Sunday, April 03, 2005


Tampa Bay Devil Rays outfielder Alex Sanchez was suspended today for 10 days under Major League Baseball's new steroid policy. Sanchez has the dubious distinction of being the first player punished under this policy. Here is the story as posted on ESPN:

I have some doubt about Sanchez's guilt. Exhibit A: Sanchez is listed as being 5 feet 10 inches tall and weighing 180 pounds. Having watched him play as a member of the Tigers last season, and as a member of the Devil Rays this spring, I am guessing that the figure given as his weight is a bit on the generous side. In other words, he isn't exactly ripped like a weight lifter. Exhibit B: In 1,459 plate appearances in 365 games over the course of his four year career, he has hit a grand total of four home runs. He hit two of those last season. His others came in 2002 and 2003. In other words, we're not talking home run threat here. We aren't even talking warning track power threat.

Sanchez has a hitting style that resembles that of Seattle's Ichiro Suzuki. He slaps the ball to the opposite field, and tries to chop down and let his great speed take over. He also puts down frequent bunts. Given all of the above information, it seems difficult to see how steroids could be of any benefit unless Sanchez thought that he could increase his already considerable speed.

The irony here is that not one of the big, bulky sluggers was first to be "caught" and punished, but a punch-and-judy hitting outfield who provides speed as 80% of his game. Is this yet another example of Bud Selig and his cronies clamping down on the non-superstar sluggers in an effort to appear as if he is doing something concrete about steroid use in the National Pastime? I've said this before, but this will be my first mention of it in the blogosphere: Bud Selig is a hack who never should have been made Commissioner of Baseball.

And this just in from the "I'm shocked! Shocked I tell you!" department: Yankee pitcher Kevin Brown was placed on the disabled list because of, surprise, his ailing back.

1 comment:

Ian C. said...

Sanchez's suspension might be most interesting in showing that it's not just the big, hulking, power-hitting boppers who used the juice.

And I hear you on Kevin Brown. Personally, I think he's a prime steroid candidate too, given his size, demonstrable jump in pitching abilities, and frequent injuries. We'll probably never know, though.