This is just an opinion on some jerk's blog. I took Ibanez in most of my leagues. For him to consistently post 100+ RBI season's on a team with no offense, the season he's having in Philly this year should have been easily predictable. At this point it wouldn't necessarily surprise me to find out anyone was juicing, but I need more proof than this.
Raul Ibanez of the Philadelphia Phillies is bristling at the suggestion in a blog that his offensive numbers could be the result of performance-enhancing drugs. And he's perfectly willing to be drug tested to prove it, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.
"I'll come after people who defame or slander me," he said Tuesday night before the Phillies played the New York Mets, according to the report. "It's pathetic and disgusting. There should be some accountability for people who put that out there."
"You can have my urine, my hair, my blood, my stool -- anything you can test," Ibanez said, according to the report. "I'll give you back every dime I've ever made" if the test is positive, he added.
"I'll put that up against the jobs of anyone who writes this stuff," he said, according to the Inquirer. "Make them accountable. There should be more credibility than some 42-year-old blogger typing in his mother's basement. It demeans everything you've done with one stroke of the pen.
"Nobody is above the testing policy. We've seen that."
Ibanez, the leading vote-getter among outfielders on the National League All-Star ballot, was responding to a post on the Midwest Sports Fans site. In that post, the site's managing editor, Jerod Morris, using the pen name "JRod," tried to make the case that Ibanez's numbers were a result of several factors -- but added that given recent baseball history, speculation about performance-enhancing drugs could not be ignored.
Ibanez, 37, is off to a career-best start in his 15th major league season, his first season calling hitter-friendly Citizens Bank Park home.
Entering Wednesday's games, Ibanez is first in the National League in four offensive categories, with 55 runs batted in, 47 runs scored, a .682 slugging percentage and 152 total bases. He's second in home runs with 20 -- just three behind his career average. He's hitting .327, a full 39 points higher than his .288 career batting average. His career slugging percentage is .491 and he's averaged 96 RBIs a season.
But Ibanez is playing in the wake of the steroid era, where big statistical leaps raise eyebrows and elicit whispers. He's also playing in the Internet era, where those whispers can take on a life of their own.
"Unfortunately, I understand the environment we're in and the events that have led us to this era of speculation," Ibanez said, according to the Inquirer. "At the same time, you can't just walk down the street and accuse somebody of being a thief because they didn't have a nice car yesterday and they do today. You can't say that guy is a thief."
In the original post, Morris, who says he's 27, detailed a number of factors that could explain Ibanez's hot start, including the hitter-friendly parks where he's homered and some of the poor pitching the Phillies have faced.
But Morris also acknowledged that in the current baseball climate, "It's time for me to begrudgingly acknowledge the elephant in the room: Any aging hitter who puts up numbers this much better than his career averages is going to immediately generate suspicion that the numbers are not natural, that perhaps he is under the influence of some sort of performance enhancer."
While Morris said he wanted to give Ibanez the benefit of the doubt, he also said the suspicion could not be dismissed outright.
"Maybe the 37-year old Ibanez trained differently this offseason with the pressure of joining the Phillies' great lineup and is in the best shape he's ever been in," he wrote. "And maybe that training included ... Well, you know where that one was going, but I'd prefer to leave it as unstated speculation. However, if Ibanez ends up hitting 45-50 homers this year, you can bet that I won't be the only one raising the question."
On Wednesday, Morris posted another entry and offered a partial apology. He said he felt more secure about Ibanez's numbers, noting Ibanez's improvement with men in scoring position, and said he had no ax to grind with the outfielder.
"I'll accept some level of accountability and offer a sincere apology to Raul Ibanez for advancing a public debate that, in his specific case, is very likely unfair and perhaps even unnecessary," Morris wrote.
"However, I'm not accepting complete blame and accountability for being the person who started this. I just tried to do my homework and write a cogent response to speculation I had heard from other sources," Morris continued.
"If Raul Ibanez, or any other player who is speculated about for putting up great numbers, is upset at the speculation, the majority of their anger and venom in my opinion should be directed towards their past and present peers who used steroids and PEDs," Morris added.
Salty-Dog wrote:i'm not surprised he's having this kind of season - he's a good hitter playing in a little league sized ball park
In case you didn't notice, the Phillies have actually played much better on the road this year. Also don't you think the vastly better lineup he's in also has something to do with his increase in production? I mean Utley, Rollins, Howard, Flyin' Hawaiian, Werth and Feliz and Ruiz hitting up near .300. That's some serious lineup protection, which he didn't have in seattle.
On ESPN's park factor scale his home park only ranks 15th among runs and HR so far this year. It hasn't played like a "little league park" so far this year. It was 15th (runs) and 11th (hr) last year. 13th (runs) and 1st (hr) in 2007. So at least going by ESPN's stats over the last 2 1/3 seasons to date only the HR rate in 2007 was much above middle of the pack among ballparks. It might be a good (above average) hitters park but it's reputation is a little overrated because of the good offense the Phillies have run out there for most of it's history.
At any rate I think the lineup he's in actually has been a bigger effect the the ballpark switch, though going from a below average hitters park to an above average hitters park certainly has played into some of his production increase. I also read an opinion that the league shift has also been a benefit to him, though I don't know what that was based on. Something I think most of us can agree on is that PEDs would NOT result in this kind of performance increase or we'd have had a lot more Barry Bonds and Mark McGuires like performances in the PED Era.
Most of his homeruns have still come in hitters parks even if it isn't his home park. 1 in Coors(13ab), 2 in Great American(12ab), 2 in Yankee Stadium(13ab), 8 in Citizens(93ab). That's 13 of his 20 homeruns that he hit in hitter friendly parks. He also hit 6 of his homeruns against Washington and their AA pitching. I own him in 1 league and I've been trying to sell high with no luck.
Better lineup, better ballpark, (Cit Bank increases lefty HR's by 22%, Safeco decreases them by 6%). He's always been a good hitter, a middle of the order guy. He's having a HUGE year. It isn't like he stunk his whole career.
mac-unit wrote:Most of his homeruns have still come in hitters parks even if it isn't his home park. 1 in Coors(13ab), 2 in Great American(12ab), 2 in Yankee Stadium(13ab), 8 in Citizens(93ab). That's 13 of his 20 homeruns that he hit in hitter friendly parks. He also hit 6 of his homeruns against Washington and their AA pitching. I own him in 1 league and I've been trying to sell high with no luck.
Frances The Mute wrote:career year at age 37 yeah right
So your saying he's on something? I cant stand that someone no longer can get credit for working hard and putting a good season together. He has always hit around .290 and I imagine he will be around there by seasons end or .300. You would think a player would think twice with all the testing now. I give a guy credit for good play until he shows me otherwise
^So it's not even a little naive to believe that a guy who has hit 25+ HR only once in his career is the first 37-year-old to hit for this type of power in MLB's 125+ year history? And he is hitting for power, his HRs aren't cheapies... he's hitting homers at Petco to deep center and the opposite field.
After reading Raul Ibanez's comments on the PED speculation, he seems very articulate but smug.
Considering MLB doesn't test for HGH and can't possibly test for the newest designer steroids and PEDs, it's very possible for a player to use PEDs with a 0% risk of being busted if they (1) don't use any PEDs that MLB specifically tests for, (2) administer the PEDs on their own and don't consult with any trainers/assistants/friends/witnesses, and (3) don't leave any paper trails for the purchase of PEDs or masking agents.
From his quotes, Raul Ibanez seems very intelligent. And at 37, he surely has enough experience to use PEDs in a manner to assure no risk of detection.
It's hard to really understand how mind-boggling Raul Ibanez's numbers are for a 37-year-old until you look at the records for players at that age.
Here's the all-time single season HR leaderboard for players age 37 and older:
Hank Aaron (age 37) .......... 47 HR in 1971 .... 8 seasons of 40+ HR Barry Bonds (age 37) .......... 46 HR in 2002 .... confirmed PED use Barry Bonds (age 38) .......... 45 HR in 2003 .... confirmed PED use Barry Bonds (age 39) .......... 45 HR in 2004 .... confirmed PED use Andres Galarraga (age 37) ... 44 HR in 1998 .... 3 seasons of 40+ HR Rafael Palmeiro (age 37) ..... 43 HR in 2002 .... confirmed PED use Babe Ruth (age 37) ............ 41 HR in 1932 .... 9 seasons of 45+ HR Hank Sauer (age 37) .......... 41 HR in 1954 .... past HR champ Darrell Evans (age 38) ........ 40 HR in 1985 .... career high of 41 HR Hank Aaron (age 39) .......... 40 HR in 1973 .... 8 seasons of 40+ HR Moises Alou (age 37) .......... 39 HR in 2004 .... 3 seasons of 30+ HR Frank Thomas (age 38) ....... 39 HR in 2006 .... 5 seasons of 40+ HR Rafael Palmeiro (age 38) ..... 38 HR in 2003 .... confirmed PED use Ted Williams (age 38) ........ 38 HR in 1957 .... led league in HR 4 times Carlton Fisk (age 37) ......... 37 HR in 1985 .... 376 career HR Edgar Martinez (age 37)...... 37 HR in 2000 .... 5 seasons of 25+ HR Steve Finley (age 39) ......... 36 HR in 2004 .... 4 seasons of 30+ HR Dave Kingman (age 37) ....... 35 HR in 1986 .... 6 seasons of 35+ HR Mike Schmidt (age 37) ........ 35 HR in 1987 .... led league in HR 8 times
I understand what you are saying and this is very rare. He obviously is seeing the ball well and even his outs are very sharp. This could just be a very solid strech he is on and could cool down(hope he doesnt) and make his #'s look just above average. NL pitching with a lot of protection can also help. I watch him play everyday and his swing just looks there and he does not get fooled too often. Im just not going to put the idea of Ped's just because he is having a great first half. Im going to let the season play out and just go from there. Even his defense has been great this year, he has been all around solid