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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?

Clemens_roger27

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.

August 19th update: Damon Denies the Rumor.  Click here to read the details.

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 bookJuiced 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.

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» Even More Rumors: Damon and Clemens from Roid Rumors
My gut tells me that Damon is probably doing it. Is excessive hair growth and obnoxious media whoring a side effect? Clemens less likely, he's so old why would he do it now when he's close to Cooperstown and the end? No sense. [Read More]

Comments

I've been thinking, and saying, for years that Clemens is a likely user. Guys just don't stay in that kind of shape, and throw that hard, at that age, without some help from Mr. Steroid.

Does it logically follow, then, that Randy Johnson used them? How do you like the chances on that?

Honestly, people probably don't suspect Clemens because he's a pitcher. It's stupid because plenty of the players busted have been pitchers, but the thought is still "only power hitters take steroids". Power hitters might take them, but I think these tests have proven any type of ball player can be on the juice.

Until people change their thought processes or a big name pitcher gets busted, Bonds/Sosa/McGwire and other power hitters will always be the names at the forefront of steroid speculation.

I think the more in-tune fans can grasp the idea of non-sluggers on the juice. alex sanchez, juan rincon, ryan franklin, plus ten different sucky minor leaguers is pretty solid evidence that it's not all homers. Sosa and McGwire need to be more pubicly humiliated though.

but i agree - the average fan only looks at muscular home run hitters as steroid users.

Randy Johnson strikes me as slightly less likely to have used steroids. First, his maintained velocity has a lot to do with the fact that he's 6'10", something that age hasn't changed. Second, he started pitching relatively late in life, so his arm didn't have as much use on it when he made it to the Bigs. But I wouldn't be surprised to hear that just about any player in baseball was caught.

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