Major League Baseball's current home run leader Jose Bautista (who is a total showboating showboater and, I guess, a Yankee killer now) spoke with Toronto's Globe and Mail to refute rumors that he was on the steroids:
"I haven't heard it once," Bautista responded evenly when asked for his reaction to the unfounded allegations. "Nobody's said anything to me, and I don't see why they should. Baseball has a strict policy against those performance-enhancing whatever you want to call them."
Bautista, who has already eclipsed his career high in homers with 40 this year because he's playing for a team that eschews any offensive skill set whatsoever except swinging for the damn fences, has avoided all the childish nonsense and name-calling in the Bleacher Reports and Big Leads of the blogosphere. Even accusations that claim to have some basis in fact are irritating. This is just pure, empty speculation about a player performing over his head as if the aberration was something nefarious. Bollocks!
I'm glad people are asking questions and wondering about this. Bautista's season should raise every red flag there is about PEDs. His career slugging percentage coming into this season was .400 in 1754 at bats. He's slugging .600 this season. Slugging percentage is a measure of distance around the bases per at bat, so he's increased that distance by 50%. Secondly, he's not a young player entering his prime, he's coming to the end of that prime. He's at the age that as an outfielder who is a poor hitter, he could easily lose his job as a major league player.
If I were running MLB drug testing, however, I'd spring a lot of random tests on him just to make sure.
Some heady finger-pointing in those sentences! Uh, I'm pretty sure that's not how the process works. "Springing" faux-random tests on selected players probably violates the collective bargaining agreement. Besides, the obvious reason Bautista is doing so well this season is that he stole Aaron Hill's 2009 mojo through some elaborate voodoo ritual.
UPDATE: As per sports injury expert Will Carroll, MLB does indeed have a provision that allows teams to accelerate testing on a dubious individual. Also, Bautista has probably been tested twice already this year.