MLB Steroid Rumors: Roger Clemens and Johnny Damon
Here at The Roto Authority, we're not prone to throwing around unsubstantiated steroid rumors. Oh wait, we are prone to that. At any rate, we have some juicy new tidbits for you to chew on.
You'd probably like a source, right? Well all we've got at the moment is the Bull Pen Forum over at RotoJunkie. Nonetheless, we've got to put it out there.
The conjecture is that Johnny Damon and Roger Clemens have tested positive for steroids. Is this at all reasonable?
In some regards, it is. Let's look at Damon. Why would he take steroids? The best reason is definitely the financial incentives. Going into 2005, Damon knew that he stood to receive something like a four-year, $50 million dollar contract if he had a stellar season heading into free agency. Do his stats this year indicate steroid use?
We really don't know how to tell if or how a player's stats would correlate with steroid use. In Damon's case, it's a mixed bag: he's putting up a career high in batting average, but his power has been middling.
What other factors would debunk the Johnny Damon steroid rumor? Several. The first is again his impending free agency. Damon has to know that any detection of steroid use would cost him many millions and guaranteed years as he heads into free agency. In addition, Damon has lucrative endorsement deals with Dunkin' Donuts and Puma. He'd certainly lose those and any future deals if he tested positive. The fact that he's the Players Association representative on the Red Sox and has expressed shock with Rafael Palmeiro's suspension would only further damage his reputation.
Thoughts on Roger Clemens using steroids? More likely than Damon. He's pondered retirement plenty of times, so money is less of a factor for him. He's putting up a remarkable season at an ancient 43 years old. He carefully avoided answering a steroid question back in a March Sporting News interview. Last but not least, Clemens was named in Jose Canseco's book. Juiced is looking more and more prescient as players get exposed. That's one reason why we wouldn't be shocked if Miguel Tejada and Ivan Rodriguez are named.
Bob Smizik wrote an interesting piece for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette back in May concerning the lack of scrutiny of Clemens. Only Waiver Wire seems to have caught onto this rumor within the blogging community.