Crushing Catshirt's Red Sox Dreams: Yaz Juiced

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Hey, did you know Carl Yastrzemski did enough steroids in his career to kill an entire herd of cattle? Of course not, because it's not true. Statistical aberrations abound in players from every era, not just Brady Anderson. These statistical aberrations lead some analysts to publish sweeping accusations against myriads of players that may just be tongue-in-cheek lists with ulterior motives.

To wit, Dugout Central's Bill Wellman examines Yaz with the idea that if Player X performed on Level Y for Z years and then went up to Level W for a period of T years, then Q.E.D. he obviously had an I.V. of stanzolol connected directly to his pancreas. A sample:

The history we all learned is that Yaz chose to lift weights during the winter of 1966-67, and that his decision to work out was enough to cause a 175% increase in home runs. That could be true. If Yaz had been using steroids, one might expect swift increases in power hitting from other Red Sox, too, once they saw how well they worked for Yaz. But we did see that: Ken Harrelson came to Boston and went from 12 home runs in 1967 to 35 home runs in 1968, and Rico Petrocelli then went from 12 home runs in 1968 to 40 home runs in 1969. Both Harrelson and Petrocelli then endured swift, somewhat abnormal declines that ended their careers at ages 29 and 33. Yaz endured a similar precipitous drop from 1970 to 1972, a decline blamed upon injury, but a decline that left him somehow at almost exactly his 1961-66 level as a power hitter. He continued his career at, more or less, an arc appropriate to his pre-1967 career for another decade before retiring at age 43.

Did Yaz juice? I don't know. I certainly have no proof. But I'll say this: both his career arc and the career arcs of a couple of his teammates look as if steroids might have been involved, and steroids were certainly available to athletes in the 1960's. Players in the Steroid Age have been accused of juicing on far less circumstantial evidence, and few players from before the Steroid Age ever boosted their power hitting in a single winter the way Yaz did.

I read most of the piece and I cannot tell if it was meant to be a parable about the recent witch hunts for juicers or an outright attack on the character of our favorite past players. I can tell, however, that Yaz probably drank a lot of soda pop and maybe popped some greenies and could have even snorted some Sanka to get going, but if that sort of thing led to a Triple Crown title, it's all worth it.

(via BBTF Newsblog and Can't Stop the Bleeding)


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1 Comments

Did Yaz juice? I don't know. I certainly have no proof

That should have been the entire article.

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