Have we reached the point where analysts now question anyone successful in sports? It has begun to seem that successful athletes could almost automatically get classified as HGH users. The latest unfounded case is the very recent questioning of New York Yankees star shortstop Derek Jeter.
ESPN's Skip Bayless questioned the legitimacy of Jeter's stellar 2012 performance by indicating the possibility that Jeter has used HGH. MLB.com's Bryan Hoch quoted Bayless as saying, "How could I not wonder, 'Is he using something?'... If you're Derek Jeter, would you think about using HGH right now? Because I would. How would you not? Would you not think about it?"
When I read this story, I could not believe that a reporter would make this claim without any verification. This is a serious charge against any player, let alone a future Hall of Famer - a charge that could possibly put his entire career into question. I wonder how anyone could even consider charging Jeter with this claim without offering any proof. I fully agree with Jeter's comments about the unfortunate questioning of players who succeed.
Jeter is having a terrific season. He is hitting .324 (which leads the American League) with 13 home runs and 43 RBI entering play on August 23. This performance really is very much like that of his typical seasons, so I see no reason to question him. Jeter typically hits near to well over .300, in the teens in home runs, and in the 60s and 70s in RBI mostly from the leadoff spot. What about his 2012 performance would lead to any baseless suggestions? Bayless wonders how Jeter can keep performing so well at age 38. Perhaps Jeter has kept himself in great physical condition and works tirelessly to maintain and improve his game.
On August 15, San Francisco Giants outfielder Melky Cabrera was suspended for fifty games for violating Major League Baseball's substance rules by using testosterone. On Wednesday, August 22, Oakland Athletics pitcher Bartolo Colon received the same penalty for the same violation. Both players will miss the remainder of the 2012 season and not have a chance to help their teams make the postseason. We heard little to nothing about either of these two players until the suspensions came out - after testing was complete.
Without any evidence, I see no reason for anyone outside of MLB to make this charge against any player. Bayless said that we would be remiss not to consider it. Call me remiss, but until I see and hear the evidence, I do not make or accept these types of charges.
Bryan Hoch, Jeter Calls Suggestion of Doping "Unfortunate", yankees.mlb.com, August 22, 2012.
Janie McCauley, Bartolo Suspended 50 Games for Positive Test, sports.yahoo.com/mlb, August 22, 2012.
Major League Baseball, Sortable Player Statistics, Hitting, mlb.mlb.com as of August 23, 2012.
Yahoo! Sports, 2012 Regular Season Standings, sports.mlb.com as of August 23, 2012.
Raymond was born in Connecticut into a family spilt between the Red Sox and Yankees. Although he grew up in Florida, Raymond became a Yankees fan. He played baseball through high school and soon after became a varsity coach. Raymond previously produced radio sports talk shows and hosted a weekly MLB radio call-in show. Follow Raymond on Twitter @RayBureau
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