Monday, July 6, 2009
Before today, I never would have really guessed that Adrian Beltre would end up in this column until I started looking further into things. My test for suspected steroids users is the classic "Three Strikes." Anything less than three, I can let slide, anything more, probably not a good chance the dude is clean.
Look at Beltre's home run figures from 1998 through 2008:
7, 15, 20, 13, 21, 23, 48, 19, 25, 26, 25
Pretty consistent and non-conspicuous, right? Woah... wait... what the fuck... 48? Where did that come from? Shit, strike one.
Those 48 home runs came in 2004 when out of nowhere, Beltre contended for the MVP (placing second behind Bonds) and winning his first (and, currently, only) Silver Slugger Award. No big deal, guys have fluke years from time to time. Remember Todd Wellemeyer last year? He also managed to jump from a career mid-400 SLG% all the way to a .629 mark in 2004 while putting up 121 RBI (his next-highest is 99) and .334 AVG (career .270 hitter). All of these numbers came in his contract year. On December 17, 2004, he cashed in on his giant year by signing a five year, $64M contract. Hmm... millions of dollars of motivation to inject... strike two.
Alright, fine, Beltre has two strikes against him. But again, maybe he's just like any primadonna NFL wideout and some how went nuts in his contract year. It happens, right? Well, Beltre is from the Dominican Republic. Whoops. Strike three.
Sorry, Adrian Beltre, welcome to the OSU club.
Finding pictures as evidence was hard because as you can see in his rookie card, Beltre was always a little pudgy in the face.
Then, all grown up, here he is again in 2004. Look at those fucking tree trunks he has for legs!
And finally, here's Beltre, a little thinned out this year.