We recently wrote a post about how blogs and the Internet have changed the way people get their news. Like almost everything, there are two sides to this coin. While our previous post focused on the positive, as demonstrated from the blog in Mexico, this article will demonstrate how dangerous blogs can be because , quite frankly, there is no one to answer to. Literally, anyone can create a blog and just “shoot from the hip”.
Case in point: recently, a well known Canadian sports journalist for the Toronto Star, Damien Cox, posted an article on The Star’s blog titled “Gotta At Least Ask the Question,” implying that Jose Bautista might be taking steroids/HGH so that he can enjoy a career year, having hit 40 Home Runs this year for the Blue Jays at the time of this writing. Not too bad for someone who, in the 8 years prior to this one, had hit at most 16 home runs. However, nowhere in that article does it cite any evidence or references that might suggest that he’s taken steroids. He’s only voicing what many people may be thinking, what with the steroid-era tarnishing the reputations of all players.
What hasn’t Cox factored in? Let’s see. Jose Bautista actually started hitting at this clip in September of last year which coincides with Cito Gaston’s appointment as manager of the Blue Jays. It was also highly publicized at the time, that Cito and the new hitting coach, Dwayne Murphy, worked on Bautista’s swing. In baseball, the smallest change in ones mechanics can make all the difference.
Also, many players have had “that breakout year” or “that one career year” while the rest of their careers were laden with mediocrity. Brady Anderson hit 50 home runs for the Baltimore Orioles in 1996, but didn’t come close to that number since then (who even remembers him?). The same thing is said about Luis Gonzalez of the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2001. He hit 57 home runs and failed to hit over 40 home runs before or after.
It is always fun to compare steroid-accused players by using before-after pictures of them, seeing how much bigger they got. In our opinion, if anything, Jose Bautista looks smaller this year! The only change he made in his body is that he, on occasion sports a moustache, goatee or full beard. Not enough incriminating evidence. There is no one…not even one ex-lover making any steroid accusation at all!
It’s amazing to see through pictures how accused players “bulked up” over the years. To compare apples to apples, let’s compare Jose Bautista, through pictures, with steroid accusees Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, and Jason Giambi.
Look at Bonds’ base-running in 1988 compared to 2006.
Barry Bonds 2
Look at how different Barry Bonds looks as a skinny teenager compared to when he has muscles bulging out of his T-Shirt!
Mark’s Rookie year vs. his tenure with the Cardinals.
White Sox vs. Cubs.
Giambi in 1990 with Team USA and in 2009 with the Colorado Rockies.
Lastly, Jose Bautista
See much difference? Does Jose Bautista look any bigger?
Okay, we admit the above may not be the only criteria. However, we would expect at least some type of corroborating evidence if you’re going to throw an accusation out from left field. However, Cox’s blog post has gone viral. Papers from Toronto’s National Post to blogs like the one hosted by New York Yankees’ Sportscaster John Sterling have talked about him. In spite of the article, or shall we say rant, being based on conjecture and having little basis, the word has spread. Jose Bautista’s name is now linked to HGH/steroids. This shows how dangerous blog posts can potentially be, especially when the accusations contained are floated and unfounded. Most readers don’t care. They receive information and spew it out as quickly as possible, rushing to judgment.
Bautista’s reaction was interesting. Cox’s blog is titled “Gotta At Least Ask The Question”. Bautista responded by saying “then ask it!”. What Bautista forgot is that this was the way news worked in the past. Now, one can blog and create a stir with no one to answer to.