sorry Ibanez, but don’t hate the bloggers and the fans, hate your fellow major leaguers. And did anyone actually read this article? Mainstream media needs to get a hold of themselves.

  118. Dave from Vegas says:

    A bunch of us just sent Ibanez some money so that he can sue your ass. I don’t care if he doesn’t need it, I just to happy to send it. Let’s see how many of your sorry ass pathetic supporters send you money to defend yourself. Bloggers are people that cannot get jobs in the mainstream media.

  119. Your theory has helped put a member of that Hall of Fame under “suspicion”. Well done!

    http://realbostonsportsfans.com/2009/06/curious-case-of-carlton-fisk-steroid.html

    • @DK, you are SO RIGHT. It was ONLY JRODS theory. No one else was thinking or talking about it until JROD wrote this article. SHAME ON HIM!!!!!!!!! Baseball itself and its players had nothing to do with any of this. IT IS ALL JROD’s fault!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! GET A LIFE MAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This player IS NOT getting into the HALL OF FAME with or without this article.

  120. Garrett Savidge says:

    yes a ballpark and a league switch can make a big difference. coming from the AL, you are going to get better. And look at what team he is on and the park they play in. It is obviously a hitters ballpark. Every player that comes from the AL to the NL improves drastically in numbers. Ramirez had been taking steroids even on the Sox so his performance was the same the past couple years. When going to LA his numbers drastically improved. Players do get better going to the NL and their stats get worse when going to the AL. Its a proven fact and when ur in a hitters ballpark, the numbers are going to get even better.

  121. How anyone could write an article exploring the cause(s) of Raul Ibanez’ increased offensive production this season without mentioning the fact that he moved from the AL to the NL in the offseason is amazing. The amount of precedence, in recent years, for players (pitchers and hitters) enjoying increased production going from the AL to NL and players struggling when going from the NL to AL is vast. Are you an NL fan who, immaturely, refuses to acknowledge this fact or are you just completely clueless?

    • @Al, Come on Al, I think EVERYONE KNOWS about his move. For some reason you needed to see it in the article?????? Be nice Al………..

  122. After hearing all of the buzz and hub-ub about it, I was expecting to see 1500 words of speculating diatribe. Instead, all of it was well-researched. It wasn’t perfect, but the point still remains the same: it was a very good article, overall.

    And, as you say, the evidence kinda-sorta does point to that. Everything you wrote had a basis to it, which is WAY more than the crap that Ken Rosenthal pawns off as “inside sources”. I mean, seriously. Rosenthal is the joke columnist who should have people screaming at him on OTL; not you.

    Props. Like you, I’m just mildly skeptical, taking a wait-and-see approach.

    Good job, Jerod.

  123. just wondering if rosenthal and gonzo apologized to you after they actualy read your article and not just the title. cuz it seamed like they didnt read it when they were on OTL with you.

  124. This scumbag is obviously using some form of PED’s, he’s never had to play on a team with pressure to succeed, now that he joins the WS defneding champions, he has to prove himself. There’s no other way, this guy is mediocre at best. I guarantee the truth comes out before the end of the season. Cheatin’ Phils.

  125. The issue is not because there are doubts. In this steroid age, for sure there will be doubts on any baseball player, starter or scrub. You may think Ibanez is on the juice. Fine. What you cannot do is speculate on it on a blog for all to see. How is this any different than if I blogged this:

    There’s this friend of a friend I know, he’s a cop and his name is X. He’s driving a $100K car. I don’t know how he can afford it, maybe he’s a captain, but I can’t rule out that he’s on the take.

    So according to your article, I didn’t defame the cop, but in reality, I did. Just bringing it up is bad enough.

    The legal definition for defamation:
    DEFAMATION – An act of communication that causes someone to be shamed, ridiculed, held in contempt, lowered in the estimation of the community, or to lose employment status or earnings or otherwise suffer a damaged reputation.

    So maybe you are on Raul’s side, but you did him a great disservice with your blog. Raul’s reputation is now damaged because of your blog.

  126. The Bottom line is that there is an enormous Cloud of Suspicion hanging over the game of Baseball & if Raul Ibanez doesn’t like the whispers of steroid use he should retire & go play golf.

    Baseball fans have every right to speculate about who might be using steroids because the majority of MLB players have refused to come forward & address the issue.

    How many players are out there that have direct 1st hand knowledge of steroid use? Did any of those players come forward during the Mitchell investigation ? Do these players really care about cleaning up the game?

    They all stick together & shut their mouths like some kind of “Baseball Mafia” while their union sends out memos urging them not to Rat on their Brothers.

    Say what you want about Jose Canseco & Ken Caminiti …At least they had the Balls to admit they were using.

    Clemens & Bonds denied it, McGwire & Manny don’t want to talk about it, Palmeiro waves his finger, Arod blames his cousin, Giambi breaks down in tears, Sosa has simply Vanished and Pettitte “Did it for his teammates”….Sure Andy…..Whatever!

    As far as I’m concerned all of these Cheating Junkies should be banned for life & their statistics wiped from the record books as if they never happened.

    As for Ibanez…..He shouldn’t be pissed off at JROD for writing this article…He should be blasting people like Manny Ramirez for giving the game a bad name.

    • TheGuru says:

      @Mike, so Ibanez shouldn’t be mad at JRod? So I could do the following:

      Example 1: I was on a flight where I thought there was too much turbulence, and I didn’t think the pilot was in his correct frame of mind. I blog that the pilot was drunk. This gets back to the pilot and he gets mad, but hey, don’t get mad at me, blame all the pilots before you that were caught piloting drunk or tried to. And even though you’re just speculating about it, the pilot will probably get investigated by the FAA.

      Example 2: I’m at church on Sunday and I think the priest is getting way too chummy with the kids. I blog that the priest has a curious eye for children. This gets back to the priest and he gets mad, but hey, don’t get mad at me, blame all the priests before you that were inappropriate with kids. And even though you’re just speculating about it, the pilot will probably get investigated by the Feds.

      Now do you get why it’s dangerous to blog about stuff like this without proof? Just because Raul is a baseball player, making millions, doensn’t mean he shouldn’t get the same respect as other people.

      • @TheGuru, YOU ARE NOT SERIOUS WITH THOSE TWO EXAMPLES????? Go for a walk…………you need to clear your head

        • TheGuru says:

          @Jordan, why not? How is that any different just because it’s baseball. You wouldn’t say that about your peers but you would openly question baseball players? You want a easier example on your conscience:

          1. Your young son comes home with an excellent test score. He says most of his classmates did well with few exceptions, notably student named x. You blog that you are happy that your son did well, but you wonder if student X may or may not have a learning disability. Needless to say, this gets back to student X and his parents and they are not happy. But hey, don’t blame me, I didn’t explicitly say student X had a learning disability.

          So imagine yourself as student X’s father. Who is this blogger, which I don’t know, saying stuff like this about my son without any shred of proof? Pretty sure you would be going ballistic.

          And with Raul, it’s the same thing.

        • @Jordan, Because Student X is not part of a group of students that got caught cheating on exams. If he was part of that ‘cheating’ group and then gets a near perfect score on his next exam, you don’t think Student X looks suspicious???????
          Some Baseball players have proven to be on PEDS. Many have lied about it. It is normal to now suspect when a player suddently is doing better than he has ever done, that maybe………….maybe he is getting help somewhere.

      • @TheGuru, The pilot scenario stinks, The Priest example is right on, and you better tell someone that that Priest is getting too chummy. Hey man, this is the world we live in. Can’t trust Priests or ball players!!!!!!!!!

        • TheGuru says:

          @FRED, I agree that this is the world we live in, but not all priests are deviants and you know it. Same thing that not all baseball players are cheaters. We can’t be speculating without proof.

  127. I did read your post, all of it (so Texrat you can keep your sympathetic comments in Texas).

    Your analysis did not factor or do justice to:
    True difference in parks (yes you did a drive by) but Kaufmann and Safeco ranked 11th and 14th in the AL last year in HR per Game. CBP ranked 3rd in the NL, so besides dimensions, wind,weather (Seattle is miserable) all impact ball flight.

    Drive by of the lineup analysis. Ibanez has played on some of the worst teams in baseball. Hitting .294 and 103 RBIs in his first real season as a starter in KC is miraculous. Driving in runs in the best offense in the NL, not a mystery. Can you name anyone from those KC teams? Who could play? Much less hitting behind Ryan Howard. Adrian Beltre doesn’t really provide the same fear in pitchers.

    Body shape – Ibanez is not a monster like Manny or Bonds. He looks the same as he did last year when he drove in 123. Bonds blew up from the time he was a 5 tool player for the Pirates to his mashing days in SFO.

    So the problem with your blog, is you reached a conclusion without really doing any math. Trying to cover yourself by saying fans will wonder is weak. Wonder about it all you want, you cross the line when you publish. I wish you all the worst.
    Scott

    • @Scott, sorry to rain on your little parade, but you’re not the only one with the privilege of commenting, Scotty.

      I think many of you are overreacting to this blogger’s OPINION and unless and until I’m blocked from voicing my own opinion I’ll cheerfully charge you as such.

  128. Mickey415 says:

    Your an idiot!

    • @Mickey415, Learn proper English Mickey. It is You’re an idiot, NOT your an idiot.
      And who is the idiot other than you that you are talking about????

  129. Dawsey24 says:

    Say it aint so Joe Jackson, Pete Rose, Big MAC, and on and on. The author is not a journalist but a blogger/editorial of an opinion. ESPN should be journalist and the network is no more or no less than the Today Show or E Tonight.

    I credit JRod for asking the question that baseball fans have. I personally now wonder what these guys may be taking or not taking. And to preface the subject of the story, Raul Ibanez….my son and I met Raul at Safeco Field a few years ago, and much like you may expect he was a very gracious, humble, and likable guy. However,I do not know him other than he seemed like a good, nice man thus could he be taking something maybe, maybe not but until MLB and the Player’s Union stepup to “Really” test for PED’s than as a fan, blogger, etc. why can’t I ask the question.

    I read the article, as a fan a Baseball and Raul Ibanez, and I do not see any evidence that indicates that JROD referenced Ibanez as a juicing cheater….simply, he asked a question that is fair in this day and age until Baseball really decides to test. In my opinion the article was fair, and likewise I understand Raul’s anger however until the Baseball “really” changes these type of stories are fair. Good work Jrod!

  130. To "JROD" says:

    You are such a pathetic coward for several reasons.

    For one you didn’t even post your real name. Instead you post “JROD” as if you were a real athlete who had a nickname.

    You probably just wrote this story so more people would read your blog that no one usually reads.

    After your blog got all the publicity, you decide to apologize because you realize the whole world now thinks your an idiot and if you ever see Raul in person he will probably kick your ass. You are probably like 5 foot 4 inches weighing less than 120 pounds. You’re probably the nerdy kid in high school who didn’t even play sports or have any friends. I’m guessing you actually do live in your mom’s basement.

    If you want to say something about Raul, you should say it to his face. Oh wait, that would require you to leave Mommy’s basement.

    Get a life and a real job loser.

    • @To “JROD”, I guess that you are a “pathetic coward” too since you did not use YOUR real name!!!!!!!!
      I think the person that needs to get a life is YOU. Good Lord man you just cut down tens of thousands of guys with your description. YOU ARE THE PATHETIC ONE, and I FEEL SORRY FOR YOU!!!!!!!
      And for the record, JROD DID NOT APOLOGIZE. GET YOUR FACTS STRAIGHT before you make a fool of yourself!!!!!!!!!!!!! OOPS too late

    • @To “JROD”, what is your name??? I think that JROD stated his name, and even went on live TV. He does not appear to be hiding to me. You on the other hand are the one that seems to be hiding.
      what a hypocrite!!!!!!!!!!

  131. To use a name without any evidence is irresponsible. Let me put this out there. Don Imus, Rush Limbaugh, and Skip Bayless. These are 3 white men with a racial bias in the work and commentary. Does that justify me in believing that all white males over 40 share that view. I mean I do have years of evidence that will prove my point. I can name many more if I had the room. My point is that it is wrong to accuse one person because you think they may be guilty. It is different when you have proof. No matter the motive it was out of line and shows a lack of professionalism.

    • @jon, idiot jon. did you read the article???????? No one accused anyone of anything. Read the article before you respond and look like a moron.

      • TheGuru says:

        @Jordan, Just because he didn’t flat out accuse Raul of steroids, it doesn’t mean his reputation has not been damaged. If somebody blogs that your poor work performance may be due to “external factors or influences”, and this gets back to your co-workers, they will see you in a very different light. You could be 100% clean and plead your case, but you can bet there will be some who will not believe you 100%. Your reputation has been damaged, and the blogger didn’t even have to explicitly say anything.

        • @TheGuru, are you kidding? Think about this………EVERY BALLPLAYER’s reputation was damaged the day players got caught lying about PEDS. Just like every Priest is going to look suspicious if he puts his arm around a young boy. JROD asking the question did not hurt anyones reputaton, the past ball players did. I have seen many blogs actually accusing other players of using PEDS, why aren’t they being vilified?
          I was so impressed that JROD got on national television with the ‘big boys’ and stated his case pretty well. He never apologized becasue he never accused.

        • @TheGuru,

          http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/news?slug=dw-howard090306&prov=yhoo&type=lgns

          what was your reaction to this article??? did this destroy Howard’s reputation?????? Were you as angry about this one?????
          Give JROD a break would you please?????

  132. The amusing thing about this is you missed one thing.

    I wonder if anyone bothered to count the number of former Seattle Mariners that have tested positive for banned substances?

    Has anyone bothered to dig up information on a former ballplayer that suggested there was a clubhouse culture involving same?

    Is it therefore unreasonable to assume that while other factors might and indeed look like the driving force, we have a circumstance where a few issues collide?

    1) an aging ballplayer experiencing higher production (which seemed to be a consistent issue in the number of users caught already)

    2) coming from a team where a number of former players have already tested positive and rumors of a clubhouse atmosphere that promoted it have made regular media columns.

    3) a procession of players that denied steroid abuse but ultimately were caught makes player denials valueless now

    Nowhere in that article (save the title) does it state that Raul used any banned substance. If nothing else, the thing is poorly titled – but the rest of the article is reasonable.

    Any person that would look at the background, and say that one factor that must be considered would be whether or not banned substances played a role. Not that Raul used, but it would be willful omission not to at least consider the possibility of that factor given the current environment, recent headlines, and the team from which Raul came from.

    Anyone that protests you shouldn’t even consider the possibility is not being intellectually honest.

  133. As a big big Phillies fan, Rauuuuuul is the man. I agree that because of the past mistakes by players, the fans are sensitive to big numbers. But we cannot assume anything. We cannot say he is using stuff because he is putting up MVP numbers (on pace for 59-HR and 159-RBI). I know JRod wasn’t accusing Raul of using illegal substances but many have taken it that you are accusing him. Very good research by the way.

  134. McChucker says:

    There has to be some accountability if you are going to speculate steroid use by a player and then publish it. How about a little research on Ibanez streakiness in the past as a hitter. I’ve done a little research myself and discover Ibanez has had similiar streaks in past years comparable to his current one.Here is what i came up with..

    Through 55 games this year, Ibanez was hitting .329/.386/.676 with 19 homers.

    In 2002. That year, Ibanez had a 50-game streak — June 7 to Aug. 2 — when he hit .328/.385/.704 with 15 doubles, five triples, 15 homers. He drove in 54 runs. Few noticed because the Royals were abysmal that year, and it was in the middle of the season. But that stretch, you will note, is about as good as the stretch he’s on now. In some ways, it’s even better.

    In 2003 he had a 55-game stretch where he hit .326/.360/.514 … not as good, but pretty damned good.

    In 2004 he hit .365 over a 54-game stretch. In 2005 he got off to a dreadful start and then hit .330/.400/.524 over his next 55 games. In 2006 he hit 18 homers and drove in 57 runs in a 52-game stretch.

    Over the last 52 games of the 2007 season Ibanez hit .363/.425/.652 with 15 homers.

    in 2008, for 55 games, July 12 to Sept. 14, he hit .374/.435/.648 with 17 doubles, two triples, 13 homers. And that, you might remember, was in Seattle and a lousy hitters’ ballpark.

    This is a man who, when he gets hot, absolutely tears up pitchers. I’ve seen it up close. He has had a 50-to-60 game hot streak EVERY SINGLE YEAR since 2002.

    After discovering this facts, i’ve come to the conclusion that Ibanez is NOT a steorid user but an absolutely streaky hitter. This is what a responsible blooger or journalist would have investigated before publishing non-founded accusations

  135. http://insider.espn.go.com/mlb/insider/news/story?id=4262888

    Here are some numbers to justify Raul’s insurgence, as well.

  136. Jerod,

    As an avid baseball lover and one who’s no doubt been disappointed by the steroid speculation that runs rampant in today’s game, your article seemed like nothing more than what it was – a great blog with thoughts about a topic someone in your fantasy league brought up. You didn’t say whether you do or don’t believe Ibanez is on PEDs. You have an opinion and are entitled to it, and you stated you can’t say definitely either way. I do appreciate your stat research and the fact that you mentioned he had only one HR in June (at the time you posted). Don’t worry about any journalists or newspaper writers accusing you, or stating you wrote something you didn’t – let’s remember they’re the one’s who seemingly judge guilty before innocent, in an attempt to right the wrong of turning the other way in the late 90′s and early 2000′s. Who cares? The bottom line is baseball is one thing – entertainment. Yes, there’s poetry in the game – and as a former college player, was pretty good at it. But it’s still entertainment. Actors juice up for roles, why does no one question them? They have as much, if not more of an influence on our youth (since seemingly this is what steroid prevention is aimed at) as athletes do.

    I ranted – look, keep up the great, interesting reading. I know I read the post late, but I really didn’t care at the time – now it’s comical how the media has spiraled this thing, so I thought I’d take a look. I’ll keep checking back for more reading. Thanks.

  137. Raul is having a career year. He is by far the best free agent signing by the Phillies in years. Keep uo the good work Raul! Go Phillies!!!!!

  138. I was sad to hear about this post so finally took the time to read it. Times have changed and nowadays, everything seems fair game for speculation or commentary (see sports talk radio and ESPN) and therefore publication, rather than being limited to publication of factual reporting. Be that as it may, I am going to do the same thing and offer my view of Raul.

    As a long time Mariner fan, I had the opportunity to view the major league start of Raul’s career and also listen to or read the many times he was interviewed locally. I feel that gives me a bit better insight than many others may have. Raul had the misfortune to start his career under Lou Pinella. Lou has proved to be a terrific manager but during Raul’s stint here, Lou was notoriously hard on rookies and non-veteran players. I have always felt that Raul was a sensitive individual and under the pressure of playing for Lou and the often irregular playing time, did not perform up to his capabilities. Seattle gave up on him even before he was let go and he signed with Kansas City.

    A funny thing happened. He found himself wanted by the ballclub and embraced by the fans and his numbers improved dramatically. As a result, he was brought back to Seattle as a free agent. He had some good seasons here even in the non-hitter friendly Safeco field. However, he was constantly questioned about his ability in the outfield. His final year here, it was obvious that the Mariners didn’t want him.

    As we know, he was signed as a free agent by Philiadelphia. And a funny thing has happened. The same thing that happened in Kansas City is starting to happen in Philadelphia. He has found himself wanted, accepted by fans and his numbers reflect that. A season is 162 games long and I believe we will see a leveling out of the numbers over time. But I do imagine for this year they will be higher than normal just do to the security he feels with the contract and the fact he feels respected and wanted for the hard work he puts in and who he is as an individual.

    Raul is a class act and a conscientious professional. He is the closest thing to Edgar Martinez that I know of. The world needs more quality individuals like him, for to my knowledge, he is truly a role model. Given the steroid problem in baseball, I have no problem with someone wondering about anyone. I have privately speculated about a few players myself. It is just sad that this supposition about Raul was put out to the public. I cannot believe it and while I do support the right of the writer to free speech, wish he would be more circumspect in the future.

    Thank you.

  139. Yeah, but what about total change ups thrown?

  140. HGH is not currently tested for in MLB due to the CBA. Odds are, that is his PED.

  141. Ken Rosenthal is the male version of Selena Roberts

  142. look jrod you wrote a great article here, sure. But the thing is you have no right to say the kinds of crap that you did here. I know im really late on all this, but just because Raul Ibanez is having the best season of his career doesn’t mean that you can just put it out there that he is on steroids. I have been a Phillies fan all my life and I never heard of Raul Ibanez before this season, but the way he has been playing all year just convinces me that he is a solid player who may be aroud for another year or 2 only because he is 37. I know that you didn’t mean to create such speculation over this matter, but the thig is you probably knew that it was going to happen.

    The other thing that really pisses me off about what you wrote is that you didn’t have any professional evidence to back it up. All of this was your own opinion that began with a fantasy team. All of the people who you listed on your fantasy team are like Raul Ibanez, but you didn’t pick any of them out in your blog.

    Anyway it was an intiresting read and im glad i could share my opinion. Oh, and one last thing… After how strongly Raul Ibanez defended himself after you brought this topic up do you think that he is really on steroids? I mean, he is pretty much asking for a vouluntary test.

    well anyway im glad i could share

  143. You are obviously well aware that Geoff Baker was rather critical of your post on Raul Ibanez (http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/marinersblo… Unfortunately, Baker doesn't practice what he preaches: "But in this case, Johjima's departure amounts to an early Christmas gift handed the Mariners. Johjima saw the writing on the wall and did what he felt was the honorable thing. Not that he left $16 million on the table. He'll be paid nicely by whatever Japanese team he plays for and let's not rule out the possibility of some under-the-table golden handshake by M's owner Hiroshi Yamauchi. I have no proof of one, but then again, is anyone going to provide a straight answer if we ask?"

    http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/marinersblo

    • Nice attempt at trying to show hypocrisy on Baker’s part.

      But this faulty comparison is a little too easy to point out.

      Good results (Ibanez’s performance) inviting (Jerod’s) speculation leads to negative consequences (black-listed) VS Sad result (Johjima’s unexpected retirement) inviting negative speculation (not his free will, secret golden parachute) has little or no consequences (Baker’s comments won’t affect a no-longer-existing MLB career nor Johjima’s popularity back in Japan)

      Speculation is not the point. The point is speculating carries responsibility: The greater the potential damage, the more the writer needs to thread carefully and be thorough.

      So, in short, good people, we need to have foresight for the consequences of our words and actions.

  144. Would anybody really be surprised if he tested positive for steroids?

  145. hay Justin
    I must say that you have done a really good work by appreciating others in your post and i can see the termites and bugs all around you.
    be cool and try to post more aggressive and informative replies
    cheers

  146. Any thoughts on putting up a follow up to do this piece?

  147. Nice piece.

  148. Has your opinion changed a year and a half later?

    • Great question. Has my opinion changed that I don't think he used steroids? No. I thought then and I continue to think now that Ibanez was clean. Do I believe his numbers and performance at least warranted the discussion? Like Jose Bautista last year, yes I do. What the 90s and early 00s in baseball wrought was an era now in which fans rightfully question everything that seems to be outside the norm. For engaging in those debates, I'll never apologize, though I think I could have presented this particular article a little better and perhaps a little more fairly. But no, my opinion has not changed.

  149. Ibanez is guilty of using performance-enhancing drugs the same way someone who refuses a breathalyzer test is guilty of drunk driving.
    He says “[go ahead and test me]” knowing full well that no testing will result from that statement as the players’ union has watered down the drug testing program into meaninglessness.

  150. 3 home runs in 4 at bats when subbed into a game cold in the bottom of the 9th inning, at the age of 40…~?? Ibanez is guilty of steriodal cheating just as a drunk driver is guilty if he refuses a breathalyzer test. The players union has raped baseball, not only by vetoing a salary cap which might transform baseball into an actual competitive sport (as opposed to shooting fish in a barrel), but also by refusing any meaningful drug testing.
    The only remarkable event is the Yankees MISSING any fish in the barrel. Who is ever surprised if they defeat those pesky fish?
    BORING!

Trackbacks

  1. [...] There’s No Way Raul Ibanez Is This Good  (Midwest Sports Fans) [...]

  2. [...] post at Midwest Sports Fans is called a cheap shot by John Gonzalez at Philly.com. Midwest responded to someone in his fantasy [...]

  3. [...] a bit of an internet controversy brewing right now about a story run on a sports blog, midwestsportsfans.com about the career year Raul Ibanez is having. In today’s Inquirer, John Gonzalez calls the [...]

  4. [...] who uses performance-enhancing drugs. Midwest Sports Fans, a fan-based sports commentary website, published a pointed story titled “The Curious Case of Raul Ibanez” Monday claiming, “… it’s time for me to begrudgingly acknowledge the elephant in the [...]

  5. [...] blog – PED’s? Raul Ibanez Fantasy: Steroid Speculation Premature, But Great Start Raises Questions __________________ "18 Wins and 1 Giant loss" Florida Gators 1996, 2006, 2008 [...]

  6. [...] Andrew G.R. One blogger has received some major league attention from baseball player Raul Ibanez after insinuating that the athlete’s stellar start to the [...]

  7. [...] actual post on Midwest Sports Fans is not what you would call wildly accusatory; in fact, it is well-reasoned, [...]

  8. [...] the word doesn’t even have to be explicitly written for everyone to freak out. On Monday, a blogger from Midwest Sports Fans posted a speculative piece on outfielder Raul Ibanez’s incredible start this season. He marched through all the possible [...]

  9. [...] left fielder Raul Ibanez is understandably pissed about the speculative post on midwestsportsfan.com (MSF) — or at least the public interpretation of it thanks, at least in part, to John Gonzalez’s [...]

  10. [...] No Comments Today’s Outside the Lines covered the recent flap over a midwestsportsfans.com blog post that uses statistical analysis to suggest that it is at least reasonable to chalk up Raul [...]

  11. [...] summary, a blogger suggested that Ibanez’s monster year will “immediately generate suspicion” for PED’s. [...]

  12. [...] Click here to read the original blog entry by Jrod at Midwest Sports Fans. [...]

  13. [...] column in yesterday’s Inquirer brought to light an Internet blogger who wondered if (Raul) Ibanez had used such (performance enhancement) drugs.” Jim Salisbury, [...]

  14. [...] Blogger says it’s possible that Raul Ibanez could be using steroids, despite the lack of any positive drug tests. [...]

  15. [...] Phillies, Raul Ibanez, Steroids trackback The blog Midwest Sports Fans received criticism for a post about Raul Ibanez.  The post addresses Ibanez’ uncharacteristically hot season.  It uses an array of [...]

  16. [...] enormous rise in production led a blogger named Jerod Morris to speculate on the possibility of Ibanez using performance-enhancing drugs. Morris writes for the Midwest Sports [...]

  17. [...] out of Raul Ibanez’s mouth. The slugger on the Philadelphia Phillies become enraged when a blog post insinuated he may be using performance-enhancing drugs. Raul Ibanez denies all steroids allegations (Image: Zuma [...]

  18. [...] the reason Phillies’ left fielder Raul Ibanez is enjoying a banner season at an advanced age. Read the piece; it’s exactly what you would expect from a thoughtful sports blog. The author evenhandedly [...]

  19. [...] it, a blogger for Midwest Sports Fans has brought himself quite a bit of attention. He recently wrote an article about the incredible start Raul Ibanez is having in 2009. The blogger’s name is Jerod Morris, [...]

  20. [...] column is no longer on the Sun Times web site. Hmmm.  This week, Midwest Sports Fans wrote a piece speculating about Ibanez and steroid use.  We also want to get in on the steroid accusation fun, which is why we are officially accusing [...]

  21. [...] few people had noticed the last five years? Yeah, inevitable. And inevitability played out in this blog post by a Midwest Sports Fans blogger named Jerod [...]

  22. [...] blogger” thing is really bothersome.  If you’re not familiar with it, a blogger wrote this post that brings up reasons on Raul Ibanez’s hot start to 2009.  The post got picked up through [...]

  23. [...] baseball fanatics who have far, far, far, too much time on their hands. Seriously, check out the length of the original article by Jerod [...]

  24. [...] First of all, let me make clear that I’m not taking sides as to whether or not Raul Ibanez is on steroids. But I am taking offense to so-called mainstream journalists who are outraged by a blogger who goes by the handle of jrod, who wrote an article. [...]

  25. [...] He discussed park dimensions, lineups, and the quality of opposing pitching. He gave the post a semi-incendiary headline and he addressed the fact that today — unless you’re a complete fool — you [...]

  26. [...] of his long career.   It also isn’t surprising that some would question that start, as a blog did just a couple of days ago. What was surprising was the way Ibanez reacted.   “I’ll [...]

  27. [...] of his long career.   It also isn’t surprising that some would question that start, as a blog did just a couple of days ago. What was surprising was the way Ibanez reacted.   “I’ll [...]

  28. [...] slugger Raul Ibanez was none too happy with this blog post. Here was his comeback to the Philadelphia [...]

  29. [...] On yesterday’s show, Messers Wilbon and Kornheiser weighed in on the Raul Ibanez steroids situation, which I had addressed earlier in the afternon. (Funny, but the whole situation stemmed from a blogger writing about FANTASY BASEBALL!) [...]

  30. [...] but it bears repeating: yesterday was one of those disappointing days. Disappointing because an otherwise thoughtful and well-researched post by Jerod Morris of Midwest Sports Fan — who I’ve been friendly with over e-mail once or twice — got totally blown out [...]

  31. [...] instead talk about a firestorm that is raging around a blog post that Jerod Morris (JRod) wrote on MidwestSportsFan.com.  It started out innocently enough, but has now mushroomed into a national [...]

  32. [...] was in response to one blogger’s efforts to see if there was a statistical basis to disprove the notion that Raul Ibanez of the Phillies is [...]

  33. [...] a comment » On June 8, midwestern sports blogger Jerod Morris published an article speculating on the reasons for Raul Ibanez’s outrageous start to the 2009 season. In the article, Morris contemplated park factors, opposing pitchers, career [...]

  34. [...] was a rather popular blog post about his unusually good performance this year. The blogger, who you can read here, speculated that Raul might be on performance enhancing drugs, based on his hard hitting early in [...]

  35. [...] – I just finished watching the ESPN Outside The Lines segment on the recent Raul Ibanez steroids blog post that has the interwebs on [...]

  36. [...] blogger suggests a player’s late-career surge is suspicious because of you-know-what. The player — Raul Ibanez of Philadelphia — calls the blogger [...]

  37. [...] the span of just a few days, Jerod Morris’ long-winded examination of Raul Ibanez’s sizzling start has turned from some nice cud for people who follow the sport a little closer than most to a spot [...]

  38. [...] its’ entities, was that Morris proclaimed Ibanez a possible steroid user. I’ll let you read the story for yourself and make up your own mind. I have formed my opinion, which I’ll get to [...]

  39. [...] motivation behind Morris’ article (which you can read in full here) was to prove that Ibanez’s incredible start wasn’t due to the possible use of steroids or any [...]

  40. [...] response to blogger Jerod Morris’ insinuation that Ibanez’s startling production this season might be due to performance enhancing drugs, [...]

  41. [...] Quite a stir was created in the last few days when a blogger named JRod wrote a speculative piece on whether or not Raul Ibanez of the Philadelphia Phillies was on the juice because of a dramatic increase in production at an advanced age. The original article can be found here – titled The Curious Case of Raul Ibanez – Steroid Speculation is Unfair But Great Start in 2009 Raises Eyebr… [...]

  42. [...] bit of time on your hands, because this is going to be a long one. Remember that blogger who wrote about Ibanez and steroids, and then the newspapers picked it up and blew it out of proportion, and Ibanez himself targeted [...]

  43. [...] on June 11, 2009 by cipriano91 Earlier this week on miswestsportsfans.com they wrote an article about Raul Ibanez and tried to explain his torrid start to the season. Ibanez lashes out about possible steroid [...]

  44. [...] old Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Raul Ibanez was hitting .324 with 20 homers and 55 RBIs and made a post that gave the use of steroids as a possible reason for his somewhat new found success. Surely it is [...]

  45. [...] has been made about Jerod Morris’ blog post regarding Raul Ibanez’s unexpected performance thus far. The post attempts to bust any [...]

  46. [...] Raul Ibanez and JROD: What Baseball Needs Posted June 12, 2009 Filed under: MLB | Tags: Baseball, Ibanez Steroids, JROD, Midwestsportsfan, MLB, Philadelphia Phillies, Raul Ibanez, Seattle Mariners, Steroids | Raul Ibanez is having a career year, having already hit 21 home runs and driven in 58 runs. Over his career, Ibanez has averaged 23 homers a year and yet this year he has almost hit that many in less than sixty games. Add to the fact that Ibanez is 37 years old, and something seems a little off here. This is what another blogger, JROD, looked in to in his article The Curious Case of Raul Ibanez: Steroid Speculation Perhaps Unfair, but Great Start in 2009 Raising…. [...]

  47. [...] earlier this week Gonzalez published a column taking a relatively obscure blogger to task for speculating that Ibanez’s great start to the season was fueled by steroids.  Ibanez then responded vehemently denying any allegations.  The national media soon picked this [...]

  48. [...] midwest sports fans, otl, outside the lines, PED, raul ibanez, steroids by Keifer Nandez Oy, this fucking Raul Ibanez thing.  If you’re a sports fan, and a reader of sports blogs in general, you already know what [...]

  49. [...] accused Raul Ibanez of using steroids and Ibanez reacted accordingly. If one actually reads JRod’s post, they’ll see that the question of what is responsible for Ibanez’s career year at 36 is [...]

  50. [...] original article by Midwest Sports Fans is here. It has all of the background you’ll need, and links to the rest. The author, JRod (an aside: [...]

  51. [...] Today I spoke to Jerod Morris, a guy who’s been living in a surreal world this week after speculating that Raul Ibanez could be using performance enhancing drugs on his blog Midwest Sports Fans, [...]

  52. [...] week, a sports blog, Midwest Sports Fans, put into words what many have undoubtedly wondered about: namely whether Ibanez might be taking performance [...]

  53. [...] controversy started when an article was written at MidWestSportsFans.com in response to a comment that the site had received suggesting that the veteran has been on the [...]

  54. [...] blogger Jerod Morris, who somewhat meticulously searched for answers in a variety of statistics but concluded that Ibanez may be using steroids. Though Morris received criticism for failing to analyze other important data concerning Ibanez, [...]

  55. [...] Phillies outfielder and former Mariner, Raul Ibañez, was the subject of a now-infamous blog post that hinted at the possibility of him using steroids. Indeed, his home run numbers are jumping off [...]

  56. [...] week, Jrod from Mid West Sports Fan debated whether Raul Ibanez’s outstanding first half numbers are the result of steroid use. While the story goes on to analyze all sorts of factors to explain his numbers, such as hitting in [...]

  57. [...] Service Announcement: Ok, here we go!  I know my boy Jerod over at Midwest Sports Fans caught a lot of flack for a far more thought out piece than this.  I don’t care.  We [...]

  58. [...] sport, I’m sure you’ve heard about Raul Ibanez’s anger at a blogger for posting something that inferred that Ibanez career best performance this year might be aided by steroids. To me, though, it has to be considered. Baseball’s checkered past has forced the public to [...]

  59. [...] to fall: Slammin’ Sammy.  Players, both great and small, will undoubtedly find themselves battling allegations and dealing with positive drug tests throughout the season.  Such news are the reputation killers [...]

  60. [...] using performance enhancing drugs or PEDs.  These fans are also aware that this seemingly harmless blog sparked an unprecedented amount of cyberspace communication and galvanized Jerod from the realm of [...]

  61. [...] for drugs. If you don’t, point proven forever. * Didn’t hear about this? A blogger wrote an article about how Ibáñez was having an inexplicably great season, and about how, sadly, when [...]

  62. [...] career, belted a stratospheric 22 homers in the first 64 games of the 2009 season.  An aberration attributable to steroids?  That’s the template [...]

  63. [...] Jay Mariotti continues on, ‘undaunted’.  In case you don’t remember, a writer at Midwest Sports Fans posted an article, which questioned whether Ibanez could possibly be having the season he’d [...]

  64. [...] Speculation, David Roth, WSJ’s Daily Fix (also worth reading, the original post from the Jerod Morris who first started this and Joe Posnanski’s response about the [...]

  65. [...] season). The internet and media were both all abuzz this spring when Ibanez was on fire and was quasi-accused of being a steroid user. What if his last 50 games happened first and his first 50 games happened [...]

  66. [...] back to June.  Jerod Morris, a blogger for Midwest Sports Fan, wrote a piece concerning Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Raul Ibanez.  In the piece, Morris wondered in print what could be the cause of Ibanez’s seemingly [...]

  67. [...] back to June.  Jerod Morris, a blogger for Midwest Sports Fan, wrote a piece concerning Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Raul Ibanez.  In the piece, Morris wondered in print what could be the cause of Ibanez’s seemingly [...]

  68. [...] his first 50 games he hit .340/.399/.716, far out of line with his career statistics. This prompted the infamous steroids charges, but by season’s end all that Jerod Morris proved is that he doesn’t understand how a [...]

  69. [...] steroid story on Midwest Sports Fans was an opinion of one writer that perhaps the best year in Mr. Ibáñez’s MLB career was due to the use of performance enhancing drugs.  However, the Phillies slugger never [...]

  70. [...] to fall: Slammin’ Sammy.  Players, both great and small, will undoubtedly find themselves battling allegations and dealing with positive drug tests throughout the season.  Such news are the reputation killers [...]

  71. [...] accepted steroid-user profile. Meanwhile, an old slugger who hits a few more home runs than normal suddenly becomes suspect for the first time in his career. Trusting appearances and assumptions to determine guilt without [...]

  72. [...] an interview on ESPN’s “Outside the Lines,” a lot of hostility was directed at a post written on MidwestSportsFan.com.In his post, Jerod Morris “speculates” on whether or [...]

  73. [...] Raul Ibanez got off to a ridiculously hot start in 2009. Morris, a blogger, had Ibanez in his fantasy league and a leaguemate called Ibanez out citing HR per AB and so on as a case for steroid use. Morris decided to investigate before making his counter argument and this is what he came up with for his blog post. [...]

  74. [...] once with full knowledge of the testing (and test failures).  Baseball writers jumped on some random blogger last summer for suggesting a player was juicing. What was their [...]

  75. [...] Sadly, few ballplayers have much credibility these days regarding steroids.  I suspect most recent players of juicing just as I assume lots of people in the late 1970s and early 1980s tried cocaine and even more folks a decade before that smoked pot.  All those things simply went with their respective times.  Steroid use in baseball has been well-documented.  Thus, I think it’s fair to speculate, within reason, if a player has used.  The journalist in me took umbrage when Morris got attacked on ESPN last summer by a couple of sportswriters after his infamous blog post. [...]

  76. [...] run, steroid speculation surfaces. For Ibanez that came in the form of a now-infamous article on Midwest Sports Fans, in which Jerrod Morris ran some numbers and determined that — well, he didn’t [...]

  77. [...] about the blogger who accused Raul Ibanez of using steroids? Leitch says that’s not exactly what the blogger [...]

  78. [...] claim in a story with out any foundation or footing.  The parallels to the story about Raul Ibanez were stark and obvious, and warrant the use of the word “irony” for the second time in [...]

  79. [...] sounds familiar, that’s because it is. It was only last year when a blogger named Jerod Morris wrote something similar about Philadelphia’s Raul Ibanez, who was amid the hottest start to his career. He was ripped for [...]

  80. [...] mere blogger dared to raise the steroid question last year, and the mainstream media excoriated him. A newspaper editor did the same thing, and nary [...]

  81. [...] to Ibanez’s hot streak and sudden power surge. Once you read the article, which you can here, you wonder why anyone would take exception to Morris’ message. But many did. Many. John Gonzalez [...]

  82. [...] crew, crushing NL pitchers to the tune of .330, 17 homers and 46 RBIs. It got so much attention (some for the wrong reasons), that it carried over to last year’s drafts, making Ibanez a higher pick than he [...]

  83. [...] who uses performance-enhancing drugs. Midwest Sports Fans, a fan-based sports commentary website, published a pointed story titled “The Curious Case of Raul Ibanez” Monday claiming, “… it’s time for me to begrudgingly acknowledge the elephant in the [...]

  84. [...] who uses performance-enhancing drugs. Midwest Sports Fans, a fan-based sports commentary website, published a pointed story titled “The Curious Case of Raul Ibanez” Monday claiming, “… it’s time for me to begrudgingly acknowledge the elephant in the [...]

  85. […] quite the accusation. A few years ago, this would get a blogger destroyed by the media. But with the Biogenesis scandal and the MLB’s overall crackdown, we don’t expect Clark […]

  86. […] see, one of our blogging compatriots at Midwest Sports Fan recently penned a post entitled “The Curious Case of Raul Ibanez: Steroid Speculation Perhaps Unfair, but Great Start in 2009 Raising….” I read it yesterday morning from start to finish. That sounds ridiculous to say about a […]

Speak Your Mind