Seeing a Shrink

The other day I was browsing a favorite baseball blog, Bugs & Cranks, when I stumbled upon an interesting piece on the decline in home runs hit this year in Major League Baseball.

Hmm. I commented there, but thought I’d expand on the thought a bit here.

Now, old SC is no doctor, but he does have a theory based on watching a few notable (obvious) steroid abusers and their performance as they (obviously) stopped using. Those observations suggest to these eyes that it’s about a season and a half before a juicer returns to a level of body comfort that allows his more natural talent to re-establish itself.

Like, say a guy was a good infielder with a little pop but not the kind that earns you $15 million per season. Very talented, or he wouldn’t be in the big leagues, right? He takes HGH, starts mashing, earns the big paycheck and everybody’s happy. Then he has a cancer scare, or just gets spooked by the idea of drug testing. He stops using, and his performance tanks as his body tries to adjust.

This includes his eyes, as some allege that HGH has performance-enhancing abilities there, too. Gone is the Ted Williams eyesight — he said he could see the seams as the baseball approached home plate — that, paired with above-average major league abilities, turned your guy into a dangerous hitter.

The season after your infielder hit 40 home runs and batted .290, he’s become an all-field, no-hit guy. For a season and a half he just plain stinks, at least in comparison to what he was. Soon, an MLB owner might be so eager to unload this “bad” contract that he’ll make Mr. Ex-Slugger a throw-in on a bigger deal. In the new place, he keeps scuffling for a while, then slowly regains his natural abilities. A couple of seasons after the trade, he’s a very valuable player.

Call me crazy, but does this look like anyone you know?

A lot of guys you know?

Hmm.

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