Blog Entry

Jose Bautista and simple-mindedness

Posted on: June 10, 2011 3:16 pm
Edited on: June 10, 2011 3:29 pm
By Matt Snyder

We all know the story by now. Blue Jays slugger Jose Bautista went from being an also-ran -- if that -- to the best hitter in baseball with a virtual snap of the fingers. Since he did so just south of his 30th birthday and less than a decade since baseball was forever stained by the steroid era, there are some people who just can't grasp the fact that a player can sometimes just get better without using PEDs.

There are other explanations:

- He changed his swing.

- He was finally given full-time playing time and left alone.

- Once he got hot in 2010, his confidence grew. Hitting is just as much mental as it is physical after all.

- He was just a late bloomer. Sometimes it takes players a while to come into their own.

- Davey Johnson hit 43 home runs in 1973 and otherwise never more than 18 in a season. Was he on 'roids? There are more examples like that in baseball history, too.

But none of those matter to the many fans who just can't shake the cynicism. He has to be doing steroids, you'll hear: "He can't just get good like that. It's not possible." Just like it's not possible to get rich without cheating or recruit well in college hoops without paying players. Or you can't win an election without being dirty. And on and on the list goes. Obviously there are places where that stuff happens, but it's just lame to assume it happens without any evidence of it.

Friday on Jim Bowden's SiriusXM radio show, Bautista was a guest. He said that he had been tested 15 times over the past three years and every test came back negative (Bowden via Twitter). Now, I can hear the cynicism already: "How do we know that's true? He's lying. He could be using HGH anyway, because that's untestable."

You can believe that. Then you can explain why the notorious juicers in the early 2000s were herculean (Bonds, McGwire, Sosa, etc.), showing noticeable increases in size, while Bautista is six feet tall and less than 200 pounds. Same as he was as a bit player for the Pirates. And he hasn't tested positive for anything.

If Bautista ever does test positive, I'll admit I was wrong and take the abuse from the "I told you so" crowd. Until then, I'd rather be perceived as naive than a narrow-minded simpleton who refuses to give credit to a player for working hard and bettering himself.

I believe Jose Bautista is clean, and I believe the evidence is on my side.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Category: MLB

Since: Dec 27, 2007
Posted on: June 10, 2011 11:09 pm

Jose Bautista and simple-mindedness

Jose Bautista and simple-mindedness

No, not simple-mindedness, cynicism. Why shouldn't fans be sceptical? Bonds, Sosa, McGwire, Giambi, A-Fraud all took PED's. Bautista goes from a non-HR hitter to a 50+ guy? It's only natural to doubt him.

He may be clean. Odds are with the testing he is. However, it's not simple-mindedness. The only thing simple-minded was this article's title.

Since: Jun 10, 2011
Posted on: June 10, 2011 11:08 pm

Jose Bautista and simple-mindedness

Good point, Warnun. But did you SEE Boone! He couldn't have been taking steroids because he was too skinny! Just too skinny! Too skinny, I tell you, just...too...skinny!

Since: Jun 10, 2011
Posted on: June 10, 2011 11:02 pm

Jose Bautista and simple-mindedness

Nice article. Very similar to a lot of articles written about Bret Boone in 2001, praising his newfound confidence, his new swing mechanics, etc.

Of course, it turned out to be steroids...

Since: Jun 10, 2011
Posted on: June 10, 2011 10:56 pm

Jose Bautista and simple-mindedness

The people who need "further proof" were the same ones who thought The Bash Bros in Oakland were also clean...until they got caught. Oh wait. They never DID get caught. McGwire was never caught. Canseco was never caught. Bonds never tested positive for anything. Brady Anderson? Never turned up for steroids. Why is it okay to assume Bonds was roiding...but not Jose Bautista? Why assume Brady was cheating...but not Jose Bautista? All of the "yeah but THOSE guys didn't have testing!" remarks are cute, but until there's testing for HGH, Bautista is just as "guilty" as Bonds and McGwire.

Oh and the "but LOOK at him! he's too SKINNY to be on steroids!" argument is laughable. Did anyone look at Jason Grimsley and go "wow, look at his muscles, he MUST be on steroids" ? Or such admitted/proven cheaters as HAL MORRIS or MARVIN BENARD or NEIFFI PEREZ? Seriously, Neiffi stinking Perez got caught juicing and dude is skinny! Not everyone's body turns out like Barry Bonds' or Marky McG's.

But if yall wanna believe your overnight sensation isn't cheating, go right on ahead. Just remember how sweet the kool-aid tasted when he fails a drug-test or admits he cheated...right after he gets his fat new contract. Manny Ramirez fans and Raffy Palmeiro fans need company in looking naive =)

Since: Jan 1, 2007
Posted on: June 10, 2011 10:45 pm

Jose Bautista and simple-mindedness

As long as there are drugs to mask steroids when they are tested and as long as there is no testing for HGH, there is no reason to believe players are not cheating.  People don't want to read what is below, but I wanted to include this since the writer brought up Davey Johnson.

Hank Aaron’s Brave teammate Tom House has admitted to using in the , making him one of the earliest players to admit to using performance-enhancing drugs. In an interview with the ,  House has stated that "six or seven" pitchers on every major league staff in the 1970s were "fiddling" with steroids or . He attributes players' willingness to experiment with performance-enhancing substances to the permissiveness of the of the 1960s,

Davey Johnson averaged 8 home runs a year his first 8 seasons with Baltimore.  He then became Aaron's teammate and immediately hit  43 homers in one year.

Since: Jun 5, 2011
Posted on: June 10, 2011 10:41 pm

Jose Bautista and simple-mindedness

I watched him in Pittsburgh.  His physical appearance looks the same now as then, unlike known users who changed drastically.  Bonds was a string bean when he came up.  However, Bautista's swing and approach at the plate resembles nothing of his time with the Pirates.  Until proven otherwise, I'm going to believe he's clean and attribute his success to hard work and finding a comfort zone at the MLB level.  The only thing enhanced is his confidence.

Since: May 24, 2011
Posted on: June 10, 2011 10:17 pm

Jose Bautista and simple-mindedness

Mark McGwire was juicing in 1986 just after he left Team USA. Those 49 rookie HR's were him juicing in the minors the year prior. Just like Jose was...Just like Roger Clemens was as well. It didn't start in the 90's the drugs just got better.
100% facts

Since: May 24, 2011
Posted on: June 10, 2011 10:15 pm

Jose Bautista and simple-mindedness

And to the guy about to say...
"Oh I believe there are others using no doubt"

Then explain why none of them come close to 54 HR rate.

Since: Dec 30, 2006
Posted on: June 10, 2011 10:14 pm

Jose Bautista and simple-mindedness

The writer makes great points, why is it that everytime a player hits HR's (except the fat guys) they are accused of being on roids? I still have no idea why McGwire used the drug? People forget he hit 49 homeruns as a rookie. Bonds did it for ego issues and Sosa because it gave him the ability to no longer speak English. MLB knew players were on ped's well before the above three were caught. You can go back and see some of the poster boys for the drug, Brady Anderson, Lenny Dykstra, and even going a little further back Fred Lynn and Brian Downing. The whole roid issue is MLB's fault, the players were allowed to cheat and they looked the other way.

Since: May 24, 2011
Posted on: June 10, 2011 10:12 pm

Jose Bautista and simple-mindedness

And you then think that Only Bautista is on PED's since nobody hits HR's at his rate the past 200 games.

Say it with me "I believe that Jose Bautista is the only PED user in MLB, I believe he found a new PED that doesnt gain weight or muscle, but allows you to become a HR King"

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or