Despite what the Big Weiner and the Union may want you to believe after the Big Papi press conference on Saturday, there are still plenty of obvious steroids users out there. Picking just one has become quite a difficult task for me.
I became quite overwhelmed trying to find one this afternoon. So I decided to take a volunteer for this week's post. Any takers?
Oh... I think I see a hand in the back there. Yes, I do.
Who is that?
Oh, it's LUIS GONZALEZ. Really, Gonzo? I kind of wanted a challenge. But fine, let's do this shit.
Let's start at the beginning. Gonzalez started off with the Houston Astros, so you knew from the beginning that he was kinda gay. In 2269 PA over five and a half years playing in the Astrodome, he managed to hit out only 52 home runs. Quite paltry. He was given a chance to play because of his prospect status and .333 OBP over that time. When it was eventually discovered that Gonzo's last name did not begin with a 'B' he was shipped out in a mid-season trade to the Cubs.
After that, he bounced between Chicago, back to Houston, and then Detroit. Nothing surprising in his numbers. He stayed in the mid-teens in jacks every year except a spike to 20 in the Motor City. Not that suspicious. Up to the age of 30, Gonzalez managed to hit 107 HRs and slug .432.
Then Arizona happened. Things got a little freaky there.
In 1999, at the age of 31, in the height of the Steroids Era, Gonzalez arrived in Phoenix and hit 26 homers for the Diamondbacks. Still, not that suspicious. But that .549 SLG%... umm, yeah, a little fishy.
All of his numbers in Arizona shot up. The ultimate year happening in 2001, when out of nowhere, Gonzo went swing for swing with Bonds for over three months in a home run record chase. He wound up parking 57 balls in the outfield bleachers that year at the age of 33.
Yes, this is the same dude that hit only 52 home runs over five and half years in what is normally the prime of most players' careers. Now he had hit 57 in one season. What the fuck? Was the thrill of hitting a ball into a pool motivating his new found success? Probably not.
Between 1999 and 2003 (ages 31 through 35), Gonzalez only missed 29 games while hitting 168 homers and slugging .564.
Then look at this... in 2004... a drop in numbers (.493 SLG% and 17 HRs) and games played (105)! Wow, who would have ever thought that urine tests could cause things like these to fall?
Of course, Luis never benefited from any of this. Those $28 mil plus he earned from 2003-05 based on his performance in Arizona was chump change.
I didn't bother with a before and after this week because of Luis' terribly ugly mug. I wanted to maintain the beauty of this site.
Oh, and if you could, please don't mention any of this to him. Thanks, I would appreciate it.