We all have that perception of what PEDs looks like.
Artificial, manufactured bulk. Insatiable supplement drive. Drug-hungry monsters covered with knots and curls of the synthetic side-effects of the phony, lifestyle they can only bootleg themselves into believing. Above all, they’re cheaters.
We all have dismay and disdain for cheaters, and its palpable. The inequity of those that load themselves with anabolics over those that play natural is stigmatic enough, but the impression that those cheaters are head and shoulders above competitors while playing with an abnormal, unfair and skewed advantage, especially when the PEDS are wildly condemned, is truly preposterous.
Was Michael Pineda even using PEDs? All we know he has been suspended for testing positive for a drug identified as a masking agent, but that fact teams feel it's necessary to censor and exempt those who "juiced" before entering the free agent market doesn’t make sense.
Since 2010 there have been 26 players of notable significance to be suspended by the MLB for PEDs juicing.
And as you can, this graph pretty much debunk the myth that players with juicing ‘enhanced’ their performance by yielded results by aggregate.
The Twins face crucial decisions in regard to all three of their pending free agent starting pitchers. As the gap between legitimate starters becomes wider, it’s especially crucial for teams to equip themselves with effective starters.
With his climbing velocity and swinging strike percentages, I would especially encourage the Twins to approach Pineda with an extension. This may be more of the fact that Jake Odorizzi and Kyle Gibson pose more concerns.
History has shown that after Tommy John surgery, velocity actually increases. Pineda was also showing impressive command. Of any free agent pitcher to have thrown 1,000 pitches this season, Michael Pineda leads every single one of them (including Gerritt Cole) in Quality Of Pitch Average. QOP is a patent-pending proprietary regression model that factors in mph, location, and movement (vertical break, horizontal break, breaking distance and rise).
Not that Gerritt Cole wouldn’t be my dream acquisition, but location and movement gives a better testament to the longevity and success of a pitcher. This coupled with rising velocity, an insanely good knack for hitting the strike zone (third of any free agent pitcher) and three pitches trending above average (changeup, fastball and slider) make Pineda an even more appealing candidate.
Reasons why the Twins shouldn't consider a reunion with Pineda are few and far between. They more than likely lie in the composition of your own values, ethics and morals than the actual product. Nelson Cruz is a prime example of why you shouldn’t allow a failed PED test to influence your psyche, because Cruz ended up posting a 3.6 WAR season after his suspension.
The even more important thing I want to bring to light is the reasoning behind the PEDs usage. Below is Pineda's statement after the suspension was announced.
“I mistakenly took a medication that was given to me by a close acquaintance, who obtained it over-the-counter and assured me it would safely help me manage my weight. I ingested a a few of these pills without the consent of the Twins’ training staff. Testing revealed trace elements of a substance called Hydrochloride, which is a banned diuretic under baseball’s testing program.”
Take it for what it’s worth, but the fact that he felt it was necessary for him to regulate his weight is a deeply ingrained perspective, grounded in and molded by the stereotypes we insist players must adhere to.
How often do we as fans judge players with striking weight or size problems and reduce them with slander saying they can't perform? I consider it bigotry that someone with weight issues should be slandered because of his weight, and anything below excellent performance be pointed to as a corollary aftereffect of that dysfunction.
So would it be fair to say that the suspension may have been the net result of our preconceived notions that drove him to search for weight recovery?
Let me know what you think in the comments.