Carlos Ruiz Suspended

Fair or not, the most common way people identify suspected “steroid cheats” is to look for sudden, unexpected improvements in power, specifically big jumps in home runs. Whenever a hitter shows a big power surge, especially later in his career, there will always be folks claiming that they had some chemical assistance. And they do it because of cases like Carlos Ruiz.

Ruiz had a breakout season in 2012, adding power to his repertoire for the first time at age 33. He’d been a quality player for the last few years, mostly based on his ability to make a lot of contact and occasionally drive the ball into the gaps. Homers weren’t really his thing. From 2006 to 2011, his career HR/FB rate was 6.3%, and he posted an ISO of .128.

Last year, his HR/FB rate was 15.1%, and his ISO was .215. Or, if you prefer pictures, here’s Carlos Ruiz’s slugging percentage, by year, compared to league average.

Yeah. It’s not hard to figure out which of these is not like the others. And so, today, no one is really shocked that Carlos Ruiz has been suspended 25 games for failing a drug test, specifically one for amphetamines. Reports suggest that he’s admitted to taking Adderall, which has gained popularity as a performance enhancing drug over the last few years. Because MLB treats amphetamines different from PEDs, the suspension means that this is actually Ruiz’s second failed test – a first failed test for amphetamines simply requires an increased level of future testing.

And so, when Ruiz issues a statement that says he’s “sincerely regretful” for his “mistake”, everyone just rolls their eyes. Given his career path, no one is surprised today. Given his multiple failed tests, his credibility is basically shot. Ruiz is only going to miss the first 25 games of 2013, but he’s now going to be followed around by a large cloud of skepticism.

If he doesn’t hit after the suspension is over, it will be evidence that the drugs were the reason he was good in the first place. If he does hit, it will just be evidence that he’s found a way to beat the system. This is the world we live in now. Guys who just suddenly start hitting for power are guilty until proven innocent. And as long as guys like Carlos Ruiz keep providing evidence to support that mentality, it’s just going to grow.

I feel bad for the guys who really are clean and just improve through natural means. I don’t like to assume the worst. I just wish the players would stop giving us reasons to think that every abnormal power spike really is due to drug use. As long as they keep providing evidence for the cliche, it will survive. Unlike Carlos Ruiz’s 2012 power spike, most likely.




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Dave is a co-founder of USSMariner.com and contributes to the Wall Street Journal.


124 Responses to “Carlos Ruiz Suspended”

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  1. Sleight of Hand Pro says:

    out of curiosity, what “natural means” are there for a 32 year old catcher to improve his power?

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    • Anon says:

      Hit more flyballs and less groundballs by changing mechanics or pitch selection.

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      • cpebbles says:

        Looking at Carlos Ruiz, it seems to me well within the realm of possibility that his strength and conditioning regimen has enough room for improvement to more than offset the gentle downward slope you’d expect at his age. The guy isn’t Prince Fielder or anything, but it’s not like it’s impossible for a 32 year old to transform his body.

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    • hmk says:

      spend some serious time in the gym. you build muscle that way.

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  2. Chad says:

    You mean to tell me he couldn’t find someone to diagnose him with AD(H)D?

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    • Bhaakon says:

      To a get a therapeutic use exception for ADHD drugs, a player has to be diagnosed by a league-approved doctor using the diagnostic criteria described in the drug agreement, and each exemption is subject to review by a panel of experts. He can’t just bribe an unscrupulous doctor for a script.

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      • Mikhel says:

        Well, after the report done by the Bosox front office guy, George Mitchell, the amount of players who got a medical approved therapeutic exemption for ADHD increased, jumping up to almost 10% of baseball players taking drugs to offset ADHD effects, compared to a 3-4% in the adult population, that is a high number.

        Some experts discuss that in the male adult population the number could be as high as 7%, similar to the percentage in MLB in 2007, in 2008 that number has increased steadily by half a percentage point per year in average.

        Why? It was simple, to obtain said exemption, players only needed the opinion of one expert, but this season MLB discussed a new plan to deterr players from taking advantage of the system, needing the opinion of a panel comprised of three experts, but as discussed in the _Psychological Assessment_ journal, in the article titled _Detection Of Feigned ADD/ADHD In College Students_, it is still easily “fakeable”.

        What we obtain from all of this is that overall US percentages of young adult males suffering from ADHD is highly doubtful, when compared to other countries that report percentages of 2 to 3%, just because in those countries Universities and the government don’t give them free pills to get high legally.

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  3. White Blood Cells says:

    Jose Bautista, please don’t ever fail a drug test.

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  4. Ryan Braun says:

    Always ensure you’re tested on a Saturday so the sample sits for a couple of days.

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  5. Cody says:

    It’s adderol.. How does this help power numbers? Being more focused on the ball?

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    • Scott says:

      When I played in high school there were guys who would swear up and down that taking adderall helped them. Pitchers claimed that it added a couple ticks and fielders claimed it made them go all out on every play without a second thought. I don’t kow for sure if it helped them, only one ended playing at a higher level, but at least at the high school level it was providing perceived boosts.

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      • Bhaakon says:

        Who knows. One of the things about stimulants is that they can make you feel like you’re more focused and effective than you actually are. It’s probably better than being dog tired, but no replacement for being well rested.

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    • Andrew says:

      It’s a stimulant, so his timing could’ve been better. Quicker wrists. Better eyes. More energy.

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  6. JS7 says:

    Chone Figgins is taking the anti-steroid.

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  7. Crumpled Stiltskin says:

    It’s not like drugs like adderall weren’t thoroughly ingrained in the culture of baseball for nearly 50 years. You discount Ruiz for adderall, you have to discount mays and mantle too. And countless others.

    Not that I endorse taking that drug. But speed type drugs are part of the history of baseball and a much higher percentage of players dud them I’d bet then even steroids at their apex.

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    • Mikhel says:

      Well, the players who admited to taking methamphetamines were Hank Aaron, Willie Mays and Mike Schmidt; Mantle doing greenies was just a rumour because he was badly hurt almost since he began his career and what it was known was that besides ingesting almost industrial quantities of alcohol, he would take the occasional caffeine pill.

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      • CircleChange11 says:

        This is where I point out that Hank Aaron tried greenies once, and didn’t like that they made him jittery, his heart race, etc.

        I think for players that need to be “relaxed” in order to be quick are not going to enjoy stimulants.

        IMHO, baseball players primarily take stimulants due to their nocturnal activities, rather than specifically to be “more focused” for baseball games and at bats.

        In other words, they use stimulants instead of sleep … not unlike much of the adult, working world.

        I take concerta for ADD and to be honest, the only days I can really tell a big difference are the days where I get really good sleep … which makes me wonder whether it’s the pill or the sleep. When I’m tired, the pills don’t help at all.

        But, that said, for a non-ADd person taking ADD meds, it will very much act like a stimulant, which is why we have sort of a “black market” for the stuff, especially among teens.

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  8. I have now profiled two catchers who have, shortly after, been busted for PEDs. I profiled them because their numbers were head-scratching and impressive. Maybe take a hint.

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  9. fergie348 says:

    This is an issue that frankly will never go away. Not when Baseball = Money. Not when drugs actually help you improve your performance so you can make more Money. The genie is out – no getting it back in. Sorry.

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  10. Dan says:

    “If an MLB-certified clinician diagnoses Ruiz with ADHD and prescribes him Adderall, Ruiz can apply for a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) with MLB’s independent program administrator. In 2011, Major League Baseball granted 105 TUEs — approximately nine percent of all players — for ADHD. ”
    http://www.philly.com/philly/sports/phillies/181052711.html

    If talking Adderall can boost your ISO by .100 as Cameron suggests, maybe having a doctors note is the new way to get ahead. Personally, I think the casual evidence here with Adderall and performance is pretty weak – what do we have a case study of one or two guys – are there more example here?).

    It’s hard for me to get upset over something 9% of players all ready take. (Granted I am a Phillies and Ruiz fan). I will be interested to hear if Ruiz tried to get a doctor’s note for Adderall. Either way he acted stupidly.

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    • cpebbles says:

      Any doctor prescribing Adderall to adults, where diagnosis of ADHD has roughly the formality and precision of picking the diagnosis out of a hat, should probably have his license revoked anyway. Perhaps the many who throw the stuff around like candy don’t care to do so for such a high-profile client whose level of achievement basically rules out clinically-significant ADHD.

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    • Mikhel says:

      Ruíz was dumb not to follow what 10% of the league’s players (2012 numbers) did, though this year was harder because it had to be approved by a panel of three experts, but still the way to diagnose ADHD is sketchy at best and open to interpretation.

      Sure, 10% doesn’t sound as much, but compared to 2-3% of the worlwide male population (not counting the US), it is a high percentage. Now, when compared to the US there is not much difference, since 7-8% of male adults have been diagnosed with ADHD, but that percentage is highly skewed due to most of the cases being diagnosed in university campuses where legal methamphetimes is the drug of choice in these days (there are studies that show that in 90% of the cases the patients faked their condition just to get free drugs).

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      • Walter White says:

        Two people have made this mistake already. There is a difference between amphetamines, ie adderall, and methamphetamine

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  11. MikeS says:

    So is AJ Pierzynski next?

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  12. swanized says:

    I take Adderall daily and fail to see how it can boost your power. In-game focus obviously, pitch selection maybe but power I doubt it.

    His Plate discipline stats were in line with his career line last season so I doubt Adderall had much impact on his stats.

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    • ns978 says:

      Have you taken Adderall before? Take enough of it and it will make you feel like a god. I’ll admit I’ve experimented with Adderall. I’ve taken it a few times before exercising and cycling. It made me lift more and peddle faster. This wasn’t a lab experiment just me seeing how my body responded to the drug.

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    • vivaelpujols says:

      Adderall could certainly improve your workouts which could improve power.

      I agree that the link is pretty tenuous.

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    • Richard says:

      his plate discipline states were NOT in line with his career norms

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    • BlackOps says:

      Adderall has different effects for people with and without ADHD. It stabilizes for those with and is an enhancer for those without.

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    • Mikhel says:

      Aderall has a different effect in people who needed than in people who doesn’t need it, and that is valid for any other drug/medicament. If you ingest medicament that you don’t need, you’ll have (most likely) adverse effects, compared to ingesting it when you really need it.

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  13. Fiscal Cliff Lee Majors says:

    Q: If Carlos was in fact suspended for using Adderall, and only Adderall, then what the *heck* prevented his just getting a doctor to prescribe it? It makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.

    A: He was guilty of doing more (maybe much more) than Adderall.

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  14. bob says:

    Do we know at what point in the season he failed his test? I think that has to be taken into account before entirely dismissing the boost in his production or for any other player that fails a test. For all we know he could have started using them at the beginning of September because he was particularly drained at that point. Don’t get me wrong I’m not excusing him at all but it would interesting to figure out just how much they altered his production.

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  15. Tom says:

    Who’s to say he’s only taking Adderall? That’s just what he got caught for.

    Granted if he got busted for PED’s it would be a 50 game suspension, but that only means he hasn’t gotten caught. If he’s taking Adderall, maybe he’s taking other stuff too?

    People try to correlate stats with a specific PED but we don’t really know what Ruiz is doing other than Adderall.

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    • DavidCEisen says:

      Who’s to say Ruiz isn’t actually a Soviet-era biological experiment cut lose on the world? The fact of the matter is we just don’t know. Where was Carlos Ruiz in 1988? Was he involved in the Soviet retreat from Afghanistan? Did he, in fact, train Osama Bin Laden? The fact of the matter is it could be so and he just hasn’t gotten caught. We can try to correlate stats with communist mad-science-ery but we don’t really know what those red bastards were doing. But what we do know is that we don’t know what Ruiz’s role in all of this cover up is.

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      • Tom says:

        I mentioned this (in more detail) below. Adderall is a diuretic – which is also used as a masking agent to beat urine tests.

        You could paint this as a tinfoil hat theory if you like. But when a potential masking agent is used, I don’t think you just dismiss the chance that the player was doing no more than taking a stimulant.

        For some reason people seem to be solely focused on the stimulant angle.

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      • DavidCEisen says:

        Not according to Daniel Hussar, who is professor of pharmacy at the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy at the University of the Sciences:

        Hussar added that Adderall is not a known masking agent for other performance enhancing substances. But he added that he feels strongly that MLB should better regulate Adderall use in its players. “These are potent medications that can have serious consequences if misused,” says Hussar. “If individuals let their guard down with these substances, circumstances can increase the risk of damage to the cardiovascular system.”

        http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/sportsdoc/Adderall-MLBs-latest-performance-enhancing-drug.html

        Coffee is also a diuretic.

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      • Tom says:

        The link you have is nice, but it is half the story. Adderall cannot mask a particular compound (or metabolite) in urine, but as a diuretic it can lower T levels which is the screening test baseball performs. If you pass this, the second test which looks for the specific substance is not done (and thus there is no need to actually “mask” the metabolites). So when I say masking agent perhaps I’m taking liberties with the scientific definition of “masking agent” – what I mean to say is it can mask the T levels and beat the primary MLB urine test.

        The professor is correct in that it is not really a masking agent on one level – but it will allow you to beat the first test (which is all you need). You don’t need to mask the drug to beat the first test you just need to lower the T levels – a nuance that your link and the professor ignores.

        And coffee is indeed a diuretic. I did not realize it works on a similar level to Adderall – I learn something new every day. Thanks for informing everyone on this. At least you are not resorting to hyperbolic and ridiculous arguments and instead are providing rational, well thought out replies.

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      • wahooo says:

        why would you choose a masking agent that is considered a performance enhancing drug? That doesn’t make much sense.

        However, I do believe that there might be a positive correlation with those willing to cheat with one drug more likely to cheat with another.

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    • rubesandbabes says:

      Yes, this is a good series of comments by Tom. If the likes clicks for David Eisen’s post are in fact mostly legit and not just mostly from Dave, it speaks poorly of the clickers.

      Just sayin’.

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  16. Choo says:

    I used to take Adderol. Ballplayers, take note of this industry secret for acquiring your own prescription. Here is what you do:

    Doctor: “Do you have trouble concentrating?”

    You: “It started when I was in junior high – hey, is that a statue of Ganesha on your credenza? What’s that about? Elephant head? Six arms? Rides about the earth atop a mouse and wears a live snake as a fashionable belt? Dude! But yeah, sorry, we were talking about junior high?”

    That’s it. *bam* Script.

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    • Bhaakon says:

      Getting a script from your personal physician isn’t enough. A players has to get it through the system laid out in the drug agreement, which has many more hoops to jump through.

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      • Choo says:

        More hoops just means more chances to act like you have ADHD. I am being totally serious. All a doc can do is observe your behavior and trust that your intentions are noble.

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  17. PackBob says:

    ‘Everyone is guilty until proven innocent’ will always be here since it is difficult to prove something is not. Unless the drug tests left no holes in detecting a banned substance, there is no way to “prove” a player didn’t take a substance.

    It would be interesting, maybe not practical, to go back pre-steroids (but not amphetamines) and see how common were spikes out of nowhere in performance to compare against the stroids era.

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    • B N says:

      We could have cameras follow the player around Truman-show style, night and day. Maybe if that was the premise of The Barry Bonds Show (and it debuted in the 90’s), Barry might not have had his little accident…

      While 100% night and day film is not foolproof, I’ll accept it as plausible evidence.

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  18. CB says:

    Dave,

    How can you explain the lack of home runs across all little league lineups considering the rampid abuse of Adderall among America’s youth?

    TIA.

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  19. Dave S says:

    Chooch Ruiz? reallly? say it ain’t so…

    pretty much my sole reason to watch the team last season.

    this one just makes me sad.

    I love baseball. I “know” that’s stupid. Its just business.

    I thought I was past it. Over the whole PED thing. Accepted it.

    Obviously not, because somehow I still want to believe that baseball is better than this. That baseball is still pure in some basic primal way. That baseball is above the hum-drum problems of everyday existence. I thought this was particularly true for a guy like Chooch Ruiz.

    silly me.

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  20. Sage S says:

    Who’s next?

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  21. walt526 says:

    Has anyone tested Chone Figgins for valium?

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  22. mrdaikon says:

    I’ve got to chime in here. I do not have ADHD, however I took large amounts of Adderall while in college about 4 years ago. I still have access to it today and once in a while pop a pill

    Adderall is NO Performance Enhancing Drug! It is a drug that can be abused, and as such it should not be allowed in baseball clubhouses, for all the good reasons that high profile role models should not abuse recreational drugs in the public eye.

    We should not draw parallels between Adderall and Steroids. There is no comparison! Synthetic testosterone (a muscle building drug) and a drug used to help concentration(maybe) really, really should not be regarded the same way whatsoever. ESPECIALLY the Adderall formula that is available today, it really doesn’t have the cocaine-esq profile like it used to. A few years back it would provide a feeling of exultation, but they’ve altered the compound since then, now……. it helps you concentrate, a little bit better, something a MLB catcher ought to do very often if he wants to be any good at his job.

    Salty uses it:
    http://www.weei.com/sports/boston/baseball/red-sox/alex-speier/2012/03/25/coming-focus-leadership-jarrod-saltalamacchia

    It’s more akin to a fat dose of caffeine now than a superpower endowing wunderdrug. Let’s not lump Carlos Ruiz into the same group as the guys who took synthetic testosterone, that’s being really unfair to him and what he accomplished this season.

    If you think I’m full of it, here’s a bit of reading:
    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2010/12/21/adderall-concentration-benefits-in-doubt-new-study.html
    http://reesenews.org/2011/10/26/adderall-the-whole-story/19843/

    I’m not saying that he should be excused. I am saying that this article framed his mistake as tantamount to taking a synthetic testosterone, which is, IMHO, completely unfair and misleading. He violated the MLB drug policy, fine, serve your time. But in no way should his accomplishments on the field be brought into question, in the same way as you would if he’d used steroids.

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  23. Yasmani G. ..no that's too obvious.. Y. Grandal says:

    Ruiz got banned for what?

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  24. Heather says:

    So you stick up some charts on Ruiz’s power in aid of….what, precisely?

    There is no evidence I know of linking greenies to increased power.

    This seems like a ZOMG CHEATING IS BAD M’KAY article more than anything else, which is surprising considering the site and author. Ruiz shouldn’t have broken the rules, but the fact that he did shouldn’t cause us to doubt his power numbers in and of itself.

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    • Tom says:

      Adderall is also a diuretic… which is commonly used to mask other PED usage.

      It will dilute urine, lower T levels, meaning you are less likely to fail the epi T level screening test baseball does. If he passes that test,I believe baseball does not run the CIR test which will look for specific PEDs (or more specifically metabolites of those substances).

      There is potentially more to this than simply the stimulant angle, but we will never know.

      For some reason people are just assuming this is the only thing he was taking – it’s just the only thing he got nailed for. When using a potential masking agent, I’m not sure the assumption that is all he was taking is a good one. I have no idea one way or the other, but it’s more complicated than how do stimulants increase power #’s. Not sure Ruiz deserves the benefit of the doubt (that was all he was using) after getting caught twice using Adderall.

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      • Heather says:

        One can speculate all one likes, but that seems irresponsible. I’m focused on the Adderall, because that’s what he tested positive for. If and when he tests positive for something else, I’ll focus on that.

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      • Tom says:

        You don’t think getting caught using a potential masking agent (twice) should cause people to question a breakout power year for a 31 or 32 year old player?

        And it is irresponsible to do so?

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      • brad says:

        Making you pee more is not the same thing as a masking agent, and posting the same pseudo-informed attempt at a jargon-y comment multiple times doesn’t make it more accurate.
        Diuretics are not masking agents. Your outrage doesn’t make adderall making you pee more into something it’s not, nor does it change the fact that many other non-tested for substances are also diuretics. If you want to sneer at coffee also having that property, cite medical lit showing adderall has (magic) extra diuretic powers. You don’t try to beat a drug test with a drug you’re being tested for.

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  25. LTG says:

    With a name like CHORCH he’d have to be a Soviet-era biological experiment.

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  26. blahblahblah says:

    Yeah, we going to get one of these “roider alert cause he’s a cheater cheater pumpkin eater” posts every time a player gets caught with a joint?

    This is an unbelievably common and long used “banned substance” not a “PED” – and maybe that is something which should be the meat of such an article instead of the “supension, so just ignore his stats; they are obviously inflated since he used a non-PED”

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  27. Oliver says:

    Dave, equating Adderall and steroids is pretty disingenuous. They’re both PEDs but one has nothing to do with adding muscle mass, increasing strength, etc. Adderall is a banned substance and he deserves the suspension, but this isn’t the same as Barry Bonds/Manny Ramirez here. FULL DISCLOSURE: I’m a Phillies fan and I love Chooch, but I’m immensely disappointed in this result. Before I say anything else though, let’s look at some data. Adderall is generally thought to increase concentration, which would probably manifest itself in plate discipline stats and line drive % (if you’re dialed-in at the plate you’ll square more balls up), so we’d expect more walks/fewer strikeouts, fewer pitches swung at outside the zone, and a higher line-drive rate.

    Looking at Chooch’s BB% of 6.9% (Career 10.4% including last year) and K% of 11.9% (career 11.1%), it doesn’t look like he got much of a boost. His O-Swing % of 32.8 was way higher than his 22.9% career average. The only thing that looked better was his line-drive rate of 24% (career 19.9%), and as a result his XBABIP wasn’t too outrageously different from his actual BABIP (.329 versus .325). Add in a career BABIB of .295 and things start to look fishier. Here we can argue whether or not the drugs helped and how much (worse plate discipline versus better line drive rate/BABIP), but let’s look the problem you articulated: the increased power.

    Ruiz had an ISO>.200 through July, but if he’d failed then he would’ve been suspended earlier. Instead it seems like the failed test was in September (when his ISO was .169), so they probably weren’t helping him too much in the power department.

    [Here it’s important to note that one failed test leads to an increase in scrutiny, so if the first positive test was in May, when Ruiz was batting a monstrous .418/.484/.696 there would immediately be more tests and if he continued taking adderall he would have been found out very quickly and suspended then. If on the other hand he failed then, stopped, and then started in September, we’d still have to explain his .337/.424/.535 June line and his .225 July ISO.]

    Additionally, 7 of Ruiz’ 15 home runs were classified as “Just Enough” (47%, league average is 27% according to ESPN) so this lends credence to idea that the power boost was mostly a fluke, and we shouldn’t expect a similar power output next year drugs or no.

    Of course don’t let any of this stop you from equating correlation with causation. While I definitely am upset that Chooch was cheating (and taking a banned substance is cheating, regardless of whether or not it helps you), and I also rolled my eyes at his “apology,” I don’t want to buy into a phony narrative about how his homers this year were just because of the drugs. One thing places like FanGraphs are wonderful for is cutting through the BS by letting data tell (or at least inform) the story. I guess I’m disappointed in you, Dave, for jumping to conclusions like this. I expected more from FanGraphs.

    TL;DR Drugs may have helped Chooch in batting avg, but probably not power. I am saddened by Dave’s argument.

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  28. LTG says:

    Thought experiment: Imagine MLB much as it is today. Steroids are officially banned and there is a testing-enforcement regime with stiff penalties. Now suppose that the tests are rather ineffective and the players all know this. Further suppose that most players use steroids. Is it still cheating? Why? Why not?

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    • siggian says:

      Yes it is still cheating.

      Most people drive at a speed over the limit. The chances are small that you will get caught unless you excessively speed. It’s still against the law though and the judge will laugh if you say that everyone else is doing it so it’s not illegal.

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      • RichW says:

        Sure, speeding is illegal but it is an administrative violation vs a criminal one for excessive speeding or for dangerous driving. Taking stimulants is analogous to speeding IMO.

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  29. Pat says:

    “And so, when Ruiz issues a statement that says he’s “sincerely regretful” for his “mistake”, everyone just rolls their eyes. Given his career path, no one is surprised today. Given his multiple failed tests, his credibility is basically shot.”

    Fuck you, Dave, you sanctimonious prick. He’s failed a test for a substance that literally dozens of others of active players take. And the evidence is shaky that said substance even increases production.

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      • B N says:

        Indeed. When it’s Ryan Braun, it’s confirmation bias; when it’s Carlos Ruiz, people are going to roll their eyes and his credibility is shot?

        That seems like a pretty extreme double-standard. Given the power numbers cited, I’d say Dave makes it pretty clear he’s talking about Aderall as a masking agent (since stimulants aren’t usually associated with big power spikes). All told, I have the same level of confidence that Braun used a steroid that Ruiz used one. The only difference is that we know Chooch used Aderall which is weird in isolation, but not something that I’d associate with a late-career power spike. It’s unfortunate, as I like bother players, but their “suspicion clouds” are about the same size.

        Moreover, while it’s unfortunate that Ruiz was cheating, I’m not going to start assuming his contrition is full of crocodile tears. Plenty of players have had varying degrees of reactions to being caught with banned substances: from what appeared to be genuine sadness to outright bravado about their actions.

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      • Kellin says:

        Key: “He failed MULTIPLE tests”

        His credibility is no bueno

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      • rubesandbabes says:

        Yes, I fully agree with the B N person’s comment.

        The confirmation bias article was a lowpoint in a series of bad articles about Braun at Fangraphs.

        B N brings this to clear focus – regret, its the ethnicity thing again.

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      • BlackOps says:

        Duh, OF COURSE it’s about ethnicity, right? It ALWAYS is.

        Please. Rightly or wrongly, it has to do with the quality of player and past performance. Braun’s increase in performance came in his age 27 season and Ruiz’s came at age 33. Braun went from an elite player to a super elite player. Ruiz went from solid regular to elite player.

        I don’t think Ruiz’s spike in performance was due to adderall solely, or at all, but to say Cameron’s view is based on underlying racism is probably wrong.

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      • rubesandbabes says:

        Hi BlackOps:

        The issue isn’t just with Dave, or aimed specifically at Dave, but Fangraphs took it upon themselves to write these pompous articles defending Braun, and now Dave is just naturally “rolling his eyes” at Ruiz’ bust.

        Keeping baseball context, imo Igor Gonzalez got pushed off the HOF ballot kinda too quickly, he didn’t get anything near the support McGwire keeps getting. It’s there. Watch what happens to Sosa vs. the others in the HOF voting in January. Somehow Sammy will be relatively less worthy, and less of the discussion…

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      • BlackOps says:

        And if that happens, it will be because Sosa was a lesser player than McGwire and a much, much lesser of a player than Bonds.

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    • Not Dave says:

      Potty mouth.

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    • rubesandbabes says:

      Hi BlackOps:

      Sorry, no – It’s not their relative HOF candidacies vs each other, that’s not the issue. All of these players are so far over the old HOF bar; that is why we are talking about each of them in the HOF context in the first place.

      Also, suggest a more close look at the stats before pronouncing McGwire easily over Sosa. It’s not so.

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  30. vivaelpujols says:

    Goddamnit reading this hurt my ass.

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  31. chris says:

    Of course Aderall doesn’t make you stronger itself. It is a stimulant that increases your energy level… Just browsing around I have seen several threads on workout forums (unrelated to this topic) where posters say that they feel as though they have more energy for workouts while taking it. Anecdotal, sure, but It seems that someone taking it would have an edge over someone who isn’t.

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  32. Randy says:

    Dear Dave Cameron,

    IT’S JUST FUCKING ADDERALL!

    Signed, People Who Use Drugs

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  33. james wilson says:

    Presenting Adderall as a performance enhancing drug is the most clueless understanding I’ve ever read on Fangraphs. Adderall is low grade speed. Speed does not increase power, ever. Nor will speed improve the concentration of the relatively normal; it eliminates a concentration deficit in the fraction of the population which has one. It could therefore improve the approach, hitting discipline, and general plan of a hitter with ADD, which would translate to batting average and OBP.

    This is not to say Ruiz is not taking something that does increase power. Separate issue entirely.

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    • David says:

      It also lessens fatigue; these guys fly around the country and live out of hotels, by the time there 32 they have to be exhausted after a week on the road. If a drug let every at bat be a fresh at bat, it isn’t that hard to believe (for me anyways) that he was better able to handle the grind, and more likely to jump on mistakes. His bat wouldn’t be as slow to react because fatigue was gone, he would pick up on patterns the pitcher was throwing more easily, pretty much everything neccessary to see a big jump in performance, particularly in hitting those mistake pitches, but also just in his ability to put in quality at bats which would lead to improved outcomes.

      I don’t know if i really do or do not believe that, but its about time MLB comissioned a study on these various drugs so we can get concrete ideas of their effect on performance. I hate trying to understand/rationalize how they can impact performance, but I also can’t stand dismissive attitudes towards their effects on the field because it doesn’t follow a simple narrative (homeruns can only increase by getting stronger, as opposed to lessening fatigue and maintaining bat speed more consistently, for example). Players certaintly seem to think it helps for about 60 years now.

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  34. brad says:

    Honestly, DC, you’re smarter than this. There’s no defending Ruiz’s mistakes, but to equivocate an amphetamine with a steroid is disingenuous. You know better, you understand the difference between the two kinds of drugs, and the motivations behind use of them. Adderall is more powerful than greenies were, but feeling like you’re superman doesn’t make it so, and it’s hard to believe a catcher would be willing to get so high he’d reach any kind of euphoria in game and lose touch with reality.
    Most likely he took them to help maintain focus through the long grind of the regular season, like countless other players have with various amphetamines before him. If anything it seems Ruiz’s biggest mistake is not having a script for the pills, I fail to see where the occasion calls for breaking out grandma’s pearls for clutching.

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    • cpebbles says:

      Agreed. The performance-enhancing and deleterious effects of amphetamines are so much better established than they are for steroids that this entire article amounts to nothing more than a Carlos Ruiz puff piece. The man is abusing one of the most commonly-abused drugs in the country, possession of which is punishable by serious time in prison. Take off the blinders and treat this cheater like the scumbag that he is.

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    • Nope says:

      People are really missing the point here. Adderall is a banned substance. If a player takes Adderall, he is a cheater. Case closed.

      If the league bans Froot Loops, and a player continues to eat them, he is a cheater, and exactly as much of a cheater as Ruiz, Melky, etc. The actual benefits and/or hazards of the banned substances are completely immaterial here.

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    • RichW says:

      Care to enlighten us how you know this?

      Is one Adderall more powerful than 6 greenies. I don’t know and neither do you.

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  35. Hurtlockertwo says:

    This type of drug is also non-detectable in a test must faster than other substances. Water soluble substances are cleared by the body quickly, that may be the reason for it’s popularity.

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  36. NEPP says:

    I agree with the posters ripping Cameron on this one. Pretty low-brow attempt at slander, Dave.

    Adderall doesn’t improve power anyway. And the masking agent defense is a pretty weak one too for his white knighters.

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  37. NEPP says:

    In other news, noted greenies user Hank Aaron has been banned from baseball for life and stripped of all his accomplishments. Those HRs he hit were and are tainted by amphetamine usage.

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    • Hurtlockertwo says:

      And Mays, and Mantle, and many more HOF’s from that era. I suspect that traveling by bus or train in the 50’s may have contributed to amphetamine useage.

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  38. TheGrandSlamwich says:

    The biggest part of this, IMO is that it was his second offense, not his first. Someone who is paid millions and has the resources and team support to know what synthetic materials he can and can not put into his body should never test positive. When so many other players are approved by the league to take adderal, it seems to me that if Ruiz actually needed it it would not have been a challenge to acquire it in an approvable fashion.

    While I don’t perceive adderal as being a big factor in his power boost, the fact that he knowingly broke the rules in an obvious fashion makes me believe that he is most likely breaking the rules in other ways as well.

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    • Mikhel says:

      There still are a lot of over the counter products that will trigger positive results and players continually blame them because you can find them even at 7-11 (i think it is 5-hour Energy shots that triggered a few positives in the past few seasons, a ‘stimulant’ non-approved by the FDA sold in stores and guys buy it thinking is similar to red bull, and surprise surprise).

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  39. Antonio bananas says:

    You think maybe instead of suspensions, MLB should maple net financial penalties? 1st offense and the team can cut the player’s salary 50% on the first violation, second 75%, this and the player can only make league minimum?

    I realize that the player association would hate it and it might have legal issues, however I rally think this or something similar could help.

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    • Mikhel says:

      I think it had been proposed at some time, and the Player’s Association didn’t like it, they won’t accept a single thing that would mean that a player gets a pay cut (remember when ARod tried to take a pay cut to be traded from Texas to Boston but the players association denied him that posibility?).

      What I would love to see is contracts where teams and players stipulate that his salary will be according to his production, that is, either if he produces above his career averages (until he signed his new contract) then he’ll get a rise, but if he fails to even be above his average he’ll receive less.

      Or, to stomp agents continually overhyping their clients achievements, to ask them what kind of stats he thinks he’ll put up the oncoming season (a process done during the offseason, like arbitration hearings), that way if a player asks for, say 20 millions because he thinks he’ll bat:

      0.320 AVG / 0.370 OBP / 35 HR / 120 RBI / 100 R and 20 SB

      And the team accepts, he’ll be forced to put up those numbers or risk taking a massive pay cut in every department he failed to live up to hype.

      It would be a productivity based salary. But instead we’ll still have players making 18, 20, 25 or 30 millions a year whil not even being above league average.

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      • Antonio bananas says:

        That only works if teams all bid that way. If one team says “50 Million a year if you have a .300/.400/.500 slash and 600 AB but another says 25 million guaranteed, I know which one I’d probably take. Plus the players union would never be for it.

        I can see my idea for ped violators getting a financial penalty if the cut goes to be redistributed to other players.

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  40. rubesandbabes says:

    I want to like this article from Dave Cameron, it is positive progression from the awful ‘on-high’ confirmation bias Braun article. But Dave just can’t bring himself to see what’s right in front of his face as far as PED use and on-field performance improvement.

    Dave, it goes like this:

    When Barry Bonds got on the Cream and the Clear, his baseball gung fu became very strong. He set the record for home runs in a season. PED stands for performance enhancing.

    ==

    Not going with the commenters saying Adderall should be seen as different than testosterone or whatever. Yes, aware penalty is different, drug is different, but weren’t amphetamines pushed out of baseball for a good reasons in the first place?

    Testosterone helps with rest, so that the player would be less tired, just like taking a stimulant like Adderall which also helps the player to feel less tired. (Not claiming any huge expertise, just sayin’.)

    ==

    Yes, as many commenters have noted – If baseball has 100 guys on Adderall, why didn’t/can’t Ruiz, who apparently tested positive twice (at two different date/times), get his own prescription?

    Okay to speculate there might be more chemicals to this story, but even if not, this is definitely another confirmed sighting of a ballplayer very much at ease using banned substances. Part of the player’s culture of the sport.

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  41. RichW says:

    Shouldn’t MLB be taken to task for not outlawing nicotine, a far more powerful and addictive stimulant?

    Spare me the “legal” argument. Nicotine is a proven killer and known performance enhancer. If eliminating performance enhancers is the true goal, its legality is irrelevant.

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  42. DaveCameronSucks says:

    Another lazy article Dave. Keep this up and you’ll be at ESPN in no time!

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