When did the steroid era in baseball begin

NEW YORK—After the records of players who used performance-enhancing drugs are carefully removed, statistics provided by the Elias Sports Bureau indicate that lifetime .255 hitter Craig Counsell was the best player of the past 15 years. "If you judge them on the basis of pure physical ability, you're left with Craig Counsell," said ESB representative Patrick Wondolowski, adding that Counsell's 35 career home runs narrowly beat out Quinton McCracken's 21 and pitcher Glendon Rusch's three. Upon hearing the news, broadcaster Bob Uecker lauded the Brewers utilityman as "one of the best I ever saw, if we're talking about those who I can say without a doubt never took steroids. He came this close to stealing a base off of Ivan Rodriguez, and I swear I heard him foul tip a Roger Clemens fastball. The kid could flat-out steroid-free play. One time he was playing third base and he caught a Rafael Palmeiro line drive—just caught it, right in his mitt." When asked about his Hall of Fame chances, Counsell dodged the question by asking if anyone had a few bucks so he could go buy a sandwich.

The ball was also hard to hit because pitchers could manipulate it before a pitch. For example, the spitball pitch was permitted in baseball until 1921. Pitchers often marked the ball, scuffed it, spat on it—anything they could to influence the ball's motion. This made the ball "dance" and curve much more than it does now, making it more difficult to hit. Tobacco juice was often added to the ball as well, which discolored it. This made the ball difficult to see, especially since baseball parks did not have lights until the late 1930s. This made both hitting and fielding more difficult.

In 1993, Barry Bonds began the second act of his career in San Francisco, after the small market Pirates simply could not afford his services. For the Giants, the gargantuan Bonds quickly emerged as the most feared batter of all time. In 1998, Buck Showalter and the Arizona Diamondbacks went so far as to call for an intentional walk on Bonds, with the bases loaded. For 2004, Bonds, at 39, drew 232 bases on balls, of which 120 were intentional walks. In all, Barry Bonds drew an unprecedented 2,558 walks and 688 intentional walks for his career.

Serafini said he was 6-3, 160 pounds when he was drafted. (He was listed as 6-1. Serafini went to the same high school as Bonds and later trained briefly with him. He calls Bonds "an idol among idols.") Serafini said he was so skinny that when he showed up for his first camp a Twins instructor asked him if he had AIDS. Serafini now weighs 220 pounds. He said he gained about five or 10 pounds a year and in 2003 found a trainer and dietician who helped him gain about 15 pounds with a program that "helped build my testosterone level naturally." If Serafini did not consider steroids cheating, and if testing didn't exist in the minor leagues until 2001, why would he not use steroids back then?

When did the steroid era in baseball begin

when did the steroid era in baseball begin

Serafini said he was 6-3, 160 pounds when he was drafted. (He was listed as 6-1. Serafini went to the same high school as Bonds and later trained briefly with him. He calls Bonds "an idol among idols.") Serafini said he was so skinny that when he showed up for his first camp a Twins instructor asked him if he had AIDS. Serafini now weighs 220 pounds. He said he gained about five or 10 pounds a year and in 2003 found a trainer and dietician who helped him gain about 15 pounds with a program that "helped build my testosterone level naturally." If Serafini did not consider steroids cheating, and if testing didn't exist in the minor leagues until 2001, why would he not use steroids back then?

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