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  1. I was a Tigers season ticket holder for three seasons and will never forget the double take I did when Pudge made his first appearance of the spring looking sickly as if he had lost 50 pounds easily.

    I know it’s annoying and not fair all the time but this guy (IMO) was a “without a doubt” PED user who has seemingly gotten a fairly easy ride from the media/fans.

    Comment by AL Eastbound — April 23, 2012 @ 2:12 pm

  2. Really? I mean really? Did you just credit PEDs/steroids for his weight loss?

    Comment by Jim Lahey — April 23, 2012 @ 2:28 pm

  3. Really? “Without a doubt”? Except, of course, no positive test, not listed on the Mitchell Report, and not on the list of guys who failed in 2003. Clearly “without a doubt.”

    Comment by Erick — April 23, 2012 @ 2:34 pm

  4. Was the complete 2003 list ever released? I thought only a few names have surfaced.

    As to the main point, I’m with AL Eastbound – I don’t really doubt that he was a user. I’d still put him in the HOF, but I’d be shocked if he was clean his entire career.

    Comment by vivalajeter — April 23, 2012 @ 2:43 pm

  5. I remember 2003 playoffs. I’m a Yankee fan, but after watching Pudge during that series, he became one of my favorite players during that series. I enjoyed watching him handle the young Marlins pitchers. He was very animated, and I appreciated the passion and how badly he wanted to win.

    Comment by Mario Mendoza of commenters — April 23, 2012 @ 2:43 pm

  6. Can’t be certain, Jim Lahey, but I’m pretty sure AL Eastbound was hinting at the assumption that after he (allegedly) got off the juice he lost 50 lbs. Not that he started to juice up in his mid 30’s while simultaneously slimming down…a lot. So to answer your thoroughly rhetorical and sarcastic question, no, I don’t believe AL Eastbound did credit steroids for Pudge’s weight loss.

    Comment by So You Know It's Real — April 23, 2012 @ 2:44 pm

  7. passion is nothing without ability, of course… but he had both in spades.

    Comment by Mario Mendoza of commenters — April 23, 2012 @ 2:46 pm

  8. pedro was robbed, thats all i got to say

    Comment by johnny 5 — April 23, 2012 @ 2:55 pm

  9. i lied i got more to say .. pedro was robbed again later in his career when they handed his cy young to zito

    Comment by johnny 5 — April 23, 2012 @ 2:59 pm

  10. Brandon Duckworth: Currently pitching for Boston’s AAA Pawtucket affiliate, believe it or not. Did last year too.

    Yes indeed, Red Sox fans, you are only one step away from having Brandon Duckworth on your pitching staff.

    Comment by geo — April 23, 2012 @ 3:07 pm

  11. Well considering Pudge was a nickname from his childhood…

    Comment by Jacob — April 23, 2012 @ 3:10 pm

  12. I was wondering when Fangraphs was going to write something about Pudge. The news broke about a week or more ago, but it seemed to go unnoticed. I was wondering why they would write an article gushing over Tim Wakefield’s career, but not the #2 WAR catcher of all time.

    Comment by Keystone Heavy — April 23, 2012 @ 4:22 pm

  13. Canseco says he taught him how to juice. That’s all the proof I need. Every =one named in his book was a user. No one named has proven that they didn’t use. Doesn’t change the fact that he is the best AL C of his EAR – but sorry he was a juicer there is NO DOUBT WHATSOEVER!

    Comment by Ryan Carey — April 23, 2012 @ 5:13 pm

  14. Jim Lahey, not sure if you’re being sarcastic or not, but the year they started drug testing the guy seemed like all of his muscle mass disappeared. It was shocking. If there’s ever a clearer case of somebody who used PED’s without openly admitting it, I’d love to see it (well, Sosa, I suppose).

    Let’s compare a picture of him in 2003:
    http://aeryssports.com/fishy-situation/files/2012/04/ivan_rodriguez_2003_nlds_game_4_game_ending_play.jpg

    With a picture of him in 2005:
    http://cdn.bleacherreport.net/images_root/slideshows/140/slideshow_14057/display_image.jpg?x=962939

    Comment by JimNYC — April 23, 2012 @ 6:03 pm

  15. He certainly had a lot of passion for Ugueth Urbina:

    http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_fTT9xlgZ9CU/SJIkbUOzslI/AAAAAAAAIjs/sYmA_9f-2NA/s400/PudgeRodriguezUguethUrbina1.jpg

    Comment by JimNYC — April 23, 2012 @ 6:05 pm

  16. Pedro Martinez in 1999 had perhaps the single greatest pitching season ever — the only one that comes close is Pedro Martinez in 2000.

    That said, I’m usually not a fan of giving the award to a pitcher unless there are no standout position players, I would have given the MVP to Derek Jeter that year (and also in 2006, but hey, can’t win ‘em all… or any, if you’re Derek Jeter).

    Comment by JimNYC — April 23, 2012 @ 6:09 pm

  17. It’ll be interesting to see his 1st-year HoF vote totals. ‘Roids suspicion/knowledge pretty clearly depressed Bagwell’s totals. Pretty much have to be an apologist to deny that Ivan used. But then his overall case is better, and he continued building it – somewhat – from 2005 onward.

    Comment by Richie — April 23, 2012 @ 8:37 pm

  18. My prediction: Ivan will be the first crack in the dyke through which the best of the roidsters all eventually get into the Hall. Maybe not 1st ballot for Ivan, but pretty quickly thereafter. After which, once you let the one in, it’s harder to leave out the other transcendant performers on that same ground.

    Comment by Richie — April 23, 2012 @ 8:42 pm

  19. JimNYC… thank you.

    Comment by novaether — April 23, 2012 @ 11:48 pm

  20. When he was asked whether he was one of the 103 players who tested positive for steroids in 2004, Pudge replied “Only God knows.”

    Comment by Bob Bovin — April 24, 2012 @ 12:20 am

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