FanDuel - WFBC

March 01, 2006

Another Star Falls To Staroids: Bret Boone retires at Mets camp Bret Boone retired Wednesday at New York Mets camp, the culmination of a swift decline for a player who was one of baseball's best second basemen only a few years ago. He missed New York's first intrasquad game Tuesday because of personal reasons, and said he woke up Wednesday morning with a decision that was "crystal clear.''

posted by irunfromclones to baseball at 04:42 PM - 59 comments

Physically, I think I can still do it. It wasn't as easy as even three or four years ago, but I had lost the edge. Oh? And tell us, Bret, what was this "edge" you lost?

posted by BullpenPro at 05:08 PM on March 01

Just because you're not better than everybody else dosn't mean you have to stop

posted by johnisimus at 05:21 PM on March 01

Funny how Boone lost his power when the steroid scrutiny got too tight. And he shrunk too, alot. Like Marquis Grissom and Sammy. Funny.

posted by fenriq at 05:28 PM on March 01

Pure coincidence that his initials are the same as another roid abuser who is in drag for spring training....

posted by irunfromclones at 06:02 PM on March 01

Once again, there is no crying in baseball!!! You've got him crying in this article: "At the end of the day, this really gives me some closure,'' Boone said, his eyes moist at a morning news conference. Then you have this article by espn.com when he was cut by the Mariners: Bret Boone made a tearful exit from the Seattle Mariners, who cut the three-time All-Star on Sunday after a half-season of struggles at the plate. Then a "hugfest" when he was released by the Twins after only three weeks: "Of course I'm disappointed," Boone said as he exchanged hugs with several teammates in the clubhouse... As far as I knew, he's never been caught using 'roids. But the timing is too much of a coincidence. His production cut off right after the 2003 season. I'll give him one thing, though, at least he didn't blame it on another bad Vitamin B-12 pill!

posted by wingnut4life at 06:06 PM on March 01

I'm glad Boone retired. I'm tired of seeing him doing bad. Not that I like the guy. He just should retire because he can't play anymore.

posted by nort_12345 at 07:25 PM on March 01

body, .journalism {background: yellow;}

posted by yerfatma at 08:10 PM on March 01

Was this the Boone who "kilt a bar?" I don't know about how to kilt a bar but I got in trouble once for de-kilting a barmaid. To be sure, I don't care what Bret Boone does, or when or why he does it. I am sick of all these athletes who think we should mourn their passing to life outside the limelight. Does anybody care about the loss of income for those poor lab workers who were gainfully employed to make, package and label those "vitamin B-12" pills for them?

posted by Bud Lang at 08:16 PM on March 01

Take a look at Boone's career stats and show me where he "stopped" using staroids [sic]. 2004? 2005? Couldn't be that the guy was 35 years old, I guess.

posted by Amateur at 08:20 PM on March 01

i think the writers of this article suck! they have no proof of their allegations towards brett boone. he was a very fine ball player.

posted by bravesfan45 at 08:24 PM on March 01

bravesfan, the writers of the article made no allegations. It's irunfromclones and the rest of his posse that have convicted Boone without evidence.

posted by Amateur at 08:31 PM on March 01

Baseball is tainted forever because of this. The one sport we had with some real history will never be the same and for what? the all mighty dollar thats what. So when Barry passes the Babe won't you just wonder a little bit how many the Babe would have hit if he was on the "juice" instead of the bottle?

posted by sonicdog at 09:06 PM on March 01

A careful examination of the stats of the players who have confessed to using steroids (as well as those who are suspected of their use) actually bolsters Bonds' reputation as one of the greatest hitters ever. Consider that after testing appears to have resulted in the dropoff of the production of the likes of Boone, Sosa, Canseco, and Beltre, as well as -- IMHO -- probably ending the careers of figures like Marvin Benard and Andres "Mr. 399" Galarraga (who was smart enough not to disgrace himself like Palmeiro did), take a close look at Bonds' stellar production before and especially after the otherworldly 72 HR 2001 season. He hit 40 or more long balls three times in the 90's (46 in '93, 42 in '96, 40 in '97); in 1998, the year of the great McGwire-Sosa duel, when Mac hit 70 and Sammy hit 66, Bonds hit 37. After the six dozen homer season of 2001, he dropped off by 27 dingers, bashing 46 in 2002. Then testing began in 2003. How much further did Barry drop off? Only by one HR, hitting 45 in 2003. Yeah, but what about the next year, 2004, his second under mandatory and random testing? 45 HRs again. The only thing that stopped him from picking up that pace in the 2005 campaign was his ailing knee, and once he felt well enough to swing, run, and stand on it, he hit 5 over the fences in 42 at bats, one per 8.4 official plate appearances, an improvement over his full season of 2004 (1 HR per 8.29). Barry Bonds used steroids, true. But unlike most (if not all) other confessed and alleged users, even if you take away all the seasons he is suspected of doing so, he is still one of the best hitters of all time and a first-ballot Hall-of-Famer.

posted by L.N. Smithee at 09:51 PM on March 01

Baseball is tainted forever because of this. Home Runs and Steroids: Some Perspective, Please

posted by justgary at 11:42 PM on March 01

I think Mr. Smithee has made quite a good case. I don't think not using steroids has slowed his production, but it certainly made him more pretty as evidenced by "Giants Idol"

posted by sublime4390116 at 11:43 PM on March 01

Boone... well, I was rooting for him to make a comeback, even though he had only himself to play for at this point. Even some ex-teammates were trying to convince him all day Tuesday not to retire, but I guess he felt it was time. In a Seattle Times article just two days ago, he was interviewed about his Mets training camp efforts, and he mentioned how he'd lost his focus, and even talked to veterans like Chili Davis who told him he too had lost his focus in his mid-30's, but managed to regain it to have a few more productive years. I think Boone probably realized he just didn't have the fire still burning in him, and without that he'd have at best a mediocre year, renewed training or no. For all our "they just show up for the paycheck" comments about ballplayers, I think at heart they can't really succeed unless there's some spark in them. At his age, with the money he's made, he probably realized he couldn't honestly get fired up for every game, which would be a disservice to himself and his team. Looking at the past: he was great in Seattle, and I don't think the juice had anything to do with it. In addition to being an absolutely outstanding defensive player (he could get to the shallow OF on a groundball like few 2B's I've seen), he really was a very solid hitter. I watched just about every game during his 2001 37HR season (what with the Mariners winning 116, it was always fun to watch them, at least up until the inexplicable ALCS), and I think Boone did so well more for his change in hitting style than any chemical enhancement. He was not only batting in an insanely productive order, so his RBI numbers and runs certainly benefited, he finally started adopting a "swing for the fences" approach only on favorable counts, then changing his style as the count adjusted to go more for slapshot singles so that he could keep his average up and get on base when it was no longer favorable for a double or HR. That's not steroids, that's just smart hitting. And he had another 35HR season just a couple of years later, and 4 other 20HR (and one 19HR) seasons throughout his career. This wasn't a 6'3", 240lb. slugging left fielder or DH, this was a quick, nimble gold glove 2B who learned to finally get his power when it was the best time for it, and his numbers benefited. This is hardly the first time a player has learned to be smarter, especially when faced with the reality that their body isn't as strong as it was in their 20's. Plus, in a brush with greatness, I saw Boone at Rick's stripclub here in Seattle this past summer/fall. Guess he must still own a place here in Seattle, or was here on a visit. It was very recognizably him, and I tried not to make an ass of myself by staring or anything even though I was a big fan of his during his time here (despite his ego and bravado, which I understand was as much an entertaining character he played for the benefit of his fellow teammates who enjoyed his larger-than-life clubhouse persona- see the Seattle Times article linked above). The dancers clearly weren't sports fans, either- they didn't recognize him, and when I mentioned who he was they seemed non-plussed. Ladies, the guy made $50 million in salary in his career, he might be able to afford a dance or two! Sheesh... strippers... :) As for Bonds: well, I've posted too many times on my like of Bonds and respect for his accomplishments as standing on their own, 'roids or no, to go on at too great a length. but I wholly agree with Smithee here, and chime in to agree that Bonds' never had a drop off post-testing, and didn't exactly come from nowhere: he was already a legend and first-ballot HOFer with 4 40HR seasons by the time he plunked 73HR. He had 3 MVPs in 4 years in the early 90's (finishing 2nd twice and in the top 5 another 3 times), not to mention led the league in walks almost every single year of the 1990's, owned scads of Gold Gloves and Silver Sluggers and finishing first or in the top 10 in slugging, OBP, OPS, HR, Runs, RBI, walks, stolen bases, and extra-base hits for more than a decade. Barry Bonds was already indisputably one of the greatest players of all time by the start of the 2001 season; 2001-2005 has only cemented that, and the only thing unusual about his last few seasons was the extreme, and quite frankly excessive, deference with which opposing pitchers treat him. If they didn't walk him so much, his numbers wouldn't be as good!

posted by hincandenza at 01:33 AM on March 02

Who the hell asked u to mourn for the guy?! If he used steroids or not, I don't care. I was a fan & wished he'd make a comeback, even if it was just for the personality. He's 1 of the few who could get away w/ that ego & cockiness, w/ me anyway. And I thought I heard a family issue played a part in his decision.

posted by HW21 at 04:22 AM on March 02

i think the writers of this article suck! they have no proof of their allegations towards brett boone. Did somebody leave the door to the Goober Wing open again? Please make sure it stays locked during business hours. Thanks. How about reading the article before you say something asinine, hmmm?

posted by The_Black_Hand at 08:00 AM on March 02

What the hell are 'staroids," anyway? Is that like a "starlet?" Did Lindsay Lohan somehow ruin Bret Boone's career? What the hell?

posted by The_Black_Hand at 08:02 AM on March 02

"Take a look at Boone's career stats and show me where he "stopped" using staroids [sic]. 2004? 2005? Couldn't be that the guy was 35 years old, I guess." Isn't Barry Bonds 42????? Didn't he just hit 73 home runs when he was 38-39????

posted by budpatient at 09:12 AM on March 02

Yeah, let's compare Bret Boone to Barry Bonds. That's fair ... a gold glove infielder who had a few very good seasons, versus possibly the greatest hitter who ever lived. Again, go and have a look at Boone's career stats. Down at the bottom of the page you'll find the list of Similar Batters. According to Baseball-Reference.com, Boone's career totals are most similar to: Travis Fryman - out of baseball at 33 Ken Caminiti - out of baseball at 38 Joe Gordon - out of baseball at 35 Larry Parrish - out of baseball at 35 Bobby Grich - out of baseball at 36 And yes, I know that Caminiti was a confirmed steroid user. But before you go and tell me how that "proves the point" I want you to think about what that means for Joe Gordon and Bobby Grich.

posted by Amateur at 09:49 AM on March 02

I think we should put all the suspected steroid users on Montell Williams and give them lie detecter test.

posted by Snipes at 11:05 AM on March 02

I think we should put all the suspected steroid users on Montell Williams and give them lie detecter test Yup, then when the show's over they can join Montell and Ricky Williams in the green room for some reeeeeeeefer.

posted by wingnut4life at 11:28 AM on March 02

Ok, so boone was crap until he hit 30??? Whats that tell us?

posted by budpatient at 11:33 AM on March 02

midlife crisis?

posted by wingnut4life at 11:35 AM on March 02

When I hit 30, Will I realize that I need something to enhance my, uh, "abilities"???

posted by budpatient at 11:39 AM on March 02

budpatient, its called Viagra, dude. And it's legal!

posted by fenriq at 11:50 AM on March 02

Take a look at Boone's career stats and show me where he "stopped" using staroids [sic]. 2004? 2005? Couldn't be that the guy was 35 years old, I guess. Age is always a factor, but if you take that tack, then Bonds should have been useless years ago. It's pretty clear that there was a dramatic drop in Boone's production that just happened to coincide with more aggressive testing.

posted by irunfromclones at 12:09 PM on March 02

As for Bonds: well, I've posted too many times on my like of Bonds and respect for his accomplishments as standing on their own, 'roids or no. An oxymoron if I ever heard one. Not much of an accomplishment if it was artificially enhanced, and they can't stand on their own when they are propped up by illegal drugs.

posted by irunfromclones at 12:16 PM on March 02

It's irunfromclones and the rest of his posse that have convicted Boone without evidence. sort of like someone making unwarranted statements about other posters.

posted by irunfromclones at 12:26 PM on March 02

Ok, so boone was crap until he hit 30??? Whats that tell us? NOTHING! Bobby Grich also slugged .537 -- 100 points better than his previous career best -- in the year he turned 30. What's that tell us? That Bobby Grich started on the juice in 1979? What I'm telling you is that "he hit way more home runs this year" and "he hit way fewer home runs this year" are useless pieces of "evidence." Bret Boone had a slightly weird career arc, peaking later than most batters. But that, by itself, proves nothing.

posted by Amateur at 12:28 PM on March 02

sort of like someone making unwarranted statements about other posters irunfromclones, what exactly is "unwarranted" about my statement? Did you or did you not accuse Bret Boone of staroid [sic] use at the top of this page? And do you or do you not have some evidence to support that accusation?

posted by Amateur at 12:30 PM on March 02

pretty clear that there was a dramatic drop in Boone's production that just happened to coincide with more aggressive testing. It's one thing to say that they "just happened" to coincide; it's another to attribute cause and effect. How about this: there was a dramatic drop in Boone's production that just happened to coincide with him turning 35, an age by which the vast majority of baseball players are washed up.

posted by Amateur at 12:33 PM on March 02

I do not endorse unwarranted steroid accusations. I do think, though, that it is an understandable, if not fair, reaction of fans in the wake of the steroid revelations to view the accomplishments of successful players in this era with a suspicious eye. What makes Boone HIGHLY suspicious in this context is not only his abrupt drop-off, but his abrupt leap INTO the upper-echelon of hitters. Boone had 7 homers in 443 AB in 1997 (and had never hit more than 15). In 1998 (why is that year earmarked in my mental baseball rolodex?) Boone more than tripled (24) that total, and he sustained a high level of power until 2005, when his total dropped back to 7 after a 2004 count of 24 (I like that symmetry). Is it fair to cast this shadow on Boone when there is no other evidence than the numbers? Absolutely not. But I think fans in general deserve some slack here -- our confidence has been betrayed, and the response of mistrust is pretty natural. On review: 35, an age by which the vast majority of baseball players are washed up. Amateur, I'll do some legwork on this myself, but do you have other examples of players who had such a dramatic decline from one year to the next in their mid-30s?

posted by BullpenPro at 12:38 PM on March 02

I know. BullpenPro, I tend to get a bit hot on this topic. And I agree that some suspicion is natural. Of course I cannot prove that Bret Boone did not use steroids, and he is a suspicious case. I just believe that somebody has to fight against this kind of presumption of guilt -- "Jesus, he's never done that before. Must be on drugs." It's bullshit. I also don't think Boone's emergence was as sudden as you make it seem. In 1994 he slugged .491, in 1998 he slugged .458 despite the increase in home runs. His 2001 and 2003 seasons are the ones that really stand out (.578,.535), but honestly I don't think that there is anything that odd about his career "arc," other than the fact that he peaked in his early thirties instead of his late twenties. That and the steep drop-off, which you and others have pointed out. None of the players I noted above had such a dramatic decline in their mid-30s. But the fact is that 35 is old for a ballplayer. If you want to do the legwork I would start with Baseball-Reference's "most similar players" lists.

posted by Amateur at 01:07 PM on March 02

I would like to agree with BullpenPro on the betrayment part. I for one do admit that I make a lot of off-the-wall comments, but I do try to stay close to the truth (As far as I knew, he's never been caught using 'roids.). My main bitch was that he was always crying or hugging. I know that metrosexuality is "in" nowadays, but come on! I am not out to start heated debates, even though it usually happens that way. I've always tried to be the optimist (I take Zoloft).

posted by wingnut4life at 01:08 PM on March 02

irunfromclones, what exactly is "unwarranted" about my statement? Did you or did you not accuse Bret Boone of staroid [sic] use at the top of this page? And do you or do you not have some evidence to support that accusation? I was mainly referring to your baseless allegation that A. I have a posse, and B. that there isn't any evidence. If a posse consists of a number of people who have the same opinions, then I suppose you may be correct. But then we could say the same thing about you. Now that Boone is retired, concrete evidence of possible steroid use would be nigh impossible to obtain. That leaves us with a lot of circumstantial evidence, made stronger however by the growing list of players with similar endings to their careers. And before you say anything about the term circumstantial evidence, most people are convicted on just that. Where's the concrete evidence to the contrary?

posted by irunfromclones at 01:19 PM on March 02

NOTHING! Bobby Grich also slugged .537 -- 100 points better than his previous career best -- in the year he turned 30. What's that tell us? That Bobby Grich started on the juice in 1979? You think steroids are new???? Wake up, Ben Johnson got caught in the '80 olympics!!

posted by budpatient at 01:20 PM on March 02

Wake up, Ben Johnson got caught in the '80 olympics!! If, by "the '80 olympics," you mean the ones that happened in 1988, then you're right on point. Moe, Larry, CHEESE!

posted by The_Black_Hand at 01:31 PM on March 02

I realize that steroids are not new, budpatient, but thanks for the history lesson. It is theoretically possible that Bobby Grich was on steroids. If you want to suspect him, go right ahead. In fact, it is the logical conclusion of the "circumstantial evidence" argument, if by "circumstantial evidence" you mean "sudden increase in performance."

posted by Amateur at 01:43 PM on March 02

irunfromclones, let me amend my original comment, then: bravesfan, the writers of the article made no allegations. It's irunfromclones and the rest of his posse that have has convicted Boone without evidence. I will not accept your assertion that there is circumstantial evidence against Bret Boone until I see something other than "he suddenly got good -- and then he suddenly got bad!" That's like convicting me of bank robbery because I have more money than I had yesterday. And no, I do not have any evidence to the contrary, and I do not claim to have any. If that's enough for you, fine. But it doesn't change anything about my "warrantless" statement.

posted by Amateur at 01:52 PM on March 02

Amateur- you say that you have to fight against this kind of presumption of guilt. Me, I take exception to people who will blindly defend something despite credible evidence to the contrary. Given the current state of baseball, steroids, and the number of players who have retired early or whose production has suddenly and for no other good reason dropped, then the circumstances at least warrant a suspicion. It's true that Boone may be getting tarred with the same brush as the truly guilty, but as evidenced by all the response, I'm no the only one who thinks his sudden departure is a little suspect. All that being said, I will do better at qualifying my remarks in the future.

posted by irunfromclones at 02:12 PM on March 02

The_Black_Hand you are my favorite person on SportsFilter. If a posse consists of a number of people who have the same opinions, then I suppose you may be correct. But then we could say the same thing about you I guess I'm in Amateur's posse then since I support what he says. Irunfromclones, I think that in order for your arguement to have a chance at being valid, you need to come up with some concrete evidence. Just because a player is average, has a few good seasons, then falls back to not very good does not mean they use steroids (Esteban Loiaza). Given the current state of baseball, steroids, and the number of players who have retired early or whose production has suddenly and for no other good reason dropped, then the circumstances at least warrant a suspicion. I do have to agree with you on this point, especially since Palmeiro and Sosa are not on teams yet (retired?). I think that there are players out their who used steroids, but back when there was little testing or they were legal. We don't put an asterik on the days of spitballs and other now banned substances do we? Unfortunatly, since the internet has changed information so much since the early 1900's, steroids has gotten much more publicity then the use of those substances. I think, had this occured back then, we would not care that much about steroids, or who did them now.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 02:27 PM on March 02

The_Black_Hand you are my favorite person on SportsFilter. /weeps openly

posted by yerfatma at 02:40 PM on March 02

Wow, YYM, you dropped yerfatma like a bad habit. There, there, yerfatma. It's okay. You can do better. Really.

posted by scully at 02:44 PM on March 02

Ok yerfatma I'll call it a tie, especially since I haven't seen your profile page since the first prediction was added. Though was your weeping for grief or joy? Of course, if joe88 makes perdictions that actually come true I'll be tempted to shoot myself.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 03:35 PM on March 02

/wanders in to drop stats and analysis about the implication of steroid use and career peaks /reads comments from BullpenPro and Amateur /wanders away to another thread

posted by grum@work at 04:20 PM on March 02

grum just dropped this whole thread like a bad habit

posted by irunfromclones at 04:25 PM on March 02

I hope that none of the people posting here ever get on a jury!!! What ever happened to innocent until proven guilty?

posted by ayankeefan at 10:40 PM on March 02

grum just dropped this whole thread like a bad habit No, grum@work realized that everything he was going to say had already been said, and said well. grum@work also feels a little weirded out by referring to himself in the 3rd person.

posted by grum@work at 10:53 AM on March 03

Should have come up with a catchy nickname written in the second-person. Then everything you write could sound like lost chapters of Bright Lights, Big City. On second thought, you and Rickey Henderson are probably better off.

posted by yerfatma at 12:06 PM on March 03

Aw yerfatma I was going to suggest something like that until you beat me to it...

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 02:16 PM on March 03

What ever happened to innocent until proven guilty? Apparently this does not apply to baseball players. Did Boone use steroids? I don't know that I care. I am glad they are finally getting around to 'clean up' the game. But the truth is that they still don't test for HGH and someone (the new Balco) will make a new and improved 'roid that beats the test. 'Cheating' to get an edge is a long time tradition in all sports. It will always be a part of it. 'Hanging' players that have never tested positive (Sosa, McGwire, Boone, etc...) is wasted energy. Palmeiro screwed himself out of the HOF (or was it Tejada?) with his positive test. But the rest of them should be treated as innocent until proven otherwise.

posted by stofer71 at 02:45 PM on March 03

Aw yerfatma I was going to suggest something like that until you beat me to it... Repairman walks into an old folks' home. There are a bunch of older men in wheelchairs in the commonroom shouting out numbers. Each number is met with howls of laughter. The repairman asks the Home Manager what that's all about. "This is an elderly comedians' home. They've long since memorized every joke, so they just say the numbers." "I've got to try that. 76!" [crickets] "99!" [nothing] "1,456!!!" [painful silence] One old guy turns to the other and says, "Some guys just can't tell a joke.

posted by yerfatma at 03:00 PM on March 03

"I've got to try that. 76!" [crickets] "99!" [nothing] "1,456!!!" [painful silence] Reminds me of when I gave my long winded recap of what happened in my pre-Super Bowl Madden game.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 03:47 PM on March 03

Some guys just can't tell a joke. Hell hath no fury like yerfatma spurned. You never should have made him cry, YYM. (p.s. Thanks for the nod in the profile. I'm putting that on my cv.)

posted by BullpenPro at 03:53 PM on March 03

Hell hath no fury like yerfatma spurned. You never should have made him cry, YYM. I still haven't figured out whether he was crying for joy or sorrow...

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 03:57 PM on March 04

stofer71: Palmeiro screwed himself out of the HOF (or was it Tejada?) with his positive test. It was Palmeiro who had the positive test. Then Palmeiro tried to screw Tejada out of the Hall of Fame by blaming him.

posted by L.N. Smithee at 05:50 AM on March 05

Then Palmeiro tried to screw Tejada out of the Hall of Fame by blaming him. Purely an observation, not implying anything... Before Palmeiro got busted for steroids: (start of season to July 31st) Tejada - .934 OPS After Palmeiro got busted for steroids: (Aug 1st to end of season) Tejada - .704 OPS

posted by grum@work at 08:53 AM on March 05

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